Local Housing Strategies in Regional and National Contexts Jim Grundy Housing Policy Manager GOEM
What I’ll Cover • The national context - main aim & key targets. • The Regional Housing Strategy: - the current 2004 document; and - plans for the future. • Connections between national, regional and local strategies. • Future arrangements.
Sustainable Communities Plan ‘Sustainable Communities’ are defined as: • economically prosperous; • have decent homes at a price people can afford; • safeguard the countryside; • enjoy a well-designed, accessible and pleasant living and working environment; and • are effectively and fairly governed with a strong sense of community.
Key National Targets (1) PSA5: Housing Supply & Demand • ‘Achieve a better balance between housing availability and the demand for housing, including improving affordability, in all English regions while protecting valuable countryside around our towns, cities and in the greenbelt and the sustainability of towns and cities’.
Key National Targets (2) PSA7: Decent Homes • “By 2010 bring all social housing into decent condition with most of this improvement taking place in deprived areas, and increase the proportion of private housing in decent condition occupied by vulnerable groups.”
Integrated Regional Strategy • “The East Midlands will be recognised as a region with a high quality of life and sustainable communities that thrives because of its vibrant economy, rich cultural and environmental diversity and the way it addresses social inequalities and manages its resources”. • The objective for Housing is “to ensure that the existing and future housing stock is appropriate to meet the housing needs of all parts of the community.”
Regional Housing Strategy • The RHS was published in July 2004, produced after extensive consultation. • There little mention of the role of the private rented sector in the wider housing market. • The focus was on conditions, not supply or management standards. • Since then the Housing Act 2004 has been introduced.
Affordable Homes. Quality & Choice. Low Demand. Sheltered Housing. Renewing the Private Sector. Decent Homes - Social Sector. Growth Area. Construction Skills Homlessness. Independent Living. Healthy & Safe Homes. Rural Housing. Understanding Sub-Regional Need Developing Sub-Regional Capacity. Common Information. Economic Growth. RHS Policies
RHS Review • The Regional Housing Group will be reviewing the Strategy during 2007/08. • A number of issues have come to the fore since 2004. • There’s a new and growing evidence base that can support the review. • We must strike the right balance between the needs of the people, new housing provision and the needs of existing stock.
Some Key Pressure Points (1) • A shortage of affordable homes. • Making all social homes ‘decent’ by 2010. • Ensuring a minimum of 70% of vulnerable households live in a decent home by 2010. • Delivering affordable warmth for all. • Disabled adaptations. • Identifying BME housing needs, including those of the gypsy & travelling communities.
Some Key Pressure Points (2) • Supporting the private rented sector & local authorities in the ongoing delivery of licensing. • Mixed Communities: no rich or poor ‘ghettos’. • Improved asset management. • Monitoring the housing market. • Understanding the needs of & impact of migrant workers on local housing markets.
All Very Interesting…. • …but what does it mean for local housing strategies? • The Regional Investment Strategy was drawn up taking into account national and regional policies. • Resources were distributed to those most able to demonstrate delivery against these key policy objectives. • But it set the context for the region to be able to offer practical support.
Practical Support (1) • We supported sub-regional housing market assessments across the whole region. • We’ve supported the development of the Regional Homelessness Strategy. • We supported three housing market renewal pilots to test approaches to low demand. • We acquired the BRE estimates for private sector decent homes & vulnerability.
Practical Support (2) • We offered financial support for new private stock condition surveys. • We established ‘Housing Intelligence for the East Midlands’ (hi4em). • hi4em has developed an on-line database to allow mapping of conditions by region, sub-region, district or neighbourhood. • We supported DASH and will continue to do so during 2007/08.
Local Housing Strategies (1) • The role of local housing strategies is to reflect national and regional objectives in the local context. • The East Midlands is a very diverse region and not all policies will be equally relevant in all areas. • But all judgements have to be supported by evidence. • Government looks for proportionality.
Local Housing Strategies (2) • Since 2004, local housing strategies have been assessed against the ‘Fit for Purpose’ criteria. • Whilst 80% of strategies have now been assessed as ‘FFP’, no Audit Commission inspection has awarded a 3* rating to a local housing strategic service. • The Commission says that the evidence of actual delivery against targets is lacking.
The Future of Housing Strategies • The Local Government White Paper sets out two ambitions for housing strategies: - closer integration into community strategies; and - strategies to be produced along the lines of housing markets, rather than administrative boundaries. • There is a debate to be had about the relationship between housing and local area agreements.
Housing Market Area Strategies • Government wants to focus on ‘place’. • Local authorities to be ‘place shapers’. • The Audit Commission is revising the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) process to change it into an ‘area risk assessment’. • A broader, geographical and thematic approach will be encouraged. • There will be a greater focus on delivery.
A Potential Strategic Hierarchy • National Government Targets. • Regional Housing Strategy, Regional Spatial Strategy, Regional Economic Strategy. • Community Strategies. • Housing Market Strategies. • Local Service Delivery Plans.
Supporting the New Approach • We won’t give you a new buzzword bingo lexicon. • We will offer support to assist authorities and their partners to come together to work across boundaries. • But it won’t be a simple stitching together of existing documents. • We will need evidence that new ways of working have been introduced.
Any Questions? Jim Grundy firstname.lastname@example.org 0115 971 2662