Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Note: This meeting was held by Zoom and streamed to the Council's YouTube channel 

No. Item



Substitutes are not allowed.


Councillor Mike Gotch tendered apologies.


Declarations of interest




Housing Panel Work Plan pdf icon PDF 188 KB

For the Panel to consider and agree its work plan, having raised any questions concerning the proposed work plan presented.



The Panel considered the proposed workplan for the remainder of the civic year, which was NOTED.


Notes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 388 KB

For the Panel to approve the record of the meeting held on 08 October 2020.


The Panel is asked to review the draft minutes, identify required amendments and agree the approved minutes.


The notes of the meeting held on 08 October 2020 were AGREED as an accurate record.




Rough Sleeping Update (including Hidden Homelessness) pdf icon PDF 402 KB

An update report on the Council’s activities in relation to Rough Sleeping and hidden homelessness, particularly in light of Covid 19.

Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing and Paul Wilding, Rough Sleeping and Single Homeless Manager, will be attending the meeting to present the report.

The Panel is recommended to consider the report and agree any recommendations it wishes to make to Cabinet arising from it.

Additional documents:


Rough Sleeping Update


Paul Wilding, Rough Sleeping and Single Homeless Manager, presented the Rough Sleeping Update. Due to the fast-pace of developments in this area, a number of items in the report provided had significant updates. These included the announcement of a new national lockdown. The government had provided no new duties on Councils regarding rough sleeping, but following the efforts to provide interim accommodation during the first lockdown, numbers were low. Confirmation had been received from MHCLG that the planned November street count could proceed. An announcement had been made by MHCLG of almost £1m in funding from the Long Term Accommodation Fund to the Council which, alongside other provision, would mean 20 new units and 45 bed spaces would be available for long term rough sleepers for move-on accommodation. This comprised all the funding that the Council had applied for from the fund. Finally, the Council’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) had been updated and a briefing would be provided to Councillors on it.


In its response to the report and presentation, the Panel raised a number of issues and questions. Firstly, the support available to those who had turned down interim accommodation during the pandemic. It was explained that St Mungo’s as the commissioned outreach service would offer support to rough sleepers. If they were to refuse accommodation that would be respected, but St Mungo’s would still continue to provide the same support afterwards.


The source of the additional units available for rough sleepers paid for through the Long Term Accommodation Fund grant was questioned. Five were to be purchased from the market, ten Council properties to be repurposed, and to five acquired from housing associations. The process for identifying which properties to repurpose would be largely based on which Council properties of one-bedroom became available. Further funding would be required, but it was the ambition to reach 50 such units in total owing to the success of such units in helping rough sleepers to find and maintain permanent accommodation. Whilst repurposing did diminish the availability of properties for other types of council tenants, avoiding the need to provide expensive and extensive ancillary services for rough sleepers represented a saving. Furthermore, the Council in providing 4.5% of social housing for temporary accommodation and move-on for rough sleepers was providing relatively little in comparison to some other Councils, with Hull providing 21% and Milton Keynes dedicating 16% to that purpose. The Council was 163rd out of 323 in the level of provision nationwide on that metric.

Clarity was sought regarding the status of provision of temporary accommodation for those with no recourse to public funds during the lockdown. It was confirmed that currently approximately 20 individuals without recourse to public funds were being provided temporary accommodation, though there was unclear advice from MHCLG on this. At some point, the Council’s ability to provide such support would cease, making it all the more important to work to find solutions as quickly as possible. In the longer term, Paul  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Reports for approval pdf icon PDF 227 KB

For the Panel to consider the draft report to Cabinet written in response the report on Housing Performance Q1.


The Panel is recommended to agree the draft report, having raised any necessary amendments.


The Panel considered a draft of the report to Cabinet written in response to the Housing Performance Q1 report. The draft report was AGREED.


Date of next meeting

Meetings are scheduled as follows:


-       01 February 2021

-       04 March 2021


The Panel is also asked to note that members are invited to participate in the Housing element of the Budget Review Group meeting held on 06 January 2021.


All meetings begin at 6.00pm.


The Panel NOTED the invitation to attend the Housing element of the Budget Review Group on 11 January 2021, and the date of the next Housing and Homelessness Panel meeting on 01 February 2021.