Agenda item

Improving the Housing Offer for Tenants and Leaseholders

This report sets out proposed policy in meeting the needs of residents required to move as a result of estate regeneration programmes and, more widely, how the recommended approach could contribute to addressing Brent’s supply shortage by increasing mobility within the housing stock and tackling under-occupation.

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

8.1       The policy approach set out in sections 5 and 6 in the Cabinet report be approved to be pursued and the specific recommendations set out in resolutions 8.3 to 8.11 be approved, subject to consideration of responses arising from the consultation by the Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing;

 

8.2       Authority be given to the Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing to consult on the policy for improving the housing offer for displaced tenants and leaseholders, and to finalise and adopt the policy in consultation with the Lead Member for Housing after consideration of the responses received in the consultation process. If the finalised policy following consultation is significantly different from the approach set out in sections 5 and 6 below, the policy be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration of the consultation responses and to approve the final version of the policy;

 

8.3       The basic options currently available to tenants and leaseholders to remain part of the menu of options as follows:

 

           Market purchase in the regeneration area

           Market purchase elsewhere

           Shared ownership on the basis of a minimum purchase of 25% of the equity, funded through the buyback receipt and a contribution from Home Loss payments and, where appropriate, any other capital or savings, with rent payable on the share retained by the Council;

 

8.4      A shared equity option, with no rent payable on the equity retained by the council, be available subject to a minimum purchase of 50% of the equity. This only applies to resident leaseholders;

 

8.5      A leasehold swap option be offered, through which a leaseholder can transfer the equity in their current home into a void council property within (provided the property is not scheduled for demolition) or outside the regeneration area;

 

8.6      Where it would be to the Council’s advantage or will assist in meeting needs that could otherwise delay a regeneration programme, advance purchase of properties scheduled for demolition be considered;

 

8.7      On a similar basis to that proposed in resolution 8.5, advance payment of Homes Loss and Disturbance compensation be available to leaseholders and tenants;

 

8.8      In limited cases, subject to detailed review, reversion to tenancy in acquired private sector property be offered to leaseholders unable to pursue any other option, with buyback prices based on full market value. This would also be available to other leaseholders or tenants who wish to pursue this option; 

 

8.9      Support and advice be available to vulnerable households to secure supported housing where required, including the option of reversion to tenancy in Extra Care or similar provision where necessary;

 

8.10    The Council purchases properties tailored to the needs of under-occupiers to release larger homes for renting within existing acquisition programmes. This could include purchase in the private sector or buy-back from leaseholders of smaller properties seeking to sell;

 

8.11    That the Council develops a programme to buy back properties from leaseholders who need to move on grounds of ill-health, disability or vulnerability, offering the full range of options available to displaced leaseholders in regeneration schemes;

 

8.12    The council investigates how a similar approach to that set out in resolution 8.10 above might be taken to assist home owners in the private sector; and

 

8.13    The Council, where appropriate, offers temporary rehousing for vulnerable leaseholders affected by major works programmes, with a requirement for leaseholders to meet associated charges for such properties.

Minutes:

With the permission of the Chair, Cllr Janice Long, Chair of Housing Scrutiny Committee addressed the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, introduced the report which sets out the proposed policy in meeting the needs of residents required to move as a result of estate regeneration programmes and, more widely, how the recommended approach could contribute to addressing Brent’s supply shortage by increasing mobility within the housing stock and tackling under-occupation.

 

Councillor Farah stated that the policy will cover resident and non-resident leaseholders, tenants, including those renting privately in properties sold through the Right to Buy (RTB), and the more limited number of affected freeholders. All references to leaseholders in this report apply equally to freeholders.  

 

Councillor Farah stated that, following consideration at Cabinet, the policy will be published for consultation and made available to all tenants and residents. It is proposed that once the consultation responses have been considered, the policy will be finalised and approved by the Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing in consultation with the Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

8.1       The policy approach set out in sections 5 and 6 in the Cabinet report be approved to be pursued and the specific recommendations set out in resolutions 8.3 to 8.11 be approved, subject to consideration of responses arising from the consultation by the Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing;

 

8.2       Authority be given to the Strategic Director for Community Wellbeing to consult on the policy for improving the housing offer for displaced tenants and leaseholders, and to finalise and adopt the policy in consultation with the Lead Member for Housing after consideration of the responses received in the consultation process. If the finalised policy following consultation is significantly different from the approach set out in sections 5 and 6 below, the policy be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration of the consultation responses and to approve the final version of the policy;

 

8.3       The basic options currently available to tenants and leaseholders to remain part of the menu of options as follows:

 

           Market purchase in the regeneration area

           Market purchase elsewhere

           Shared ownership on the basis of a minimum purchase of 25% of the equity, funded through the buyback receipt and a contribution from Home Loss payments and, where appropriate, any other capital or savings, with rent payable on the share retained by the Council;

 

8.4      A shared equity option, with no rent payable on the equity retained by the council, be available subject to a minimum purchase of 50% of the equity. This only applies to resident leaseholders;

 

8.5      A leasehold swap option be offered, through which a leaseholder can transfer the equity in their current home into a void council property within (provided the property is not scheduled for demolition) or outside the regeneration area;

 

8.6      Where it would be to the Council’s advantage or will assist in meeting needs that could otherwise delay a regeneration programme, advance purchase of properties scheduled for demolition be considered;

 

8.7      On a similar basis to that proposed in resolution 8.5, advance payment of Homes Loss and Disturbance compensation be available to leaseholders and tenants;

 

8.8      In limited cases, subject to detailed review, reversion to tenancy in acquired private sector property be offered to leaseholders unable to pursue any other option, with buyback prices based on full market value. This would also be available to other leaseholders or tenants who wish to pursue this option; 

 

8.9      Support and advice be available to vulnerable households to secure supported housing where required, including the option of reversion to tenancy in Extra Care or similar provision where necessary;

 

8.10    The Council purchases properties tailored to the needs of under-occupiers to release larger homes for renting within existing acquisition programmes. This could include purchase in the private sector or buy-back from leaseholders of smaller properties seeking to sell;

 

8.11    That the Council develops a programme to buy back properties from leaseholders who need to move on grounds of ill-health, disability or vulnerability, offering the full range of options available to displaced leaseholders in regeneration schemes;

 

8.12    The council investigates how a similar approach to that set out in resolution 8.10 above might be taken to assist home owners in the private sector; and

 

8.13    The Council, where appropriate, offers temporary rehousing for vulnerable leaseholders affected by major works programmes, with a requirement for leaseholders to meet associated charges for such properties.

Supporting documents: