Agenda item

Agenda item

Housing Performance Q2

Attached is an update report on the activity and performance of the Council’s Housing directorate in the most recent quarter.

Richard Wood, Strategy and Service Development Manager will be attending to present the report.

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



Richard Wood, Strategy and Service Development Manager, presented the Housing Performance Q2 report to the Panel.

Within homelessness services the overall context of greater pressure on the system was an important component, with the Covid-related eviction ban ceasing, the service had seen increased pressure arising from the private rented sector. Despite the pressures, KPIs were holding up well, with recognition given to the hard work of the homelessness team. Homeless prevention measures were continuing to be invested in and were shown through the statistics to be effective. The rise in pressure on the homelessness service put a direct pressure on temporary accommodation, but the team had increased the speed at which placements were found, thereby enabling the target to remain within range. The Council had received a one-off uplift to its homelessness grant from central government and was planning to direct the increase towards addressing the rising demand from the private rented sector. This would be through direct pecuniary support for tenants, such as support with rent arrears, but also greater support with debt, addition or difficulties finding jobs. There would also be investment in providing infrastructure to support better tenant-landlord relations.

Rough sleeping numbers were above target, at 27 vs a target of 17. Seasonal factors did play a part in this result, with Q2 historically showing the highest number of rough sleepers, as did specific situational factors, such as the end of the ‘everybody in’ programme. However, numbers remained roughly at the level of last year and more than 50% below pre-pandemic levels. Changing weather in Q3 and the progress made in supporting those leaving accommodation under ‘everybody in’, as well as forthcoming changes such as the re-opening of Floyds Row and the launch of the new county-wide approach to rough sleeping, were expected to reduce these numbers in time. It was accepted, however, that the overall rough sleeper numbers were a factor of multiple local and national causes, and that a future KPI which focused on the Council’s own contribution to these figures would be preferable.

The Council’s development of affordable homes was above target, with 68 homes being delivered in the first six months of the year, an increase on the pace of previous years.

The Council had recently submitted a bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to support its programme of improving energy efficiency for Council tenants.

The Panel was provided with an update to its previously-requested performance dashboard, reflecting the requirements of the Social Housing White Paper. This had been delayed owing to the fact that the Social Housing White Paper had gone out to consultation shortly beforehand and was therefore liable to change. It was expected that the dashboard would be implemented within the next quarter.

In response, the Panel sought clarity over Floyds Row – its place as part of the county-wide alliance against homelessness, its readiness to support those leaving YHA accommodation, and its overall purpose as a rapid assessment and short term accommodation centre. The lease for Floyds Row was expected to be finalised before the end of 2021, with space being available for use by February 2022 at the latest.

Performance against the affordable homes KPI was noted to be an improvement on previous years, though lower than would be needed to meet the Council’s four-year target. It was pointed out that the profile was not flat either within the current year or across the four years, and that completions rates were anticipated to increase significantly.

The report was NOTED and no recommendations were made.

Supporting documents: