Issue - meetings

Local Authority Housing Fund

Meeting: 16/11/2023 - Cabinet (Item 60)

60 Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the report that was requesting Cabinet to approve the use of £694,000 of grant funding and £788,860 of HRA match funding from the already approved HRA capital programme, to purchase 5 units for the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) R2. Members were reminded that this was a grant that had been considered before. In the first tranche Council applied for and were granted £1.19 million to provide homes for those who arrived in the country via the following approaches:

 

·  The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (including eligible British Nationals under this scheme) (ACRS);

·  Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP);

·  Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS);

·  Homes for Ukraine (HFU)

·  Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES).

 

In March this year, it was announced that the Local Authority Housing Fund would be expanded by £250m for a second round of funding. Thanet had been identified as eligible for capital grant funding with an indicative allocation of £694,000 in funding. This was to purchase four homes for the resettlement element and one home for the temporary accommodation element.

 

Like LAHF Round One, this was a match-funded grant; in order to use this round, it was necessary to match fund the acquisitions with £788,860 of borrowing within the HRA capital programme. The properties had been identified and must be purchased by 31st March 2024. For every housing acquisition a business plan modelling was completed. The modelling for this grant scheme showed that the scheme generated a surplus from year 1 due to the grant subsidy, which allowed these homes to immediately support further investment in the Affordable Homes Programme. It was proposed that Council let these homes at a genuinely affordable rent, in line with its approved Tenancy Strategy.

 

Discussions had taken place with a local developer currently developing the Westwood Cross site to purchase five by 3 bed units. The units would be an ‘off the shelf’ purchase with no refurbishments or adaptations needed. They were nearing completion and would be ready soon. The developer had accepted a provisional offer, subject to approval of £1.4m. This amount was equivalent to 80% of Market Value.

 

As with the previous tranche of funding, the timescales around this funding were extraordinarily tight and in order to deliver the homes required in the period given, direct purchase was the only realistic way forward. This aspect of funding limited the Council’s creativity in providing social housing to the district. However, with these proposals, the Council would be able to support those individuals who need support at an incredibly difficult time, for the allotted time that they were allowed to remain in the country by government. These proposals would also not only grow the Council’s general portfolio but also support the growth of housing in the district.

 

These homes were significant not just in supporting those who have experienced war and displacement, but also in supporting other vulnerable local residents. Due to the scale of this grant and its provision of 46% of the overall cost, the rental of these properties would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60


Meeting: 24/10/2023 - Overview & Scrutiny Panel (Item 4)

4 Local Authority Housing Fund Round 2 : Purchase of 5 Homes pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Minutes:

Ashely Jackson, Head of Housing and Planning introduced the report and made the following comments:

 

  • In March 2023, it was announced that the Local Authority Housing Fund would be expanded by £250m for a second round of funding (LAHF R2);
  • Thanet has been identified as eligible for capital grant funding with an indicative allocation of £694,000 in funding to purchase four homes for the resettlement element and 1 home for the Temporary Accommodation element;
  • In order to utilise the grant, it was necessary to match fund the acquisitions with £788,860 of borrowing within the HRA capital programme and these proposals would be presented to Cabinet on 16th November. The properties had been identified and had to be purchased by 31st March 2024;
  • Business plan modelling showed that the scheme generated a surplus from year one due to the grant subsidy. This surplus could be used to subsidise other parts of the Affordable Homes Programme;

 

  • Officers were proposing that the homes were let at an affordable rent level, in line with the Council’s approved Tenancy Strategy;
  • Discussions had taken place with a local developer who was currently developing the Westwood Cross site to purchase five x three bed units. The units would be an ‘off the shelf’ purchase with no refurbishments or adaptations needed. They were nearing completion and would be ready soon;
  • The developer had accepted a provisional offer, subject to approval of £1.4m and this was 80% of the market value;
  • The proposed offer had been run through the Council’s business plan modelling and the results indicated that the scheme generated a surplus for the HRA business plan from year one due to the grant subsidy;
  • This proposal would be presented to Cabinet on 16 November 2023. The report would recommend that Cabinet approve the use of £694,000 of grant funding and £788,860 HRA match funding from the already approved HRA capital programme, to purchase five units for the LAHF R2.

 

Councillor Whitehead also made comments as follows:

 

  • Members were being asked to consider and respond to the proposals going forward to Cabinet regarding the purchase of five properties using the Local Government Housing Grant;
  • This was a grant that had been presented to Members before. The Council applied for and were granted £1.19 million in the first tranche of this Grant to provide homes for those who arrived in the country via the following approaches:

 

?  The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (including eligible British Nationals under this scheme) (ACRS);

?  Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP);

?  Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS);

? Homes for Ukraine (HFU);

? Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES).

 

  • In this tranche of funding the Council had been granted £694,000. Through this the Council intended to provide five homes. Four had to have at least three bedrooms and one was required to be used for temporary accommodation;
  • As with the previous tranche of funding, the timescales around this funding were extraordinarily tight. Therefore, in order to deliver the homes required in the period given, direct purchase was the only realistic way  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4