Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To agree affordable housing delivery options
to support the deliver of more affordable housing.
The Housing Portfolio Holder presented a report on Affordable Housing Delivery Options. The proposal set out in the report meant that funds may be used to increase the delivery of affordable housing in the District as well as ensuring that new homes are energy efficient. The proposal aimed to enable potential land acquisition and grant funding to Registered Providers with deliverable schemes, subject to further investigations outlined within the report in paragraph 3.0. She added that the proposal was in principle, as there was still a great deal of work to be completed.
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder informed Members that there was provision in the budget for this proposal and in referencing a query from Members earlier in the meeting regarding the impact of LGR on reserve funds, added that it was crucial that the delivery of affordable housing remained a priority.
During discussion on the item, the Principal Specialist (People) responded to a question on how the current agreement on funds being allocated for housing in South Lakeland would be treated following LGR. She informed Members that there would be specific guidance and criteria to follow and that the authority would need to review the treatment of receipts from preserved right to buy through further discussions with the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder added that the Council’s current approved use of the Right to Buy reserve was restrictive and the changes sought would better allow investment in affordable housing and that the area had a desperate need for affordable housing which should be supported.
RESOLVED – That
(1) subject to Council approval, the change of policy from the provision of loans to the provision of affordable housing grants for Registered Providers, for a Right to Buy Replacement scheme subject to further investigations as detailed in 3.3 of the report be approved in principle;
(2) the change of use from the provision of loans to include the acquisition of land for the delivery of affordable housing subject to further investigations as detailed in 3.3 of this report, be approved in principle;
(3) a further report be brought back to Cabinet at a future meeting, to clarify the outcome of the further investigations and to agree any delegations required; and
(4) Council be requested to update the Capital Programme to reflect the change in use of the RTB capital receipt as asset out in this report subject to further investigations outlined in 3.3 of this report.
Reasons for Decision
The proposal will seek to assist the Council in the delivery of more affordable homes through the use of the Right to Buy replacement scheme monies.
Delivery of affordable homes will seek to contribute towards the Council’s Housing and communities target to deliver 320 homes every year across the District.
The proposal will seek to assist in meeting Housing and communities targets to deliver 477 affordable homes for rent and 588 affordable homes to buy between 2020 to 2025.
The proposal provides the potential for energy efficient new affordable homes.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Members could decide to not pursue any proposals for use of the Right to Buy Replacement Fund at this time, however, this is not recommended as the opportunity to use these funds to meet the needs in South Lakeland could be lost.
Report author: Julie Jackson
Publication date: 16/11/2021
Date of decision: 10/11/2021
Decided at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Cabinet