Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 19th March 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

30.

Confirmation of Minutes - 28 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 be confirmed.

31.

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.

32.

Repairs

Minutes:

Matt Hillman, Maintenance Manager gave a presentation on Decent Homes and Responsive Repairs in response to a question asked at a previous Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee on why the numbers of day to day repairs were so high given the amount of decent homes work that had been completed.

 

He highlighted the following main points:

 

·         What was Decent Homes?

o   It met the current statutory minimum standard for housing

o   It was in a reasonable state of repair

o   It had reasonably modern facilities and services

o   It provided a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.

·         Lincoln Standard

·         Investment Performance

·         What was a responsive repair?

o   City of Lincoln Council was responsible for the structure, exterior, services and common parts of the property.

·         Areas covered by Maintenance

o   Emergency Repair (24 hours) Remove immediate danger to the occupants of a property or outside space.

o   Urgent Repair (3 day) – Any defect where comfort or convenience of the tenant or third party was seriously affected.

o   Routine Repair (20 day) Any defect that could be deferred without serious discomfort, inconvenience or nuisance to a tenant or a third party, and could wait until the next convenient maintenance visit.

·         Maintenance Figures

·         Decent Homes Delivery vs Repair Volume

o   Maintenance and Investment were looking at options to share the asset management register to include customer services and inspectors.

o   Repairs were only carried out once reported by the customer.

o   Some repairs would require multiple tickets – thus creating more repair numbers (plastering, damp and mould).

o   Inspection tickets were also included within the figures (Voids/ condensation).

o   Further repairs were required dependent upon asset type (Kitchen type/ shower type).

o   Recharges were also included in the figures.

o   Renewal based upon condition not life span.

o   Customers could not be forced to have decent home work carried out (refusals were taken out the figures and completed during void)

·         Next Steps

·         Invited members questions and comments:

 

Question: How was damage to communal areas dealt with?

Response: The Rechargeable Repairs Policy would be used if possible, it was a contentious area and Officers were currently looking at ways to improve the system.

Question: Would it be better to do a non-slip, white wash flooring in all communal areas?

Response: There was an ongoing contract to do this. The comments would be reported back to the Asset Team regarding the flooring.

 

Comment: The level of repairs in the new build properties were high.

Response: This would be reported back to the New Build Team.

 

Comment: Expressed concern over fire safety as some bungalows only had 1 door in and out of the property.

Response: Any new window that had been fitted would provide a means of escape. If there was a vulnerable person living in the property they could contact the fire service for advice. Also if a new window was required at the property they could contact the Council and we would look to improve it.

 

Comment: Referred to the new build  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Debbie Rousseau, Chair of Lincoln Tenants Panel advised on the following main points:

 

·         The Housing Fun Day had been organised and it would be used to advertise the vacant LTP seats.

·         A meeting on green spaces would be held.

·         A clean up green day would be held in the Ermine, if successful this would be rolled out to other areas across the City.

·         The LTP would look at Estate Inspections and why they had been scaled down as it was important to hold them each year.

 

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager clarified that Estate Inspections still took place, however, the Council had changed how they were done in 2016.

 

Daren Turner, Director of Housing and Investment suggested that a ward walk take place to understand the best way to undertake the Estate Inspections.

 

 

34.

LTP Annual Report pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

Debbie Rousseau, Chair of Lincoln Tenants Panel

 

a.    presented the activities and achievements of the Lincoln Tenants Panel between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.

 

b.    thanked all the LTP members for their work in making the panel a success and the officers for the report received

 

c.    referred to paragraph 4 of the report and highlighted the activities that the Lincoln Tenants Panel had been involved with over the last year.

 

d.    referred to paragraph 5 of the report and highlighted the priorities for the LTP panel over the next 12 months.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

35.

Resident Involvement Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager

 

a.    provided an update on resident involvement including:

·         Activities and Achievements in 2018

·         Objectives for 2019

b.    advised that effective engagement with residents was important for a number of reasons:

·         Feedback could lead to better service design and the most important issues being tackled.

·         Tenants felt empowered and had a choice about the service they received.

·         To meet the regulatory framework published by Homes England.

c.    detailed the main achievements for 2018:

·         Managed the Community Investment Scheme

·         Produced the Home! Magazine and Annual Report

·         Helped the Voids Team to re-start tenant inspections of void properties

·         Organised the visit for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

·         Assisted LTP in responding to the Government’s consultation on the Housing Green Paper

·         Facilitated LTP to carry out scrutiny into key service areas.

·         Delivered the housing fun day.

·         Increased the amount of ‘likes’ on Facebook

·         Carried out activities to help residents tidy and look after their estates.

d.    advised on the main objectives for 2019:

 

·         Update Tenant Involvement Strategy to take into account the Housing Green Paper.

·         Improve LTPs  ability to provide meaningful feedback

·         Carry out tenant led scrutiny of services.

·         Get more tenants involved and publicise Resident Involvements achievements.

·         Improve social media engagement.

·         Get community investment applications and publicise the success.

·         Help residents have tidy estates and improve them.

·         Involve residents with fire safety.

 

e.    invited members questions and comments:

 

Question: How would individuals apply for funding for a community project?

Response: They should contact the Resident Involvement Team who would help them put a group together and to submit an application.

 

The Chair suggested that one of the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee meetings be held in the community to encourage more engagement from residents.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    the contents of the report be noted.

2.    a future Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee be held at a venue in the community. 

 

36.

Quarter 3 (2018/19) - Performance Report pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Yvonne Fox, Assistant Director of Housing

 

a.    presented the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee with an end of quarter report on performance for the third quarter of the year (October 2018 – December 2018)

 

b.    advised that of the 23 measures 14 were on or exceeding targets for the year and 11 had not met the targets set and 1 did not have a required target.

 

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

 

·         Arrears as a percentage of rent debit

·         Complete repairs right first time

·         Average days to resolve ASB cases

 

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

 

·         Complaints

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

 

e.    invited committees questions and comments

 

Question:  Referred to the percentage of calls answered within 60 seconds and asked why it was below target?

Response: This had been raised with the customer contact centre and it was due to an increased volume of calls that they were receiving.

Question: Had tenants been involved in setting the performance targets for the forthcoming year?

Response: Officers had liaised with tenants and it was also on the agenda for the next LTP meeting.

Question: Would the current voids process be altered?

Response: The whole process would be looked at to improve practices and procedures. The standard of voids properties would not be reduced.

Comment: Only Councillor enquiries that went through the PA to the Director of Housing and Investment were logged within the performance indicator 22A. It was important that Councillors went through the PA rather than straight to the Housing Officer.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

37.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair

 

a.    presented the draft work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee for 2019/20 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.

c.    suggested that the following items be added to the work programme:

 

·         Tenancy Agreement

·         Supported Housing Update

·         Homelessness/ Action Lincs/ Rough Sleeper Interventions

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    The work programme be noted

 

2.    The following reports be added to the work programme

 

·         Tenancy Agreement

·         Supported Housing Update

·         Homelessness/ Action Lincs/ Rough Sleeper Interventions