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Scrutiny affordable housing

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Presentation to the Affordable Housing Panel September 2012

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Scrutiny affordable housing

  1. 1. Meeting Affordable Housing Needin the City & County of Swansea Stronger Safer Communities Scrutiny Board 24 th September 2012
  2. 2. Presentation ContentsThe presentation will cover:- LA Duties & Powers in relation to affordable housing Policies and Strategies used to address affordable housing so far Impact of policies so far Constraints on providing affordable housing Future Challenges New Council House Building New innovative solutions
  3. 3. Local Authority Duties To review housing needs and conditions (Housing Act 1985) To produce housing strategies to address housing issues in the area (Local Government Act 2003) Make appropriate provision for affordable housing in Development Plan policies. Identify requirements, viable targets and site thresholds and monitor provision (PPW 2011 and TAN 2 2006)
  4. 4. Local Authority Powers Section 106 Agreements Strategically direct RSL spend via SHG Compulsory Purchase Orders Disposal or leasing of land to RSLs for affordable housing construction Suspension of the Right to Buy Local Authority Mortgages Bring back Empty Properties e.g. via loans scheme, etc
  5. 5. Council Policies and Strategies to Deliver Affordable Housing Maximising SHG Allocation from WG Utilising Section 106 Agreements/ Percentage Affordable Housing dictated by the Housing Market Assessment Use of Commuted Sums UDP – Thresholds Empty Property Strategy
  6. 6. Impact of Current Policies so far Limited – due to recession and housing market downturn Adopted policy reflects latest national guidance SPG provides strong basis for negotiation No significant change to numbers delivered Very little success in rural areas
  7. 7. Constraints on Affordable Housing Supply Declining Social Housing Grant from Welsh Government Depressed housing market results in fewer Planning Applications / Section 106 Agreements /viability issues Complexity of planning application process Land acquisition – unrealistic expectations of landowners Access to finance
  8. 8. Declining Social Housing Grant 2007/08 - £6.9m 2008/09 - £3.9m 2009/10 - £6.2m 2010/11 - £3.1m 2011/12 - £3.2 2012/13 - £3.1m 2013/14 - £2.7m
  9. 9. Delivery through Section 106 Agreements 2009 – 11 Units 2010 – 21 Units 2011 – 9 Units 2012 – None as yet
  10. 10. Future Challenges Welfare Reform Proposals Those over occupying a property will get less benefit Single room rent increased to people up to 35 The affect of Universal Credit Big reduction in benefit payments big increase in demand for 1 bedroom properties Viability of sites to deliver affordable housing
  11. 11. Building New Council Homes Legally this is allowed Conflict with using finances to achieve Welsh Housing Quality Standard RSLs could deliver more properties with same money than Council due to financial rules
  12. 12. Increasing Affordable Housing – Current Options Reducing SHG funding to RSLs for particular schemes Local Authority Mortgages Maximising affordable housing via Section 106 Agreements Leasing of Council land for affordable housing Promotion of Exceptions Policy in UDP Bringing back Empty properties into use Review thresholds through LDP/include site specific indicative targets Welsh Housing Partnership
  13. 13. Conclusions Difficult to increase affordable housing levels due to economic climate New initiatives being developed by the Welsh Government that could be utilised Housing Market Assessment will give more detail regarding the level of A.H. need