Cllr Wittingham asked if they would use Wirral Partnership Homes, the answer given was yes. Cllr Realey said she had concerns about the under 35s and the single room rate which comes into effect in January 2012. She said this would reduce benefit for those affected with private landlords to £63/week. Cllr Realey said it … Continue reading “Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 7th November 2011 Part 11 social housing, single room rate, HMOs, landlords”
Cllr Wittingham asked if they would use Wirral Partnership Homes, the answer given was yes.
Cllr Realey said she had concerns about the under 35s and the single room rate which comes into effect in January 2012. She said this would reduce benefit for those affected with private landlords to £63/week. Cllr Realey said it would affect seven hundred to nine hundred people with a nine month contingency. Until people were thirty-five they would only be allowed a room. What were they doing she asked?
Ian said it would address under occupation and its impacts. They would work with registered social landlords and private sector landlords over the introduction of the new rules. There would be opportunities for sharing and a raft of different approaches.
Cllr Realey said in Devonshire Park there were a lot of big houses being converted to HMOs. If landlords were getting £65/week for each one this would “bring back bedsit land”. The Chair expressed concerns over the effect on the elderly and the young and asked for a further report on it as well as on the HMRI situation.
The Chair asked if there were any questions on the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme.
Cllr Wittingham said there may be movement on Department of Work and Pensions rules which stated they couldn’t share statistics them externally. Eventually he hoped this would change and the statistics would be made available to councillors.
David Ball said he was concerned with the work program as they can’t check or understand the effect of interventions on the labour market. There had been discussions that they may release them on a confidential basis, if it was helpful they could be shared with councillors once officers had been informed. He said it was important to understand what was going on and tackle a number of issues on the worklessness agenda.
The Chair said he wanted it minuted and invited any other questions. There were no more so the report was noted.
The Chair asked for questions or concerns on the second quarter performance and financial review.
Cllr Wittingham in reference to the table on page 63, asked if they had enough capacity of smaller homes to meet their social housing target? Ian answered that in terms of numbers, looking at the occupation strategy of existing users, registered social landlords and housing association would work with tenants to find opportunities within the existing housing stock. They would be encouraged to move into smaller accommodation, which was difficult for the elderly and could get emotional if they felt they were being forced out. His view on future supply was that the Welfare Reform Bill would lead to existing tenants moving to smaller properties that would free up units for larger families.