Pat Jukes, Corporate Policy Business Manager:
· Gave a presentation outlining the Performance of the Quality Housing Portfolio which included:
· Contextual Information on the Quality Housing portfolio:
- Lincoln had approximately 44,600 homes in the city. As of December 2018 7,782 were council owned social housing units.
- There were currently 308 ‘old style’ licensed HMO’s in Lincoln as of January 2019.
- There were currently 275 ‘new style’ HMO applications in various stages of approval.
- In the last 6 months, the City Council had issued:
o Disabled Facilities Grants – 23
o Hospital Discharge – 1
o Gas Central Heating – 3
- As of 2017, the amount uncovered by Local Housing Allowance rates on the average rent costs for a 3 bedroom property was £43.70.
- At the last official count in October 2018, there were 26 rough sleepers in Lincoln.
- The house price to work place based earnings ratio for Lincoln in 2017 was 5.54.
· Highlighted the following key points:
- Lincoln’s average price paid for all property types had increased by 4.8%, growing from £150,538 to £157,848.
- Average private rental costs had decreased in all properties with either 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms.
- The number of households in temporary accommodation had seen a small increase from 2016/17s figure of 24, rising to 27 in 2017/18.
- The rent collected as a proportion of rent owed had surpassed its target of 96.50% with a figure of 98.19%.
- The current level of tenant arrears was above the target of 3.50% with a figure of 2.95%.
- The percentage of reactive repairs completed within target time was above the target of 97.50% with a figure of 99.36%.
- The number of homelessness applications had increased from Q2 last year by 241, now reporting at 368. This was primarily due to the Homelessness Reduction Act changes (introduced April 2018), where Lincoln City Council must now support anyone, threatened with homelessness within 56 days or was already homeless. This meant there was a duty to start working with people at an earlier stage and help should initially be offered regardless of whether the person had a local connection to Lincoln or a priority need for assistance. It was therefore almost certain that homelessness presentations would increase in the first year.
· Invited member’s comments and questions.
Question: Members asked how many children were in temporary accommodation.
Question: Members stated that the impression they had been given was that Lincoln was a place where it was difficult to get on the housing ladder. How did this equate with the ratio for wage as Lincoln was the third lowest in regard to house prices?
Response: Building Societies and banks had different criteria so the effect of their policies could vary. The third lowest was due to a combination of low house prices and low wages. There were a lot of people on low wages in Lincoln.
Question: Members asked for clarification on the amount uncovered by benefits for rent for a 3 bedroom property.
Response: The uncovered amount referred to the gap between the level of housing benefits received and the rent payable in the private sector. This was different between private sector rents and council rents as they were very different. All council houses were below the LHA level.
1. Officers would investigate the figure for how many children were in temporary accommodation and report back to committee.
2. The content of the presentation be noted.