Issue - meetings

Adopt new and update current housing related policies

Meeting: 14/03/2024 - Cabinet (Item 105)

105 Adopt new and update current housing related policies pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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The report asked the cabinet to approve two new policies: the compensation policy and the write off policy. It was also being asked to accept the amendment of three reviewed policies: the disabled aids and adaptations policy, the anti-social behaviour policy and the rechargeable works order policy. The report also asked cabinet to delegate authority to the Head of Tenant and Leaseholder Services to make minor operational changes to the policies when required.


These policies give officers a framework to work to, and the power to, resolve issues without the need for escalation. The approach and process was essential to be both fair and clear to residents. 


Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Keen seconded and Cabinet agreed to:


“1. Approve the adoption of the 2 new policies and accept the amendments of 3 x reviewed policies

2. Delegate authority to the Head of Tenant and Leaseholder Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing to make minor operational changes to the policies, as required.”

Meeting: 12/03/2024 - Overview & Scrutiny Panel (Item 5)

5 Adopt new and update current housing related policies pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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Sally O’Sullivan, Head of Tenant and Leaseholder Services, introduced the report and made the following points:


·  The executive decision involved the approval of two new housing policies and the update of three other policies;

·  The Compensation Policy detailed how compensation was awarded and helped guide officers in that respect;

·  The Write-Off Policy was a required policy to detail how the Council managed former tenant arrears and what authorisation was required to write-off a specific amount of rent arrears;

·  The Aids and Adaptations Policy removed rent arrears as a reason to not carry out an adaptation in a property;

·  The Anti-Social Behaviour Policy simplified the dispute process;

·  The Rechargeable Works Policy now included costs for missed appointments and abuse of staff who attend the properties for inspections.


Councillors commented and asked the following questions:


·  Councillors asked if the Compensation Policy applied to leaseholders under right to buy. Officers replied that it was mainly for tenants but it also detailed where compensation can be given to leaseholders;

·  Regarding the Compensation and Write-Off Policy, Councillors asked how many people these policies covered. Officers replied that they did not have exact figures, but for Compensation, it was not many;

·  With regards to the Rechargeable Works Policy, Councillors asked if people such as hoarders would be held to the same standard as other tenants. Officers informed Councillors that circumstances like that would be taken into consideration and they would not be treated the same as someone who refused to carry out repairs which were under tenant responsibility;

·  Councillors wanted to know more about the Tenant and Leaseholder Group and how it was outlined. Officers replied that it was made up of residents who wanted to get more involved as they also had a terms of reference and annual meeting once a quarter;

·  Councillors asked about Aids and Adaptations, specifically in regards to Kent County Council being the starting point for tenants as they would need to have an Occupational Therapist sign off on any adaptations; they wanted to know how their performance was in keeping with the Council. Officers informed Councillors that there were plans in place for employing an in-house occupational therapist to help streamline the process;

·  Officers informed Councillors that the Disabled Facilities Grant was provided for people in privately rented or owned properties, Council tenants could still apply, however Tenant / Leasehold Adaptations Policy was more flexible for tenants. This policy would be coming back to Councillors at a later date;

·  On the subject of the Aids and Adaptations Policy, Councillors wanted to know about the flexibility of it and what the process was if the tenant was in hospital or in the process of being discharged. Officers informed Councillors that the Better Care Fund was marked specifically to help for people being discharged from the hospital, to enable the resident to return home with the relevant adaptations in place or plans for adaptations in place for them. Officers also added that for more extreme adaptations that require more long term work,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5