Agenda item

Agenda item

Housing performance 2019/20 Quarter 1

To consider the Housing Performance Report for 2019/20 Quarter 1 (April - June 2019).


Stephen Clarke, Head of Housing Services, will be available to present the report and answer any questions.


Stephen Clarke, Head of Housing Services, presented a report on the Council’s Housing Performance 2019/20 Q1  to the Panel.


The Panel was informed that some performance data was missing from the report presented to it due to an IT glitch. As such, a table containing the missing information was tabled and is included as an appendix to the minutes.


In considering BV063 – Average SAP rating of local authority owned dwellings - the Panel was informed that whilst the measure was reported on annually, due to the recent declaration of a Climate Emergency a significant amount of work had been undertaken to model efficiency improvements in the Council’s housing stock for proposals to be made to the budget. The Panel sought to understand the size of the task of carbon reduction for houses. For new builds developed by the Council’s Housing Company, 70% carbon reductions could be achieved whilst maintaining a 50% affordable homes levels on new developments. However, the task for the Council’s existing stock was huge; due to the age of the stock 50% of the Council’s homes would never be able to become carbon neutral without being completely knocked down and rebuilt.


Under  HC003 and HC004 – Homelessness Acceptances and Homelessness Cases Prevented the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act was highlighted to the Panel. Due to the increased duties placed on Councils the Council’s target for homelessness acceptances had been increased from 74 last year to 110. The Council had had its implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act audited by MHCLG and Crisis and had received praise for its implementation, which was showing in the way the Council was exceeding both targets despite the greater range of duties.


Regarding HC016 – Number of affordable homes for rent delivered, the red target was explained to be a timing issue, and that a significant number of homes had been delivered shortly after the end of the quarter.  


The Panel discussed at length the current situation of HP003 – the number of people estimated to be sleeping rough - despite the measure being an annual one. Although an annual count was required for MHCLG figures, monthly counts and quarterly estimates were taking place. The figure of 45 people sleeping rough showed a reduction from the 2017 high of 61. However, it was impressed upon the Panel that 20 new homeless people were estimated to arrive in Oxford as homeless each month, showing the importance of preventative work, not all of which was within the Council’s control.


The red-rated indicator HP004 – the number of successful interventions with rough sleepers – was discussed in relation to plans for Floyds Row. The vital of importance of having a space off the streets to contemplate and implement interventions with rough sleepers was recognised and the facilities proposed were welcomed by the Panel.


The total number of affordable homes completed in the year, red-rated indicator HP006 was explained to be a timetabling issue, and that handovers had been scheduled for after the quarter end. Further, a number of the homes did not lie within the Council’s control, and some Housing Association programmes, such as those at Gibbs Crescent and Williams Close, had slipped which further weighed on the numbers.


The Panel expressed particular interest in the quality of accommodation referenced in NI156 – limitation of the Council’s use opf temporary accommodation to 2015 levels. It was made clear that bed and breakfast accommodation was not used, but that the Council had been proactive in investing £15m in property to use as temporary accommodation since 2016 which ensured more suitable accommodation for those needing the service.


The Panel welcomed the news that the Council’s performance on HP009 – Total standard re-let time - was within the top quartile of councils nationally and had achieved a significant turnaround within the past two years.


The Panel expressed encouragement for the work done and made no recommendations.


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