Update on New Affordable Housing Supply
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To receive an update on delivery of the New Council Homes Programme.
Cabinet noted the comments made by Councillor Georgiou who had requested to speak at the meeting in respect of the item. In addressing Cabinet Councillor Georgiou whilst recognising the increasing demand for affordable social housing and welcoming the update provided within the report, sought clarification in relation to the number of new Council homes which had been developed and let to date under the New Council Homes Programme along with a breakdown on rent levels and tenure, including any provided under a shared ownership model. In expressing concern at the definition and inclusion of shared ownership as an affordable housing product, Councillor Georgiou supported the need for a more detailed review around the demand for shared ownership within Brent prior to any new Brent Shared Ownership offer being considered. Pending this he urged Cabinet to consider rejecting the approach outlined within the report towards the conversion of schemes offering units at London Affordable Rent to Shared Ownership and also to consider preventing developers using shared ownership as an alternative to offering what he felt were more genuinely affordable housing products.
In responding to the comments raised, Councillor Muhammed Butt (as Leader of the Council) felt it important to recognise the pressure on the Council to address increasing demand for the provision of affordable social housing across the borough along with the difficult nature of choices needing to be made around available options, given the significant challenges in meeting the level of need identified. In view of the clarification being sought, Councillor Butt advised he would arrange for a detailed response to be provided on the issues raised by Councillor Georgiou outside of the meeting.
Having considered the comments made Cabinet RESOLVED:
(1) To note the content of the report and approve (as a result of clarification provided) the following officers, namely Corporate Director Residents Services and Corporate Director Communities & Regeneration being authorised in respect of projects which are the responsibility of their departments (in consultation with Cabinet Members for Housing, Homelessness and Renters Security & Regeneration and Planning respectively):
· To convert schemes to include alternative tenures, either shared ownership or open market sale, with a view to making schemes viable and prioritise delivery of larger homes;
· To utilise conversion in larger schemes to address financial pressures on schemes currently in contract;
· To utilise conversion in larger schemes in order to address viability gaps for schemes not yet in contract but would provide much needed larger family sized accommodation.
(2) To note the update provided for the Wembley Housing Zone.
(3) To note the update provided for St Raphael’s estate.
(4) To approve that all new planning permission applications submitted as part of the New Council Homes Programme (NCHP) going forward commit to 50% affordable housing with a view to delivering above this wherever possible.
(5) To approve a capital budget allocation of £44m (including 10% contingency) for the development at Edgware Road.
(6) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Resident Services, in consultation with the Corporate Director for Finance & Resources and Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renter Security, to agree pre-tender considerations, invite tenders, evaluate tenders and thereafter to award development/construction contracts with developers/contractors for Edgware Road to the value of £40m + 10%.
(7) To approve the use of Modern Methods of Construction for a minimum of 25% of all homes built under the second Homes for Londoners Programme as required by the GLA.
(8) To commission a report into shared ownership demand in Brent and examples of best practice in order to influence a new ‘Brent shared ownership offer’.
(9) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Resident Services, to make an application to seek Secretary of State’s consent under section 19 of the Housing Act 1985 to appropriate any part of St Raphael’s Estate necessary to progress the development for planning purposes so that part of the Estate is no longer held for the purpose of Part II of the Housing Act 1985 as set out in Appendix 5 of the report.
(10) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Resident Services in Consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters Security to consider the impact of the Public Sector Equalities Duty implications and to ensure compliance with that duty and to consult with those affected by the appropriation of areas within St Raphael’s Estate and to consider the responses of the consultation and thereafter and where appropriate to appropriate the relevant parts of the St Raphael’s Estate for planning purposes in order to facilitate the development pursuant to section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 as set out in Appendix 5 of the report.
(11) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Resident Services in consultation with the Lead Member Housing, Homelessness and Renters Security to appropriate part of the open space at St Raphael’s Estate s necessary to progress the development pursuant section 122 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972 and prior to doing so to advertise for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper circulating in the area in which the land is situated and consider any objections to the proposed appropriation which may be made to them.
(12) To approve the reduction of the affordable homes to be built at Neville and Winterleys on behalf of the Council from 101 units to 95 units in line with the proposal set out in section 6.5 to 6.7 of the report. To delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Resident Services, any further changes up to a 5% tolerance.
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Contact: Patricia Gillis, Head of Affordable Housing and Partnerships Email: Patricia.Gillis@brent.gov.uk Tel: 020 8937 2096.
Report author: Patricia Gillis
Publication date: 14/11/2022
Date of decision: 14/11/2022
Decided at meeting: 14/11/2022 - Cabinet
Effective from: 22/11/2022