Thursday, 30 January 2014

Croydon Council 27 January Meeting – Part 2 - Housing

Private Rented and Empty Housing

The Council is taking a variety of actions to deal with problems with private rented housing.

A house in Mitcham Rd in the landlord scheme is to have works carried out on it by the Council and the cost claimed back from the owners. (PQ001)

Council has won case to enforce an improvement notice on the owner of a long term empty property in Selhurst Ward to rectify hazards and complete necessary remedial. (Council pack p. 260)

Explanation of action on landlords and rubbish. (CQ039)

New Private rented housing (CQ066)

Perry: While admitting that ‘the full extent of the need for private rented housing in the borough is not known’ and given the ‘high demand’ for it, ‘the Council is supportive of developers seeking to bring forward new homes to meet this need and is working with developers, with the GLA and with institutional investors to promote well-managed, good quality private rented housing in and outside of Croydon centre.’

Plans include:
200 units Taberner House site redevelopment
70+ in phase I Ruskin Square
348 at Delta Point
1,000+ units in 10 proposed schemes under the Government’s Build to Rent programme.

Council New House Building

Because developers were not interested in this site for housing the Council started work last February to build 17 units at the Fieldway Job Centre site. (CQ013)

Housing Benefit (CQ014)

The number of housing benefit claimants has risen from 28,341 at 31 December 2008 to 36,656 at the same date 2013. The number of claimants who are in work has risen from 35.2% to 48.81%.

Affordable housing

Labour will attack the Tories policy for 15% only and require 30%. The Tories will say that their approach is flexible and that Labour’s will make schemes unviable and no housing will result. (CQ073)
Affordable homes built
2003/4-2007/8: 2,530
2008/9-20102/13: 3,230 (CQ095)

2009/10: 1,026/1,030
2010/11: 726/750
2012/13: 257/270

The two sets of conflicting figures were given in CQ095 % CQ016.

2013/14 (to-date) 142 (forecast 227 by 31 March) (CQ016)

Registered social providers: 1,116 2011/15 (CQ018)


Statutory October to December: 338. (CQ017)

All: (inc those having housing difficulties but not necessarily threatened with homelessness November and December: 450
Statutory November and December: 207. (CQ021)

Homeless on Housing Register up from 1,484 in March to 2,029 in December out of total of 4,836 on the list.

Following changes to the housing register the register has fallen since March from 10,357. (CQ037)

Homeless in temporary housing at 31 December: 2,399 households with 3,550 children.

In December 22 households with 44 children placed in temporary accommodation outside Croydon.
No one been in temporary accommodation for more than 6 weeks. (CQ055)

Two former Children’s homes are part of the property conversion programme to provide temporary units to ease homeless in the borough: 58 Mickleham Way and 167 Oak Ave; works to start this winter. (CQ013)

Housing Conditions

Building Research Establishment research commissioned in 2008 using data from the English House Condition Survey 2001 showed that:
37% of private sector homes (43,955) are non-decent
6% (7,563) of private sector homes are occupied by vulnerable households are not decent
11& of homes (13,659) have a SAP rating of less than 35
6% of homes (7,417) are in fuel poverty.
(Housing Renewal Strategy p. 6-7)

Key amendments to Housing Renewal Policy 2013-15
(Policy adopted 2011)

Recycled loan fund for empty property loans increased from £100,000 to £200,000
£791,000 extra money from GLA
£420,000 from GLA for empty property grants
Discretionary Loan Investment loan maximum increased form £15,000 to £20,000 because of VAT irise to 20%
Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant. Foster carers added as eligible persons.
Empty Homes Grant: letting period requirement increased from 3 to 5 years; maximum grant now £25,000
Empty homes loan. Maximum loan reduced to £40,000 from £44,000 (2 bed) and £54,000 (3 bed)
£6.3m to 2016 to install energy efficiency measures in selected corporate buildings, schools and communal areas of housing sites funded by the GLA.
To consult on HMO licensing scheme to be extended to whole Borough and to include pre-1991 blocs of converted self-contained flats (see also Council pack p. 234)
To proceed with turning Tonbridge House (retirement block into temporary accommodation for homeless families, and address concerns of residents who have to move and help with moving costs (av. £4k.) (Council pack p. 239-241)
3 South Lodge, Addington to be sold. (Council pack p. 243)

Sean Creighton
29 January 2014

Homeless Households

Since the Council meeting details of the number of households in temporary accommodation have been provided under a Freedom of Information request.

(a) the total number of households accepted under the duty to accommodate under sections 188, 190, 193 or 200 of the Housing Act 1996

2010/11 = 576
2011/12 = 847
2012/13 = 916
Apr-Nov 2013 = 533  

(b) how many were placed out of borough within London, and how many of these were households with children of school age

‘The Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004 specify an “appropriate limit” for the amount of time the council needs to spend undertaking that search.  If the council estimates that the time to taken to locate, retrieve and extract the information requested will exceed the appropriate limit, then under Section 12 of the Act, it is not obliged to comply with that request.

The appropriate limit currently specified by the Regulations for local authorities is £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending two and a half working days in locating, retrieving and extracting the information from where it is stored.  We are unable to provide historic data for previous years as our database only holds current information. We are unable to provide historic data for previous years as our database only holds current information, we estimate that the cumulative time it would take officers to manually retrieve the complete records you are seeking would exceed the appropriate limit. Therefore, we are unable to disclose all the information you are seeking’.

From April to November 2013

229 emergency and temporary placements were made outside Croydon.  This was 292 adults and 327 children.

The breakdown is 218 families in London (279 adults and 307 children)

(c) how many were placed out of borough outside London, and how many of these were households with children of school age

April – Nov 2013

11 families outside London (13 adults and 20 children).

We are unable to confirm how many customers have moved in or out of London. In our reply below we have confirmed within the borough and outside of the borough. The numbers below are as at 24 January 2014.  

(d) how many households with children of school age were supported to move out of borough within London using Discretionary Housing Payment

192 households, of children with school age, have moved within the borough.  Of these 28 have received a DHP.

(e) how many households with children of school age were supported to move out of borough outside London using Discretionary Housing Payments

19 households, of children with school age, have moved out of the borough. Of these 17 received a DHP and or help with deposit, rent in advance and where necessary removal costs.

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