Cabinet 9 February 2009

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1 b Cabinet 9 February 2009 A new Housing Strategy for Lambeth All Wards Cabinet Portfolio: Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration: Councillor Lib Peck Report authorised by: Executive Director for Housing, Regeneration and Environment: Chris Lee Executive summary This report accompanies Lambeth s proposed new Housing Strategy for consideration and approval by cabinet. This report explains the rationale behind why a new strategy is required, how the strategy fits in the administration s other priorities and summarises the overall structure, aims and objectives of the strategy. Summary of financial implications There are no new direct financial implications arising from the recommendations in this report. Recommendations (1) That Cabinet approves the Housing Strategy. (2) That delivery of the Housing Strategy is overseen by the Housing Partnership for Lambeth, which will report into Lambeth First. The Action Plan will be updated on an annual basis. (3) Note that supplementary guidance will be issued in respect of the housing needs of young people and the housing needs of older people.

2 Consultation Name of consultee Directorate or Organisation Date sent to consultee Date response received from consultee Comments appear in report para: Greg Carson Legal and Democratic Services 19 th Richard Hornby DDR HRE 17 th Frank Higgins Corporate Finance 19 th DLT RHE 23 rd Phyllis Dunipace CYPS 19 th Jo Cleary ACS 19 th Les Brown Planning Division 22 January 2009 Cllr Lib Peck Cabinet Member for Housing and 16 th Regeneration January Cllr Kirsty McHugh Housing Partnership for Lambeth Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods External 16 th January 22 nd January 30/12/08 4 5/1/09 3 5/1/09 3 Throughout January 7 th January Throughout 21 st 23 rd Dec Throughout 27 January th January Throughout Report history Decision type: Key decision, entered into forward plan June 2008 Key decision: reason EITHER a) expenditure or savings of 500,000 or more Authorised by Cabinet member: Date report drafted: OR/AND: b) proposal affects significantly two or more wards Report deadline: Report no.: Report author and contact for queries: Date report sent: 326/07-08 Tom Tyson, Policy Manager, Strategy and Partnerships, HRE Background documents LOCAL State of the Borough Report 2008 Sustainable Community Strategy Children and Young People Plan

3 Brixton Town Visioning Framework (2008) Unitary Development Plan (2007) Local Development Framework Consultation Document (2008) Supporting People Strategy Carers Strategy Homelessness Strategy Lambeth Housing Needs Survey Update 2007 Draft Lambeth Tenants Compact (2008) REGIONAL GLA Draft Mayor Housing strategy (2007) Housing in London Evidence to inform the London Housing strategy (2008) GLA London Plan (2004) NATIONAL Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable, CLG (Housing Green Paper 2007) Lifetime Homes, Lifetime neighbourhoods, CLG (2008) Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 Communities that Control: Real People, Real Power, CLG (2008) Appendices Draft Housing Strategy

4 A new Housing Strategy for Lambeth 1. Context 1.1 There are several reasons why it is necessary for Lambeth to have a new Housing Strategy. The existing strategy was assessed by Government Office for London as fit for purpose in 2004 and is now very out of date. The housing situation at Lambeth has changed markedly; the council has had a new administration from 2006; Arms Length Management Organisations now manage over 30,000 homes in Lambeth; the housing market has significantly changed; there has been a shift in the national government s priorities and the Mayor of London has new housing powers. 1.2 Lambeth also has a new Sustainable Community Strategy, Local Area Agreement, and is developing its new planning policies, through the Local Development Framework. A new Housing Strategy is needed to reflect these changes and provide a clear direction for the council and its partners. 2. Proposals and reasons 2.1 This new housing strategy is particularly intended to deliver on how the council and its partners can work together to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of its residents. The strategy has close links to Lambeth s Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS), particularly around Outcome 7 Mixed, sustainable communities with an increased supply of new homes, improved existing dwellings and a high quality physical environment. Unusually for a housing strategy, there is a specific chapter on Tackling Worklessness in line with the LSP s key priority and the SCS. The other key document the strategy links to is the Local Development Framework (LDF), the new statutory spatial planning document for the future development of Lambeth over the next 15 years. The LDF will be the key means of delivering development and sites to meet the objectives of the Housing Strategy. It is currently being developed, and the strategy has drawn upon this consultation to ensure the same evidence base is used and that once finalised both documents put forward a consistent approach. The overall vision for the strategy is that by 2013 we will have:- Provided an additional 6000 homes between , creating more mixed communities Brought in significant investment to social housing in Lambeth to bring all homes up to the decent homes standard Provided and delivered options to reduce homelessness and families in temporary accommodation Helped residents, particularly social tenants, into employment

5 Contributed in helping to meet the other challenges facing the borough where housing plays a role Empowered residents to exert more influence over services and be more satisfied with their homes This strategy is an overarching document for all housing issues in the borough from which more detailed documents sit underneath such as the Private Sector Housing and Homelessness Strategies. The focus of the strategy is on economic and social regeneration for the whole borough. One outcome from the development of the strategy is the need for more specific policies or frameworks to be developed to address the housing issues affecting particular groups; this will be done through a new Children and Young People Housing Strategy and a Housing Framework for Vulnerable Adults. Developing the Housing Strategy The development of the Housing Strategy began in November 2007 with the formation of a new group, the Housing Partnership for Lambeth (HPL) which contains a broad range of senior officers from across the council, together with a number of housing experts from across London. Membership includes representatives from the Tenants and Leaseholders Councils, Lambeth Primary Care Trust, Notting Hill Housing Trust, the Private Sector Housing Forum, the Grainger Trust (developer,) the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships (now merged to form the Homes and Communities Agency) and Foster and Partners (architect). This group agreed on the structure and the six priorities for the strategy, which was used as the basis for extensive further consultation with other groups. The formation of the HPL is a new approach to developing our housing strategy, and the wide range of individuals and groups who have been involved is a major strength of the document. HPL will have an ongoing relationship with Lambeth and role in monitoring the delivery of the strategy. The content of the strategy is summarised in the bullet points below. Section A Meeting Lambeth s Needs The first part of the strategy is a description of Lambeth today, and an explanation of the national, regional and local agendas. Housing need in Lambeth, the unmet requirement for affordable housing, overcrowding, waiting lists and homelessness Poor condition of some housing Wider issues of deprivation, health and worklessness Population predictions The national agenda (Homes and Communities Agency, government priority for housing) The Mayor s Housing Strategy

6 How the Housing Strategy fits into Lambeth s other plans Section B1 Increasing the supply of dwellings This section describes how Lambeth will deliver significant new housing over the course of this strategy, noting that conditions for new development are currently very challenging. The type of housing we require to meet the needs How new housing will be delivered, with a commitment to consider new ideas such as more build to let intermediate housing, or working with social housing providers to buy unsold privately developed homes. Different delivery vehicles for new housing The potential from redeveloping housing estates Section B2 Improving Neighbourhoods How we will improve neighbourhoods by:- The options approach taken to draw in additional funding to the council s stock through a mix of transfers to housing associations, the formation of two ALMOs (Lambeth Living and United Residents Housing) and a Private Finance Initiative at Myatt s Field. These options will allow for significant additional funding to be brought into the council s housing over the course of this strategy. Housing associations, other than those which have recently received transferred stock, are generally on target to meet Decent Homes by Improving conditions for private renters, utilising actions under the Housing Act 2004, accrediting landlords and licensing HMOs Improving conditions for owner occupiers to allow them to remain in their homes, using equity release and loan schemes, recognising that we need to make public money go further and more away from a grant culture Actions to tackle climate change across all housing sectors B3 Improving Access and Supporting Vulnerable People Actions being taken to prevent homelessness, and further use of private sector housing to meet needs Reducing the numbers of people in temporary accommodation How we plan to particularly tackle youth homelessness with specific projects such as the Family Support Service and Prodigals Housing s role with children and young people. Older people and the work being carried out by the Sheltered Housing Review

7 Making the best use of Choice Based Lettings B4 Mixed, sustainable communities The types of community we intend to encourage, economically mixed avoiding concentrations of deprivation An outline of the Future Lambeth Programme The need for appropriate facilities and the role of planning in achieving this through s106 agreements Dependent on consultation with local residents, the potential for remodelling estates to increase supply and create more mixed communities, using Clapham Park as a case study. B5 Reducing Worklessness The importance of tackling worklessness in addressing other issues How housing can create job opportunities through, for instance the Building Partnership Scheme Housing Options Plus how we plan to help people find a job when they approach for housing advice Other specific projects such as the Diamond Initiative in Brixton and the Joint Employment Academy with Southwark Using planning to support employment training initiatives and prevent the conversion of commercial land for other purposes. B6 Empowering Residents Involving residents in decisions, such as the Future Lambeth programmes and remodelling of estates A Residents Compact for Lambeth s Council tenants Development of a charter for housing association tenants An increased say for tenants through the private sector forum. 3. Comments from Executive Director of Finance and Resources 3.1 The costs of developing, publishing and monitoring the Housing Strategy can be met within existing resources. Delivering the action plan will be dependent on drawing down funding from a range of sources, such as funding for the Arms Length Management Organisations, and various grants. Successful delivery of the strategy will draw down significant capital investment to the housing stock owned by Lambeth, 25m for United Residents Housing and an anticipated 200m+ for

8 Lambeth Living. The action plan at the end of the strategy highlights any areas where resources are not fully established. 4. Comments from Director of Legal and Democratic Services 4.1 Section 3 of the Homelessness Act 2002 requires Local Housing Authorities to produce and publish Homelessness Strategies based upon the results of a homelessness review of their district. The homelessness review, assesses the level of homelessness and likely future level of homelessness in their district for the purpose, amongst other matters, of securing that accommodation is or will become available for people in their district who are or who may become homeless. 4.2 Section 167 of the Housing Act 1996 requires the Council to publish and allocation scheme for determining priorities and procedures to be followed in allocating housing accommodation. The Council is not permitted to allocate accommodation except in accordance with its Allocation Policy. 4.3 Section 105 of the Housing Act 1985 requires the Council to maintain and publish such arrangements as it considers appropriate to enable those of its secure tenants who are likely to be substantially affected by matters of housing management to be informed of the proposals and make their views known to the Council. 4.4 Section 61 of the Housing Act 2004 requires Local Housing Authorities to licence certain large Houses in Multiple Occupation and regulations prescribe the contents of the licence. 4.5 The Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance)(England and Wales) Order 2002 gives local authorities wide powers to provide assistance for repairs, improvements, adaptations and to demolish and re-construct homes. 4.6 Pursuant to the Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order 2001, the Disability Discrimination (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Regulations 2005 and the Equality Act 2006, public bodies have a statutory duty to publish Race. Disability and Gender Equality Schemes setting out how it intends to comply with its statutory duties under section 71(1) Race Relations Act, section 49A (1) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Section 21 A(1) of the Sex Discrimination Act The Equality Schemes shall state what arrangements have been made for assessing and consulting on the likely impact of the Council's policies on the promotion of race, disability and gender equality and the arrangements that have been made for publishing the results of such consultation 4.7 Without prejudice to any other obligation imposed on it Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires the Council to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder in its area and the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in its area. 4.8 By virtue of section 2, Local Government Act 2000, local authorities have the power to do anything which they consider is likely to achieve the promotion or improvement of the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area.

9 This power may be exercised in relation to, or for the benefit of, the whole or any part of the authority's area or all or any persons resident or present in their area. 4.9 The section 2 power includes power for a local authority to, inter alia, give financial assistance to, enter into an agreement with, or provide staff, goods, services or accommodation to, any person. However, the well-being power does not enable the authority to raise money, nor to do anything which it is unable to do by virtue of any existing statutory prohibition, restriction or limitation on its powers. 5. Results of consultation 5.1 In appendix 2 of the attached document there is a comprehensive list of those groups which have been consulted, all comments have been taken on board, discussed and inserted into the strategy as appropriate. 5.2 Where possible, the results of other consultation have also been used to inform the Housing Strategy, particularly the results which have emerged from work on developing the Local Development Framework. 6. Organisational implications 6.1 Risk management: The main risks to the delivery of the Housing Strategy relate to the state of the economy and housing market. 6.2 Equalities impact assessment: A full Equalities Impact Assessment has been undertaken. It identifies that the economic downtown may have an impact on some of the commitments including to increase the supply of dwellings, especially family sized homes; improving neighbourhoods and the public realm; and older adults wanting to downsize properties in the private sector. This strategy will be supplemented by further more detailed strategies and plans in specific areas such as the development of a Children and Young People Housing Strategy which will look in more detail at how services between children and young people and housing can work more effectively and ways housing can contribute to positive outcomes for children, and young people and their families. Another recommendation is the drawing up of the Housing Framework for Vulnerable People which facilitate developments of housing support services the council and its partners offers to vulnerable people Community safety implications: The new strategy will seek to deliver on the councils community safety agenda. Specific areas include the promotion of safe-by design principals, improving the public realm, target hardening through grants, improving fire safety, anti-social behaviour officers, re-housing gang members and also some of the actions taken by social housing providers particularly around tackling youth crime. 6.4 Environmental implications:

10 The strategy has significant implications on the environment. Over the next four years homes will be built to increasingly high standards of sustainability, and the strategy seeks to draw in significant investment to existing housing in both the public and private sectors to improve energy efficiency. 6.5 Staffing and accommodation implications: None. 6.6 Any other implications: None. 7. Timetable for implementation 7.1 February Cabinet Approval February / March Strategy sent to designers + published April Launch Ongoing quarterly HPL to meet to review progress of strategy.

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