Greenwich Council

Agenda item

Review of Affordable Housing in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

To consider the information gathered during the four stages of evidence gathering and collate findings as set out in the attached report.

 

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Strategic Housing Investment Manager. 

 

The Panel was supportive of Build to Rent (BTR) and felt that the tenancies pertaining to these properties would offer better and longer tenancies, and better conditions.  The Panel enquired as to what made these projects attractive to developers.  The Strategic Housing Investment Manager replied that renting properties provided a steady income.  With regard to the tenancies for tenants in BTR properties, she had not seen any evidence that these offered more favourable conditions but would explore this further.

                                                                                         Action: DRES

 

With regard to Empty Homes, the Strategic Housing Investment Manager reported that the Greater London Authority would be commissioning research into new build property purchases and empty homes. 

 

In response to a question from the Panel, the Strategic Housing Investment Manager would produce an action plan as part of the Royal Borough’s Housing Strategy to address the issues raised in the Government's Housing White Paper.  She would also circulate the White Paper to Members. 

                                                                                         Action: DRES

 

The Panel enquired as to the sites identified by the Royal Borough for transfer to Meridian Home Start and what would happen to the five that had not yet been granted planning approval.  Councillor Offord was able to confirm that all sites had been programmed for development and would circulate a development site timeline to Members.

                                                                    Action: Councillor Offord

 

The Chair invited Ms Eileen Glover to address the Panel.

 

Ms Glover was positive about the scope of the report and felt it was well laid out in terms of how the Royal Borough delivered affordable housing.  However, she felt that some areas were not sufficiently addressed including the definition of affordable housing in the context of Greenwich, the impact of Right to Buy on the Council's housing stock, the development of Meridian Home Start which she believed did not offer affordable homes to residents on the waiting list, and the impact of transferring the six sites with no option to build council housing. 

 

Ms Glover would have liked more in depth analysis on these issues.

 

She asked that the Royal Borough give consideration to setting up an independent working party to find a solution to delivering council housing that was exempt from Right to Buy.  She added that building council houses would impact on the current waiting list and provide good quality, low rent homes for residents in greatest need. 

 

The Chair thanked Ms Glover for her address and would ask colleagues in the Directorate for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills (DRES) to consider her statement.

                                                                Action: Councillor Ashikodi

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted.

 

Supporting documents: