Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Monday, 13th August 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

7.

Confirmation of Minutes - 18 June 2018 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2018 be confirmed.

8.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Members asked if the following actions had been followed up and completed:-

 

1.    Statistics on rent arrears for the past year – The Chair requested that this information be circulated to Members again.

2.    Parking on grass verges – The Chair requested that a report be added to the work programme to be presented at a future meeting.

 

3.    Quarter 4 Performance Report 2017/18 – There was an error on the report – The Chair requested that the amended report be circulated to Members.

 

9.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

10.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Debbie Rousseau, Chair of LTP

 

·         The LTP had started a gardening group in response to the new protocol for recharging gardening work.

·         Members of the LTP would be viewing the new properties at Ingleby Crescent before they were let to tenants.

·         The Housing Officer details on the website were not up to date.

 

Dave Ward, Acting Tenancy Services Manager, explained the process and enforcement procedures for untidy gardens and the options that were available to recharge tenants. The Chair requested that a copy of the new procedures be circulated to all members.

 

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager, advised that the Housing Officer details were publicised often, however, it was challenging to produce them in a legible format . Simon Walters, Strategic Director, Communities and Environment suggested that the Area Managers could be publicised as they changed less often.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 1 - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dave Ward, Acting Tenancy Services Manager

 

a.    presented the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee with an end of quarter report on performance indicators for the first quarter of the year 2018/19 (April 2018 – June 2018)

 

b.    advised that of the 23 measures 11 were on or exceeding targets for the year and 12 had not met the targets set.

 

c.    referred to paragraph 4 of the report and highlighted the areas of good performance  including:

 

·         Arrears as a % of rent debit

·         % of rent lost due to vacant dwellings

·         % of repairs carried out within time limits

·         Complete Repairs right on first visit

·         Repair appointments kept against appointments made

·         Tenant Satisfaction with repairs

·         % of ASB cases closed that were resolved.

 

d.    further highlighted areas that had not achieved their target and explained the reason for this:

 

·         % of rent collected as a percentage of rent due

·         Average re-let period – General needs (excluding major works)

·         Average re-let period – All dwellings (including major works)

·         % of offers accepted first time

·         Average time taken to complete repairs

·         % of non-decent homes

·         % of homes  with valid gas safety certificate

·         % of complaints replied to in 10 working days

·         Councillor enquiries replied to within time

·         Average days to resolved ASB cases

 

e.    gave up to date figures to the end of July for each performance indicator.

 

f.     invited committees questions and comments.

 

Question – Why was the percentage of rent lost due to vacant dwellings increasing?

Response – This was a complex performance indicator which included many different teams within the Housing Department. There had been some sickness issues within the Housing Solutions Team. A review of Housing Solutions and Voids was underway to streamline the systems. The figures had been reduced to 17 days within the first 2 weeks of August.

Question – Referred to the percentage of offers accepted first time and asked why properties were being refused when tenants had bid for them?

Response – Voids Support Officers would note down a reason for refusing a property if the reason was provided at the viewing, however, more analysis was needed to establish the reasons why properties were being refused.

Question – Why was the average time taken to complete repairs increasing?

Response – This was due to sickness and holidays and also the performance indicator included work completed by Aaron. This would be discussed with the relevant officer at Aaron Services.

Question – If the standard of the properties had been improved why were so many repairs being completed?

Response –  If a property has been damaged the repairs would be recharged to the tenant.

Comment – A detailed analysis on the types of repairs that had been completed was required.

Response -  A report could be brought to a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

12.

Role of the Housing Officers pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Ward, Acting Tenancy Services Manager

 

a.    presented a report on the roles and responsibilities of a Housing Officer.

 

b.    advised that all Housing Officers managed a patch of around 450 properties and were based in one of three Area Housing Teams North, South and Central.

 

c.    referred to paragraph 2 of the report and advised on the improved performance highlighting the ASB Accreditation award that had been achieved and the targets that had been exceeded for rent arrears collection in both 2016/17 and 2017/18.

 

d.    referred to paragraph 4 of the report and detailed the Housing Officer’s main responsibilities.

 

The committee discussed the contents of the report and made the following key points and received relevant responses.

 

Question: What would happen if a tenant could not contact their Housing Officer due to them working part time?

Response: Another member of the team would respond to the enquiry.

Question: Did Housing Officers undertake estate inspections?

Response: Yes there was a schedule for estate inspections and they were completed regularly.

Question: What could be done to assist with the enforcement of the Tenancy Agreement?

Response: It was a difficult balance between enforcing the Tenancy Agreement and helping to keep tenants in properties.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted,

 

 

 

 

13.

Tenant Involvement Strategy pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager

 

a.    provided an update on the delivery of the Tenant Involvement Strategy 2018 – 2021.

 

b.    advised that there were a total of 22 actions within the action plan

 

·         16 actions were in progress

·         6 actions were not yet started

c.    detailed the key areas that the Residents Involvement Team would focus on over the next 12 months:

 

·         Community Investment

·         Develop Social Media

·         Increase the profile of the councils Housing Repair Service

·         Support and Develop the Lincoln Tenants Panel

·         Anti-Social Behaviour Improvements Related to Resident Involvement.

 

d.    invited the committees questions and comments

 

Question: Referred to Community Investment and asked how it was funded?

Response: Travis Perkin currently provided funding, it tended to be more labour and materials rather than money.

Question: When would work on the ASB victim support group commence?

Response: It would start early next year.

Question: Did daytime LTP meetings restrict people who worked attending the meetings?

Response: Current LTP members preferred to attend daytime meeting, however they could be held in the evenings if members wanted them to. Everyone had the opportunity to be involved via social media, residents groups and also neighbourhood boards.

 

 Chris Morton, Residents Involvement Manager further asked if members had any suggestions for community projects that required funding be submitted to the Resident Involvement Team.

 

RESOLVED that the progress made on the delivery of the Tenant Involvement Empowerment Strategy be noted.

14.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer

 

a.    presented the work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee for 2018/19 as detailed at Appendix A of the report.

b.    advised that this was an opportunity for the committee to suggest other items to be included within the work programme.

 

The Chair advised that an additional meeting had been arranged for 10th September 2018 to consider the Annual Report to Tenants and Leaseholders 2017/18. He also requested that a report on the number and type of repairs that had been completed in comparison to the previous year be added to the work programme for a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    the work programme be noted

 

2.    a report on repairs be scheduled into the work programme.