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Localism in practice Council’s with ALMOs Group 23 March 2012. Reference points. Local Decisions: a fairer future Localism Act 2011 Part 7 chapter 2 Nov 2011 consultation “A revised regulatory framework for social housing in England from April 2012”, TSA – on schedule

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Localism in practice

Council’s with ALMOs Group

23 March 2012

Reference points
Reference points

  • Local Decisions: a fairer future

  • Localism Act 2011 Part 7 chapter 2

  • Nov 2011 consultation “A revised regulatory framework for social housing in England from April 2012”, TSA – on schedule

  • Jan 2012 consultation “Allocation of accommodation: guidance for local housing authorities in England”, DCLG – final summer 2012

  • Future dates:

    • Consultation on PRS suitability – imminent

    • Stat guidance & commencement order – Autumn 2012?


  • By different organisations working in the same area

    • Enter into the ‘affordable rent’ market

    • Offer fixed term or flexible tenancies

    • Decide who will qualify to join the housing register

    • Use the PRS to discharge homelessness duty

  • Understanding impact complicated

    • Government has made choices eg, welfare reform

    • Assumption that private sector, individuals & communities will also choose to invest & contribute

Tenancy strategy content
Tenancy strategy content +

Localism Act 2011: 150 & 151

A local housing authority in England must prepare and publish a “tenancy strategy” setting out the matters to which the registered providers of social housing for its district are to have regard in formulating [tenancy] policies relating to—

  • the kinds of tenancies they grant,

  • the circumstances in which they will grant a tenancy of a particular kind,

  • where they grant tenancies for a term certain, the lengths of the terms, and

  • the circumstances in which they will grant a further tenancy on the coming to an end of an existing tenancy

  • Exceptional circumstances where less than five years

  • Vulnerable policy: age, disability, illness, children

  • Advice or assistance should tenancy not be reissued

Tenancy strategy process
Tenancy strategy process

  • Regard to

    • Homelessness strategy

    • Allocations policy

    • Housing strategy (not specified other than in London)

  • Equality Act 2010 - able demonstrate paid ‘due regard’:

    • Eliminate unlawful discrimination

    • Advance equality of opportunity

    • Foster good relations between people

  • Consultation (before adoption or modifying)

    • Send copy to every registered provider & give reasonable opportunity to comment

    • Consult others prescribed in regulations (none expected)

  • Publication by 15 January 2013

  • Review every 5 years (DCLG impact assessment)

Other considerations for cwag
Other considerations for CWAG

  • Strategic housing authority

    • Allocations – new duties: emphasis on transparency

    • Homelessness – strategy to have regard

    • Establish routes for RP tenants to complain to EMs

    • Hold RPs to account more generally?

    • Others eg, planning, community rights & assets

  • As LAs with stock

    • Decision on succession rights

    • Tenancy policy – regulatory requirement

    • Enabling exchanges

    • Manage transfers outside the waiting list

    • Landlord member of an approved complaints scheme

The strategy challenge
The strategy challenge

  • How can you manage the impact

    • To achieve the vision for the local area?

    • To meet housing need & demand?

  • Know that three things will be different

    • The shape of the housing market, particularly social and affordable rent market

    • Access to the social and affordable rent market

    • Housing need and demand

  • Explore the issues arising and solutions

    • From different perspectives

The affordable rent product issues
The affordable rent product - issues

  • Differing perspectives on the use of these homes

  • Social housing ‘essential’ to the mix – evidence?

  • Developers ‘playing off’ RPs with LAs

  • Smaller accommodation in increasing demand

  • Consolidation and rationalisation

  • Conversions critical to the RP business plan

  • Sustainable income requires different approach

  • Use of fixed term tenancies to rebase rents

Fixed term flexible tenancies
Fixed term & flexible tenancies

  • Differing views on use and benefits

    • Best use of housing in high demand

    • Cost v. outcomes? Rebasing rents £

  • Different approaches within one area

    • Same households but different offers

    • Churn in communities?

    • Comprehensive impact assessments

  • Perception that can use fixed terms to manage risk

  • Criteria on which decisions to reissue are critical

  • Changing relationship with tenant

    • Personal housing plans

What else will shape the market
What else will shape the market?

  • Welfare reform

    • Need to manage impact of under-occupation

    • Impact on private rented sector – what will offer be?

    • Impact assessments in isolation?

  • Mutual exchanges

    • Limits control over the use of existing housing stock

  • Home ownership?

    • Increased Right to Buy discounts

    • Incentives for purchase on the open market

  • Self-financing business plans

    • Investment, remodelling, decommissioning, new build

Access to social and affordable rent market
Access to social and affordable rent market

  • Who is social and affordable rent housing for?

  • Greater risk to RP income streams

  • RPs more stringent on access

  • Transfer tenants outside the system

    • Manage under-occupation & over-crowding

  • Tenure as a disincentive?

  • LA decision on the housing register – wider impact

    • Potential as source of local intelligence not been realised

    • Limiting access to ‘higher risk to income’ customers

    • Local connection – risks cross-boundary working

  • Access to other parts of the housing market

The shape of housing need demand
The shape of housing need & demand

  • Individual choice

    • Don’t know how going to behave

    • Is some action can take

      • Local research with customers

      • Tenancy audits critical

      • Welfare and financial advice

      • Targeted work with households who will be moving on

  • Health and wellbeing

    • Tenants getting older; care and support reduced

    • ‘Care closer to home’ agenda – personalised budgets

    • Action can take

      • Important to engage with providers on this issue; don’t assume social care is!

Other thoughts
Other thoughts

  • For registered providers flexibility is key

    • Local solutions are common aspiration but

    • Local government capacity reduced to manage

    • Perception that standardisation & scale likely to achieve efficiencies

  • Important to remember that individual’s have a role

    • How can we enable people to meet their own needs?

    • Affordable rent & fixed term – disincentives to work?

  • Jigsaw puzzle

    • Turn every single piece over, sorting as you turn

    • Systematic & in partnership – spread the puzzle out

    • Pay attention to differences & share the picture

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07766 660799

Website: www.gillleng.co.uk