Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Financial Services and Estates
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet agreed, at its meeting on 15th November 2018, to extend the housing acquisitions programme and agreed to capital expenditure of £727,600 for the acquisition of an estimated 4 residential properties. This funding had previously been secured by the council as part of the conditions attached to the 2004 permission of the Royal Sands Development, which was received in 2017 and can be used for the provision of affordable housing.
The funding of £727,600 will be recommended to Council for inclusion in the approved capital programme at the next opportunity, as part of the 2019/20 quarter 1 budget monitoring.
The council owns the freehold of a 3 bedroom house in Albert Street, Ramsgate. The property is held within the council’s Housing Revenue Account. The property is currently empty. The previous occupant holds a 25% leasehold interest in the property, with the remaining 75% retained by the council. Under the terms of the lease the previous occupant is responsible for the maintenance of the building, but does not have the means to complete necessary works.
The property is of architectural interest, is listed and in a poor state of repair and in need of urgent repair and refurbishment. The condition of the building is deteriorating due to the need for urgent roof repairs.
It is proposed that the council agree to purchase the 25% share from the previous occupant, complete urgent repairs and evaluate the options for returning the building to use within the Housing Revenue Account or by disposal to a new owner.
It is proposed to utilise up to £50,000 of the available acquisitions funding to complete the purchase of this property and to complete the immediate urgent roof repairs. This will enable the building to be safeguarded whilst a thorough options appraisal is completed.
It is therefore recommended, as a matter of urgency, to release up to £50,000 of the available funding for this purpose.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Estates agreed to:
1. Approve the use of £50,000 of available affordable housing contributions for the use of housing acquisitions.
The completion of the recommended transaction will ensure that the listed residential building can be safeguarded for the future and will enable a thorough options appraisal to be completed to bring the building back into residential use.
Two alternatives were considered:
1. Take no action: This course of action would mean that the building would remain empty and deteriorate further. The council’s share of the ownership would deteriorate further in value.
2. Agreed to a joint disposal at auction: This course of action is not considered to provide best value and will not ensure that the building is safeguarded.
Publication date: 06/06/2019
Date of decision: 29/05/2019
Effective from: 14/06/2019