Housing Sub Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Time:
2:00pm
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Jim McClung (Chairman)-Wigtown West
Ian Carruthers-Annandale South
Finlay Carson-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Brian Collins-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Jim H Dempster-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Grahame Forster-Wigtown West
Alistair Geddes-Mid Galloway
Jeff Leaver-Lochar
Craig Peacock-Annandale East and Eskdale
Colin Smyth-Nith
Officials:
Claire Caution - Performance Improvement Officer
John Lynch - Head of Strategic Housing, Commissioning and Environmental Standards
Jim O'Neill - Strategy and Development Manager
Apologies:
Denis R Male - Annandale East and Eskdale
Item Number Item/Description Action
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

5 Members present, 1 apology

 
2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared.

 

MEMBERS - Ian Carruthers, James Dempster, Grahame Forster, Jeff Leaver and Colin Smyth entered the meeting - 10 Members present

 
3 PRESENTATION BY ENERGY AGENCY ON DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY’S UNIVERSAL HOME INSULATION SCHEME 2012/13

Decision

 

THANKED Michael Carr for his presentation (Appendix).

 
4 HOME ENERGY SCOTLAND - AREA BASED SCHEME PROPOSALS 2013/14 -2014/15 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

PROCEDURE - The Committee was advised that notification was received on Monday 11 March 2013 from the Scottish Government advising that Dumfries and Galloway Council was allocated £1.27m for this scheme, subject to bid proposals being approved by this committee today and submitted to the Scottish Government by 19 April 2013.

 

Decision

4.1   NOTED and APPROVED the significant increase in funding available through Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland- Area Based Schemes;

 

AGREED

 

4.2   to the proposed programme for Dumfries and Galloway, and NOTED the programme will be delivered in partnership with the Energy Agency, with the continuation of Universal Home Insulation Scheme to start from 1 April 2013 following Scottish Government approval and all other schemes to commence following a satisfactory tendering process; and

 

4.3   the funding received from Scottish Government for £1.27m and to receive a future report to this Committee on the challenge fund bid.

Head of Strategic Housing Commissioning and Environmental Standards
5 COMMON HOUSING REGISTER - PROGRESS REPORT - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

Decision

 

5.1   NOTED the progress made in taking forward the Common Housing Register project; and

 

5.2   AGREED to receive additional reports on the impact of Welfare Reform on the operation of a Common Housing Register, Common Allocations Policy and other housing related matters at a future meeting of the Housing Sub Committee on 25 April 2013.

Head of Strategic Housing Commissioning and Environmental Standards
6 HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2006 - REVIEW OF THE SCHEME OF ASSISTANCE 2012/13 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

PROCEDURE - The Committee was advised that in relation to paragraph 3.7.2 of the report the Council received a Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year 2012 award.

 

PROCEDURE - The Committee was advised of an error at 3.9.1 where the figures were incorrect but that those on the following table were correct up to 20 February 2013 and detailed 3 cases and not the incorrect figure of 10 cases as quoted in paragraph 3.9.1.

 

Decision

NOTED

 

6.1   the outcomes of the review of the Scheme of Assistance; which covered: Care and Repair Service Performance, DGHP’s Factoring Service, Below Tolerable Standard, Empty Homes, Housing Renewal Area and Discretionary disabled adaptations;

 

6.2   the progress made in relation to the 7 key strategic areas:

 

•   the regeneration of Dumfries Town Centre as the Regions Capital through the implementation of Housing Regeneration Area Action Plan;

•   support the rural private rented sub sector;

•   tackle properties that are designated BTS and meet criteria for assistance under the Scheme of Assistance;

•   assess requests for assistance under the BTS Exceptions Policy;

•   help tackle disrepair and maintenance issues in mixed tenure social and private stock through its funding of DGHP’s Factoring Service;

•   expand and proactively manage the Care and Repair Service;

•   establish a region-wide ‘Handyman’ Service;

 

AGREED

6.3   the budget allocations to support the continued implementation of the Scheme of Assistance;


Strategic priority                                  Proposed budget
Below Tolerable Standard                  £350k
Care and Repair                                 £1.5m

(including adaptations for

people with disabilities) 
Handy-van                                          £110k
Information and advice                       £10k
Landlord Accreditation Scotland         £2k
Empty Homes Officer                         £20k
Total PSHG budget provision             £1,861k 
(excluding staff revenue costs)

Total proposed budget allocations     £1992k
Shortfall to be met from Council Tax on Second Homes

 

6.4   to address the shortfall of £131k in the allocated budget for the Scheme of Assistance through a contribution from Council Tax income on second homes;

 

6.5   in principle to establish a new post of Empty Homes Officer, further NOTING this will be dependent on Council decisions in relation to the adoption and application of The Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Act 2012;

 

6.6   to the inclusion of the Wigtown property in the Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan to enable this property to be re-developed under the Below Tolerable Standard Exceptions Policy;

 

6.7   to fund the shortfall in acquisition costs up to a maximum of £40k from Council Tax on Second Homes income; and

 

6.8   to receive a report on allocation of income from second home council tax.

Head of Strategic Housing Commissioning and Environmental Standards, Strategy and Development Manager

7 ANY OTHER BUSINESS DEEMED URGENT BY THE CHAIRMAN DUE TO THE NEED FOR A DECISION

Decision

 

NOTED that there was an item of urgent business and the Chairman intimated that with the agreement of Members, he intended to take this as Item 8 - Strategic Housing Investment Plan (Ship) 2012/13-2014/15 - Strategic Local Programme - Update.

 

ADJOURNMENT - the meeting was adjourned at 3.12pm to allow Members time to read the report, copies of which were circulated at the meeting and reconvened at 3.30pm with 9 Members present being:

 

Jim McClung, Ian Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Brian Collins, James Dempster, Alistair Geddes, Jeff Leaver, Craig Peacock and Colin Smyth.

 
8 STRATEGIC HOUSING INVESTMENT PLAN (SHIP) 2012/13-2014/15 - STRATEGIC LOCAL PROGRAMME - UPDATE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

Decision

 

8.1   NOTED and APPROVED the additional Scottish Government funding allocation of £1.788m to support the delivery of the Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan; and

 

8.2   AGREED to allocate the funding to support the delivery of the projects which had been previously agreed to be included in the Slippage Programme, noting this will see the delivery of an additional 41 units of affordable housing and means there will be 409 new homes delivered through the Council’s current Strategic Housing Investment Plan.

Head of Strategic Housing Commissioning and Environmental Standards

Action Details

ItemDetail
6 Action by Strategy and Development Manager - The budget allocations to support the continued implementation of the Scheme of Assistance were agreed. The scheme is now being implemented. Complete.