Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Board
Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual

Link: Click here to access live meeting

Items
No. Item

14.

APOLOGIES FOR NON ATTENDANCE

Minutes:

There were none

15.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

All members are required to disclose at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter, any disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest in any item(s) being considered at this meeting.

Minutes:

Councillor Batty declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 6 and left the meeting.

 

Councillors Burgess and Philpott declared non pecuniary interest in agenda item 7 due to their role as Hampshire County Councillors, but stayed in the room for the discussions.

16.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE HOUSING BOARD HELD pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 11th November be signed as a true and correct record.

17.

DEPUTATIONS - STANDING ORDER 3.4

(NOTE: The Board is required to receive a deputation(s) on a matter which is before the meeting of the Board provided that notice of the intended deputation and its object shall have been received by the Borough Solicitor by 12 noon on 18th January 2021. The total time for deputations in favour and against a proposal shall not exceed 10 minutes)

Minutes:

There were none

18.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

(NOTE: The Board is required to allow a total of 15 minutes for questions from Members of the public on matters within the terms of reference of the Board provided that notice of such Question(s) shall have been submitted to the Borough Solicitor by 12 noon on 18th January 2021)

Minutes:

There were none

19.

Business Plan Financial Model Update pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report by the Borough Treasurer and Housing Services Manager asking the Board to recommend to Full Council the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan Financial Model including the revised 2020/21 budget and the 2021/22 budget including recommendations on rent levels for the next year.

 

Members were advised that there were two errors in the report namely the recommendation should read that the Housing Board recommend to the Council, and in appendix C the figure for Average rent in a 4 bedroom house with extra ground floor bedroom should read £108.78.

 

Members were advised that although delayed by the Covid pandemic, building of new Council houses is still going ahead, and a Project Manager due to be engaged.

 

A Member asked if the author of reports could put their name on future reports.

 

Members were advised that Park Lodge had historically been accounted for separately.

 

Members were advised that there had been slippage on the Chester Court project due to the Covid pandemic, but the Tender process is underway.

 

Members were advised that as well as the new build project there had been purchases of existing properties and a list of these properties can be made available.

 

 

 

RESOLVED: The Housing Board recommend that Full Council approve

 

·         The revised HRA Business Plan Financial Model extract and associated 2020/21 Revised Budget and 2021/22 Budget is agreed.

·         That Council Dwelling rents increase by CPI (0.5% @Sept 2020) plus 1%. The Council is setting

·         The rent for all garages is increased in line with inflation, as agreed in the garage Renewal strategy.

20.

DFG Policy 2020 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report by the Head of Environmental Health requesting that the Board adopts the Policy on Assistance with Home Adaptations, Repairs and Improvements.

 

Members were advised that the seconded Occupational Therapist is purely for private housing, GBC sorts out its own and Housing Associations will generally do the right thing and be a good landlord. Lockdowns during the year had caused there to be periods where no applications were being processed, and the new system needs time to see if it has an effect, but wouldn’t impact Council or HA tenants.

 

Officers advised that contact has been made with the OT manager and if there were any particular cases that Members were aware of, they should advise the officer accordingly.

 

Members hoped there could be a way to secure more OT time to help clear any backlog.

 

Members were advised that this policy would allow the flexibility to get work completed quicker.

 

Members were advised that although the Council had delayed in producing the RRO policy, lessons had been learnt from other authorities, and therefore the new policy had benefitted from these lessons and was the better for it.

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That the Board agrees that the Council adopts the Policy on Assistance with Home Adaptations, Repairs and Improvements.

21.

Procurement of Mobeysoft Rentsense Software pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report by the Head of Housing requesting that the Board approves the procurement of the Mobeysoft Rentsense Software for an initial 12 month contract with the option to extend.

 

Members were advised that although the company had increased their prices in January 2021, they were honouring their 2020 prices as quoted for GBC.

 

Members showed concern that the exisiting team may not be able to manage the demand of an increase in applicants for Universal Credit etc,and were advised that the situation was being monitored and the new system would help free up capacity for early intervention and those needing more support.

 

Members agreed that this system would help to reduce the workload and should free up 2.4 persons equivalent.

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That the Board approves the procurement of Rentsense for an initial 12 month contract with the option to extend.

22.

ANY OTHER ITEMS

Minutes:

There were none