Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

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Venue: Zoom - Remote meeting. View directions

Contact: Tom Hudson, Scrutiny Officer  email  thudson@oxford.gov.uk

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

Items
No. Item

34.

Apologies

Substitutes are not allowed.

Minutes:

None

35.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

None

36.

Housing Panel Work Plan

This is the final meeting of the civic year. An interim work plan to cover the first quarter of the next year will be developed to give time for Scrutiny to agree its work plan for the remainder of the year.

 

Minutes:

The Panel was advised that with purdah operating in April the scheduled April 2020 meeting of the Housing and Homelessness Panel was cancelled. With no further meetings there was no further work plan to deliver. This was NOTED.

37.

Notes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 373 KB

For the Panel to approve the record of the meeting held on 05 November 2020.

 

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

Minutes:

The notes of the meeting held on 05 November 2020 were AGREED as an accurate record.

 

 

38.

Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding pdf icon PDF 482 KB

At Cabinet on 10 March the attached report on the Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding will be considered. The Panel is asked to consider the report and agree any recommendations to Cabinet it deems appropriate.

Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing, Nerys Parry, Housing Strategy and Needs Manager, and Paul Wilding, Rough Sleeping and Single Homeless Manager have been invited to present this item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Wilding, Rough Sleeping and Single Homeless Manager, presented the report on the Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding.

 

With Covid, the year had been very challenging, but all partners had worked well to meet those challenges. In particular, accommodation was found for all rough sleepers seeking it by July under the ‘everyone in’ policy. Further, Covid required a refocusing of the contract with St Mungos to deliver services outside the setting of Floyds Row. This, St Mungos had been very willing to engage with.

 

To ensure sufficient space, 152 bed spaces would be commissioned by the Council, on top of the 79 allocated through pooled budgets for Oxford-connected clients.

 

Largely, the proposals were continuations of existing arrangements, with a view to bigger changes being implemented when county-wide commissioning arrangements were implemented in 2022/23.

 

The Panel addressed the take-up of vaccines amongst the rough sleeping population as a way of gauging the threat that services would have to cease at the YHA and Canterbury House prior to being able to use facilities at Floyds Row. It was confirmed that take-up amongst rough sleepers was good – the Council had made special efforts to promote the vaccine’s availability – and that although a risk, the chances of not being able to use Floyds Row at all were low.

 

The Panel also raised questions about the proposed changes to daycare services at O’Hanlon House and sought reassurances that the slimmer service would remain relevant to the needs of its users. The changes made were reported to be in response to lower demand because so many rough sleepers were presently accommodated, disruption to users of O’Hanlon House and in line with the longer term County-wide strategy.

 

More information was requested about the shape and scope of the Supported Lettings Pilot for which the Council was seeking grant funding. This was essentially an intensive tenancy sustainment intervention to provide former rough sleepers with the skills to maintain their tenancies and manage the risks that could see them become homeless again.

 

No recommendations were made on the report.

 

 

39.

Date of next meeting

The current meeting is the last scheduled for this civic year. Meetings will recommence after the elections.

Minutes:

The Panel NOTED that with the April meeting cancelled due to purdah this was the final meeting of the civic year. The Chair thanked all members for their participation.