2016/17 Budget proposal Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA)

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1 2016/17 Budget proposal Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) Informing our approach to fairness Name of proposal Fairer Housing Unit Date of original assessment 20 November 2015 Lead officer Amanda Senior, Head of Fairer Housing Unit Assessment team Amanda Senior, Tom Warburton Review date 1 February 2016 Version control Version 1 Date 1 December 2015 Replaces version This is our assessment of the potential equality and other impacts of this 2016/17 budget proposal, based on the available evidence. It is a living document and we will review it throughout the consultation period. A formal review will take place on all proposals when consultation closes to consider comments and information from all stakeholders, research or new and emerging policy. 1

2 The following 2016/17 budget proposal is put forward in a context of continued financial austerity. Due to cuts in government funding and unfunded cost pressures we have already been forced to make 191m savings. We anticipate having to make further savings of 100m over , 30m of which are needed in This IIA should be read in conjunction with Newcastle a great city: Ambition in the face of austerity which explains more broadly how we are responding to the financial challenges we face. Section A: Current service 1. What does the service do? The Fairer Housing Unit (FHU) has oversight of housing activity across the city to ensure that plans, policies, services and resources are used to best advantage so that we can care for the most vulnerable; generate jobs and investment that brings economic growth to the city, and make sure local neighbourhoods remain decent places to live. The Fairer Housing Unit s role is to make sure that investment is in line with our priorities, and looking at how we do this by coordinating and supporting shared resources. Operating as a co-operative council, we work with developers, housing associations, our ALMO Your Homes Newcastle, the third sector, private sector and care and support agencies to improve the range and quality of housing in Newcastle. We will ensure the quality and range of housing in the City matches people s needs and aspirations - particularly older and vulnerable people and families'. The aims of the FHU are to meet our targets on new build homes, return empty homes to active use, improve the private sector rented offer to households in need and accelerate the delivery of accommodation for specialist groups and older people. We will also deliver our Housing Land and Asset Plan (including over 60 Council owned sites) to support future Brownfield and affordable housing developments; continue to implement our Older People s Housing Delivery Plan which sets out where we will improve and target current services, set up new services and new high quality accommodation as an alternative to residential care. We will use Council owned land to create mixed tenure communities and address local housing needs. Our Empty Homes Investment Plan delivers investment across the city, but with specific focus on selective licensing areas in the west and east of the City. We successfully use our funding and land assets to draw in matched funding from developers, government agencies and housing providers. We are currently developing a new agreement with YHN for the long term management of the housing stock including new arrangements for financial and performance management of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and capital investment in the housing stock. This agreement will run for ten years from in April Our housing priorities are to: 1. Attract and retain economically active households in the city by diversifying and expanding the City s housing offer; 2. Accelerate the supply of brown field and urban sites for housing development; 3. Accelerate the delivery of affordable homes across the city; 4. Make best use of the city s existing buildings by bringing empty homes and commercial properties back in to use for residential purpose; 5. Deliver developments which provide opportunities for older people and those who experience disabilities to live independently as an alternative to residential care; 6. Improve management and physical standards in the private rented sector; 7. Ensure social and affordable housing is allocated according to need and within the Government and Council s policies. 2

3 Some of the outcomes we delivered last year (2014/15) include: 306 empty homes brought back into use; 311 Disabled Facility Grants awarded; Gross number of new homes (inc affordable) Who do you deliver this service for? Our target populations for diversifying and improving the housing offer are: Affordable housing: - single and family households; - lower income households; - economically active households who need security of tenure or cannot afford market rent. Older people: - individuals and couples over the age of 55. Housing with Care and Support: - Individuals with significant care and support needs who would otherwise require residential care; - Single/couples and family households where one or more members have long term physical disabilities, learning disabilities or complex needs. Other target populations for making best use of the existing housing stock are: - Low income private sector occupiers who require property improvements; - Private Sector Landlords who own or manage a property portfolio; - Owners of long term empty commercial premises. For those in crisis or considered vulnerable our target populations are: - Households who experience or are at risk of domestic violence; - Households who experience or are at risk of homelessness; - Those excluded from social housing due to debt, tenancy problems or r or lack of availability and choice. 3. Do you have any statutory requirements? There are currently 51 identified statutory duties placed on local authorities in relation to housing that are regulated by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Some of the main housing statutory requirements carried out by the FHU are: To provide adaptations for disabled people in their homes; To formulate and publish a housing strategy, for all tenures; To keep the housing conditions in Newcastle under review with a view to identifying any action that may need to be taken under various specified pieces of legislation; To review our housing needs in relation to housing conditions and the needs of the district; Operate a housing allocations scheme, publish a summary of it and allocate accommodation in accordance with the scheme; Ensure that advice and information is available to our residents free of charge about the right to make an application for an allocation of accommodation. 4. How much do you spend on this service? Gross expenditure Gross income Net budget Capital projects 3,080,350 3,220,340 (139,990) 14,461,475 3

4 5. What workforce delivers this service? Posts FTEs Comments The Service is divided into 3 areas Strategic Housing function (housing strategy, housing needs, housing policy, allocations and lettings, relationship with YHN, oversight of nominations agreements ); Delivery (bidding for external funding; implementing a programme of new housing on council owned land; contract and project management and the Private Sector teams (private rented service, disabled facilities grants service, empty homes investment) Sickness and staff turnover is minimal Section B: Change proposal 1. What is the proposal to change the service? In developing the proposals we had had to ensure that we not only maintain our statutory housing obligations but also maintain sufficient capacity to deliver our long term housing aims Strategic Housing Function - we will ensure that we will have sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory housing obligations. This team is jointly responsible for the production and implementation of housing strategies and investment plans. The workload of the allocations oversight function has increased due to the build programme and the Care and Supported Housing Programme. Sufficient resource will therefore continue to be allocated to this function. In addition capacity will also be required to undertake additional work as a result of the new YHN management arrangements including policy work, project management and governance, budget management, and performance management. The team also have oversight of strategic tenant involvement between the Council as landlord and our tenants/leaseholders. Housing Delivery - we will ensure we have capacity to deliver our Housing Delivery Plan; meeting out contractual responsibilities to the Homes and Communities Agency/Department of Health; prepare sites for development. We will continue to meet delivery programme priorities development of sites for affordable rent, sale and specialist housing and ensure that those sites which are for affordable sale also bring in a capital receipt. We will continue to submit bids for funding for all housing tenures. The team will also be responsible for co-ordinating bidding for external resources. Disabled Facility Grants - we will continue to award Disabled Facility Grants to ensure that our residents who require aids and adaptations can remain in their own homes. Empty Homes Function - we will continue to work with landlords, tenants and housing associations to increase the supply of residential units and tackle neighbourhood decline. We will need to continue to fulfil our statutory duty to maintain a strategy for private sector upgrade and undertake condition surveys as required. Bidding for external funding and other investment initiatives relating to Empty Homes activity will also continue. 4

5 Private Rented Service - The Private Rented Service will continue to operate in the selective licensing areas albeit at a potentially reduced level than present. Services will be prioritised to those tenants and landlords where our intervention prevents crisis, homelessness or neighbourhood decline. This will ensure that the City s most socially and economically excluded areas receive support for its landlords and tenants to ensure that the areas do not decline further. This will also retain capacity to offer management interventions and advice in those areas identified as at risk due to the rise in empty properties. Where neighbourhood organisations consider there are elements of the private rented sector which would benefit from increased management, training or intervention we can offer a range of commissioned services. Byker Trust district heating system funding sits in the FHU budget. No change is proposed to current arrangements. Community Care Alarm Service managed by YHN. No change is proposed to the current arrangement. As well as what is outlined above we will need to take account of any additional responsibilities which may be placed on us by the new Housing and Planning Act which is currently going through Parliament. Taking this into account savings will be achieved as follows: 1. Additional contribution from the HRA to cover the additional work required as a consequence of adopting the new management arrangements with YHN including project management, governance, undertaking a joint service review and policy work. Income Increase 75, Changes in areas of work which are non-statutory which has either resulted in a reduction of workload due to the implementation of more efficient ways of working or where services can be reduced but a core service retained. Saving 65, What evidence has informed this proposal? Information source Information has been sourced from the Local Plan, NFNA and Know your City. What has this told you? 21,000 new homes needed to meet growth agenda. Increase of over 15% in households aged over 65 by Clusters of long term and problematic empties across the city. Demand from people with long term disabilities to live independently. Wider offer required for older people to prevent crisis and moves into institutional care. Requirement to maintain social and affordable housing to high standards through cyclical investment programmes. Balance the Private rented offer - a wide ranging offer as a quality alternative to owner occupation and be receptive to those who are vulnerable/or have support needs. Viability is challenging - values are relatively low and many sites require infrastructure and 5

6 remediation due to the industrial history of the area. The developer and house building industry model is dis-incentivised to invest in the urban core - their business models are mainly geared to work with large green field sites. Current government investment programmes are concentrated on immediate delivery rather than development of a pipeline of schemes. House building activity creates and sustains jobs and training opportunities. For each home built 1.5 direct full time jobs are created and more in the supply chain. For every 1 invested in housing a further 3 is injected into the wider economy. New housing (and empties returned) provides the Council with an additional income stream. 3. How much will you spend on this service? Gross expenditure Gross income Net budget Capital projects 2016/17 2,940,350 1,402,310 1,012,990 TBD 4. What will the net savings be of this proposal? Gross Saving Implementation Cost Net Saving 2016/17 140, , What impact will this have on the workforce? No. FTEs % workforce If a reduction in staffing is required it will be 2016/17 Up to 2 8% achieved through voluntary redundancy trawl and review of the unit against current and future business needs. 6

7 5. Who have you engaged with about this proposal? Date Who No. of people Main issues raised 17 November 2015 All staff 28 A full staff briefing for all I&D staff was hosted by the Director of I&D No issues raised. 6. What are the potential impacts of the proposal? Staff / service users Specific group / subject Impact (actual / potential disadvantage, beneficial outcome or none) Detail of impact How will you address or mitigate disadvantage? People with protected characteristics Service Younger people and / or Users older people (age). This proposal will increase choice of accommodation and care for older people. Service Users Disabled people There will be an increase in specialist accommodation for rent across a variety of neighbourhoods which decreases the need for households to move great distances and lose their support network. Carers There will be increased opportunities for carers to continue to live with their partner/relative but may alleviate the caring responsibilities through provision of onsite care and accessible accommodation. 7

8 People who are married or in civil partnerships Sex or gender (including transgender, pregnancy and maternity) No actual/potential impact People s sexual orientation As above NA People of different races As above NA People who have different As above NA religions or beliefs People vulnerable to socio-economic disadvantage Service Users People living in deprived areas Service Users NA People in low paid employment or in households with low incomes People facing barriers to gaining employment, such as low levels of educational attainment No actual/potential impact NA Looked after children No actual/potential impact NA Development of larger specialist accommodation will enable couples where only one has a care need to continue to live together. There is no evidence to suggest this proposal will have a disproportionately negative impact on people because of their sex or gender. Improved affordable housing offer for people on low incomes can mean that they get access to housing at less than market rent levels which assists with household budgeting for those on fixed incomes or whose incomes vary. As above NA 8

9 Service Users Businesses N/A Geography N/A People facing multiple deprivation, through a combination of factors such as poor health or poor housing / homelessness Businesses providing current or future jobs in the city Area, wards, neighbourhoods Community cohesion N/A Community cohesion No actual/potential impact Community safety N/A Community safety No actual/potential impact Environment N/A No actual/potential impact Improved housing can have an impact on wellbeing and health by reducing the impact of poor energy efficiency, damp and stress caused through poor quality housing. These plans to construct new homes will provide opportunities for training and employment in the construction, technical and supply chain sectors. The plans will improve areas and neighbourhoods across the City. 9

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