A fourth pilot for new homes on challenging sites, 140 entries to housing design competition and new plan to tackle fuel poverty

A fourth pilot for new homes on challenging sites, 140 entries to housing design competition and new plan to tackle fuel poverty

Plans to extend the number of pilot sites to develop homes on more challenging sites across the city will be considered by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing and New Homes Committee this week (23 September). 

Members will decide whether to agree a fourth pilot site under the small sites strategy to help meet the target of 500 new homes on local authority land.

The committee will also note progress on The Royal Institute of British Architects design competition, which has received 140 initial designs, cooperative housing plans and Passivhaus pilots to develop new homes.

A review of the council housing allocation policy will be considered as part of a move to improve how the council allocates social homes in the face of huge demand. The housing register has more than 22,000 applicants and the council allocates between 500 and 600 from its housing stock and nominates around 150 to 200 housing association properties each year.

A strategy to help tackle fuel poverty and improve affordable warmth for the winter based on national guidance on how to reduce the risk of death and ill health associated with living in a cold home will also be noted. The proposal aims to reduce the relatively high numbers of so called ‘excess winter deaths’ in the UK with 130 in Brighton & Hove during 2012-13.

The guidelines are aimed at commissioners, managers, housing providers and health and social care and voluntary sector practitioners who handle vulnerable residents.

The council’s housing and public health teams are drawing up a strategy that builds on good practice and involves local NHS and voluntary sector organisations including Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Age UK.

Brighton Lions lease for 30 older persons homes could be sold to the housing society under a proposal for the Housing and New Homes Committee to recommend the sale to Policy & Resources Committee.

Brighton Lions, which was set up in 1968 to build affordable homes for rent, wants to buy the freehold, which is currently a lease with 52 years left, to enable them to grow and invest in social projects. The sale would raise around £670,000 to subsidise the council’s housing capital programme.

The speed of emergency repairs to council homes; how quickly empty homes are re-let as well as tenant arrears and evictions are included in the latest quarterly housing management performance report.

The report benchmarks the council’s performance against other peer group housing providers nationally.

A new policy on how the council places homeless households outside the city will also be discussed. This comes as housing in the city has become more expensive and in short supply while housing benefit has been restricted leading to a need to house households outside the city’s boundaries. A recent Supreme Court case recommended that members of the authority agree such a policy.

The Housing and New Homes Committee will meet at 4pm on 23 September at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton.  To view the paper see Housing & New Homes Committee papers