Housing strategy and consultation outcomes - Housing strategy 2017 - 2020

Contents

The Aims - What we would like to see by 2019

  • An increase of new homes built; working toward the target of 435 per annum.
  • Bassetlaw continuing to investigate models of affordable home ownership.
  • Bassetlaw playing an active role in the 2 areas in which Bassetlaw is placed for a regional growth and economic prosperity; Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, and the D2N2 North Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership agendas.
  • Increased supply of social rented homes available for local people in housing need.
  • Understanding needs and how to deliver more specialist housing for both older and disabled groups.
  • Quality homes in the Private Rented Sector including a reduction in empty homes.
  • A significant improvement in standards in the Private Rented Sector.
  • A continued reduction in homelessness across the district through meaningful prevention activities.
  • Improve joint working initiatives.

Strategic Housing Introduction

With a population of 114,143 (2014 estimate), Bassetlaw is a rural district which comprises the towns of Harworth, Retford and Worksop, and the large villages of Carlton in Lindrick, Langold and Tuxford, as well as smaller parishes and settlements.

With such a rich diversity of localities it is recognised that the concerns and housing needs of one area can be significantly different to another.

This Housing Strategy has been prepared for the purpose of enabling responses to the key housing issues in individual areas through solutions such as: advising on housing requirements in response to planning applications; maximising the use of our Council Housing stock; using new powers to penalise poor quality landlords to improve standards, and reducing the number of empty homes in the private sector.

The actions to support all of the Key Priorities are set-out in the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan.

Strategic Context

The key policies and strategies that influence housing in Bassetlaw reflect recent legislation on how public services should be delivered locally.

The strategic context is set out below to show the structure from the national to the local level.

National Context

  • Localism Act (2011)
  • Local Growth: Realising Everyone’s Potential (2010)
  • Laying the Foundations – A Housing Strategy for England (2011)
  • National Planning Policy Framework (2012)
  • Housing and Planning Act (2016)
  • Welfare Reform & Work Act (2016)
  • Homeless Reduction Act (2017)

Regional Context

  • D2N2 (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire)
  • Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • Sheffield City Region Social Housing Compact
  • Sheffield City Region Combined Authority
  • Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Local Context – Bassetlaw District Council

  • Council Plan (2017-20)
  • Emerging Bassetlaw Plan (2019-2034) / Adopted Core Strategy (2011)
  • Affordable Housing SPD (2014)
  • Existing and Emerging Neighbourhood Plans
  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2014)
  • Anti-Poverty Strategy (2012-2015)
  • Tenancy Strategy (2012)
  • Homeless Prevention Strategy (2017)
  • Empty Homes Strategy (2011-2016)
  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment (re-fresh 2017)

National Context 

This Strategy has been compiled during a period of considerable change at national policy level. Its contents reflect the new legalisation and policy guidance contained in the recent Acts of Parliament, particularly:

  • The Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016
  • Homeless Reduction Act 2017

These Acts will have a significant impact on a wide range of service areas, and also on the Council’s medium to long term financial planning and investments. This is further to earlier significant changes to Welfare (Welfare Reform Act 2012) which forced working age tenants to face a housing benefit shortfall for under-occupation of their home, generally referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’. This currently affects 880 tenants across Bassetlaw, of which 744 are council tenants. In response to this the Council has and will continue to support any tenant wishing to downsize so that they are no-longer subject to a benefit shortfall. However, we recognise that we are limited by the stock that is available, as are most Local Authorities across the country.

Regional Context

Geographically Bassetlaw is placed in two regional areas for growth and economic prosperity:

D2N2 - Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Bassetlaw is included in the D2N2 Growth Plan and will continue to identify opportunities to realise residential growth.

North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw Housing Market Area

Housing market areas were identified on the basis of functional relationships, rather than single Local Authority administrative boundaries. This led to a growing emphasis on working within defined sub regional housing market areas.

Bassetlaw, along with North East Derbyshire, Bolsover and Chesterfield were identified as a Housing Market Area (HMA) in 2005. The designation recognised that the four Local Authorities face many similar issues. Our local economies and housing markets are influenced by the larger urban areas of South Yorkshire to the north, and to the south the cities of Nottingham and Derby

Sheffield City Region Social & Affordable Housing Compact 2016 Local Authorities, Arm’s Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) and Housing Associations across the Sheffield City region are committed to working collaboratively to ensure we can continue to deliver high quality homes that are affordable to all, including the most vulnerable in society, and that those homes are located in balanced, sustainable communities In total nine Local Authorities, four ALMO’s and 29 Housing Associations are working together as part of the Sheffield City Region Compact; the aim is to create a coordinated approach on all matters associated with social and affordable housing. The SCR Compact wants to drive forward the agenda for low cost home ownership and help the City Region meet its targets for new housing supply.

The Local Context - Bassetlaw District Council

The Council owns a total of 6777 properties across 49 Parishes. This includes: 586 two bedroomed houses; 2056 three bedroomed houses; 125 four bedroomed and 2 five bedroomed properties. There are a total of 2442 bungalows available for senior citizens: 1 three bedroomed; 1452 two bedroomed, and; 944 with one bedroom. In addition there are 1319 flats, 234 of which are designated for pensioners. There are also a range of specialist homes which have been adapted for the physically less able. 

The Council’s Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO), A1 Housing, manages all the properties on behalf of the Council. As part of the Decent Homes programme they have completed works in 6500 properties to ensure HIGH quality of living standards for Council tenants.

The highest demand, as indicated in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, is for 2 bedroomed bungalows, and 3 bedroom houses across all areas. This is confirmed by the bidding history for current Council stock.

Since 2004 a total of 665 properties have been sold under the Right to Buy. To help sustain the availability of affordable rental properties the Council is currently entering phase 4 of building 78 new Council homes in Harworth, and will deliver an extra care scheme at Abbey Grove which will provide 51 new units.

To better understand demand for accommodation the Council intends to subscribe to the Hometrack market analysis service to aid further development planning and site viability assessments.

The Bassetlaw District Council Council Plan 2017-2020 sets out the Council’s ambitions for Bassetlaw.

The Housing Strategy will play a key role in ensuring Bassetlaw can realise its vision of Enhancing Home and Place. How we will do this is set-out in the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan.

The Core Strategy and Emerging Bassetlaw Plan

The current Core Strategy was adopted in 2011 and sets out the planning framework for the District. It takes into consideration the wider social, environmental and economic demands of the area, including the housing needs to be addressed through future delivery.

The Core Strategy provides the overall spatial strategy, setting out why change is needed, how it is going to happen, and the provisions made for the supporting infrastructure with the basic principles and policies that will steer development and the use of land.

Work is underway to replace the current Core Strategy with a new Local Plan, to be called The Bassetlaw Plan. The first public consultation on this took place in the autumn 2016, with the intention of adopting the new Plan in 2019.

Neighbourhood Planning

Bassetlaw District Council is committed to recognising community ambitions for planned growth. A significant number of Neighbourhood Plans are currently being developed across Bassetlaw. These plans are drawn up by local communities and seek to set locally specific planning aims and policies. These policies include seeking the delivery of new housing to address locally defined aspirations for a mix of housing types to meet the needs of local communities. This positive move of community-led housing growth is continually encouraged and the Council is wholly supportive.

The Challenges faced in Bassetlaw

The key challenges for housing in Bassetlaw are:

  • High demand for family accommodation and 2 bedroomed bungalows across all areas of Bassetlaw;
  • More homes are needed to assist existing Council tenants who are subject to an under occupation benefit shortfall to downsize;
  • The low average household income in Bassetlaw rules out home-ownership for many, placing greater pressure on renting in both the private and social rented sector;

How Strategic Housing is helping

To help deliver the new homes that Bassetlaw needs the Housing Strategy will support the Core Strategy and emerging Bassetlaw Plan to:

  • Encourage maximum delivery of affordable housing, to targets set within the Core Strategy and Affordable Housing SPD and Neighbourhood Plans, across the district on eligible new build sites;
  • Direct plans for growth so that they are linked to plans to increase economic growth and prosperity;
  • Work with partners in the region to ensure we have the combined capacity and skill to enable growth, and a commitment to delivering the infrastructure which ensures growth is sustainable;
  • Provide advice to developers, housing providers and landowners to help realise ambitions for sites;
  • Work with planning colleagues and partners to ensure that people of all ages and circumstances have equal opportunity to access market, affordable and social housing solutions which meet their needs and aspirations;
  • Explore avenues for funding to encourage investment for residential growth;
  • Investigate alternative models of housing delivery to meet the District’s needs;
  • Advising the Development Team on demand for land from parties interested in building their own home by maintaining the custom or self-build register, to facilitate land matching from the Land Availability Assessment.

What Bassetlaw is already doing:

  • The Council is engaging with the NHS to ensure the emerging Accountable Care System (ACS) recognises the impact of poor housing on health while showing how local health services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years;
  • The first round of public consultation on the emerging Bassetlaw Plan will propose what targets the Council should set for building new housing over the next 15 years, and how the Council can achieve those targets through the planning system;
  • The Council has completed a Call for Sites exercise and is currently completing its Land Availability Assessment to assess what land might be available for future housing development, and other land uses.

Consultation on the Draft Plan is anticipated in Spring 2018.

The Council has completed a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2014), this is currently being re-freshed and will ensure that the latest demographic information is available.

Housing Strategy Objectives & Priorities

The objective of this Strategy is to set-out how the council will support the availability of good quality homes which best meet the needs of the current and future residents of Bassetlaw. The specific Strategic Priorities are recognised to be the key housing issues drawn from the current Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Strategic Priority 1: Providing Affordable and Social Rented Homes

Those aspiring to home ownership will be supported by Government incentives such as Help to Buy, Starter Homes, Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy and the first time buyer ISA which could make home ownership a reality for some. However, we recognise that the average household income for a Bassetlaw family is below the national average, and is likely to make home ownership unachievable for many. We also know that renting can often be a preferred choice as it offers greater flexibility and less commitment than homeownership.

We will:

  • In principle support planning applications for new residential developments which deliver the policy requirement of affordable housing;
  • Encourage the development of homes for social rent on new residential development sites;
  • Consult the market to better understand demand for future development to enable greater movement within stock;
  • Drive the delivery of Council housing to meet current demand (family accommodation and ground floor living).
  • Allocate our Council housing to those in greatest need.

Strategic Priority 2: Improve the Quality of Private Rented Accommodation

The Council recognises the important role that the private rented sector in Bassetlaw plays in meeting housing demand. We know that this sector has grown by 180% since 2001, and now represents 15% of the market share in Bassetlaw. We also know that this sector has experienced a 53% turnover which shows a level of instability, and uncertainty for tenants. 

We want:

  • A better understanding of who our private rented sector partners are;
  • Good quality housing delivered through the private rented sector;
  • To identify problem areas and consider the options for the delivery of Selective Licencing Schemes;
  • Greater stability for tenants;
  • Landlords that provide the homes that residents need;
  • To bring privately-owned empty homes back into use.

Strategic Priority 3: Independent Living for our Ageing and Vulnerable Population.

Housing that can best meet the changing needs of occupants will ensure residents can enjoy a home that enables independence and the health and wellbeing benefits that this will bring. We expect the number of households with support needs to increase by 4,000 over the 18 years to 2031. We also expect a large increase, of 49%, in the number of households with persons of pensionable age (6,200 households). 

We want:

  • Tailored consultations of ageing and vulnerable groups to better appreciate aspirations and demand;
  • To continue to offer support and adaptations for households to remain living in their homes, where this is the most appropriate solution for them;
  • Work with partners through the Health and Wellbeing Board to deliver appropriate support either as through DFGs or tailored schemes;
  • To encourage the development of Extra Care Schemes and bungalows in areas of high demand.

The actions to support all of the Key Priorities are set-out in the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan.

Delivery

In accordance with Bassetlaw District Council’s new Council Plan (2017 to 2020) the Housing Strategy supports the ambition: Enhancing Home and Place. This Strategy will be delivered in collaboration with key services across the council. This holistic approach ensures the skills and experience of services across the council are coordinated to deliver on the key priorities of the Housing Strategy.

Resources

The services which contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Priorities include:

  • Strategic Housing
  • Environmental Health
  • A1 Housing, the Council’s stock managing ALMO
  • Housing Needs, Homeless Prevention and Homelessness
  • Planning Policy
  • Development Team
  • Regeneration
  • Benefits and Revenues
  • Communications
  • Corporate Management

Delivery Plan

The Delivery Plan is designed to be a working document which will focus activity around the key areas which will help to address the issues identified throughout the life of the Strategy.

The specific actions which contribute to the aims of the Housing Strategy will be captured and measured as they emerge onto a more detailed plan which is held and coordinated by the Strategic Housing Team.

An annual Housing Strategy Progress Report will highlight the key achievements, and how they are helping to address the issues that the Strategy seeks to address.

Housing Strategy Delivery Plan

Strategic Priority 1: Providing Affordable and Social Rented Homes 

Ref Requirement How we will do it
1.1 In principle support planning applications for new residential developments which provide affordable housing Request Affordable Housing requirements are set-out in legal agreements prior to permission being granted for new sites, in-line with relevant Planning Policy and demand profile information available. Develop guidance for developers to ensure maximum delivery of agreed affordable housing numbers on sites.
1.2 Encourage the development of homes for social rent on new residential developments. Provide information to assist developers in designing schemes which offer products needed for registered providers to meet social demand in individual areas. Monitor the availability of Homes and Communities (HCA) funding for social rent, and provide information within planning consultation comments to support feasibility to deliver new homes Support the delivery of residential sites by proactively seeking interest and supporting developers with advice throughout the planning process. Contribute to the development of Neighbourhood Plans.
1.3 Consult the market to better understand the demand for future development to enable greater movement within stock Establish links with local estate Agents and Letting Agents to share and analyse information on client supply and demand.
1.4 Ensure that we can provide Council stock to meet current demand Assess options for ensuring that Council housing stock is relevant to the needs of the market today, and in the future.
1.5 Allocate Council Housing to those in the greatest need Agree a local definition of ‘need’ to underpin the new Allocations Policy and letting of council accommodation. Ensure all Council tenants receive appropriate support and assistance to sustain their tenancy. Review and update the BDC Allocations Policy to reflect the shared principles of the Sheffield City Region Social Housing Compact, and the changes resulting from the Housing and Planning Act 2016 including ‘Flexible Tenancies’. Review and update the BDC Tenancy Strategy to reflect the aims of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Flexible Tenancies). Review and update the Council’s Homelessness Strategy to ensure those unintentionally Homeless continue to receive the support they need to find a new home.

Strategic Priority 2: Improvement the Quality of Private Rented Accommodation

Ref Requirement How we will do it
2.1 Good quality housing in the Private Rented Sector Increase awareness of Landlord Accreditation Schemes through publicity and events. Publicise the number of Landlords that we know to be accredited and seek to offer free marketing via Homefinder for landlordaccredited properties available for let. Continue to offer reduced Licensing rates for Accredited Landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). Identify problem areas relating to demand, anti -social behaviour and quality of accommodation with a view to Selective Licensing for Private Landlords. Use new powers to tackle to ‘rogue landlords’ enabled by the enactment of the Housing & Planning Act 2016.
2.2 Greater stability for Tenants Continue to offer homeless prevention advice to support tenants and landlords to address concerns which threaten security of tenure. Ensure the length of a new tenancy, following the implementation of the Housing & Planning Act 2016(Flexible Tenancies), is fairly and individually determined to ensure tenants can enjoy a home that meets their present needs. Investigate all models of housing delivery Investigate alternative approaches to housing management assistance.
2.3 Landlords that provide the homes needed by the residents of Bassetlaw Provide information and advice on opportunities arising from new legislation and /or HCA funding streams to attract investment in existing and new homes for private rent. Consult Landlords through an annual survey to uncover concerns. Investigate the need for hosting a Private Landlord Conference to provide advice and information to Private Landlords.

Strategic Priority 3: Independent Living for the Ageing & Vulnerable population

Ref Requirement How we will do it
3.1 Understand housing aspirations and demand to inform the emerging Bassetlaw Plan Conduct consultations with older and disabled groups, and healthcare providers. Identify barriers to groups which restrict or inhibit their ability to secure accommodation that meets their needs.
3.2 Help vulnerable households to remain living in their homes, where this is the most appropriate solution for them Continue to administer the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), and partners at the Health and Well Being Board to deliver appropriate support


Equality Impact Assessment 

A full Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out which has determined that this Strategy is fair, and impacts positively on all groups.

 

 

 


Last Updated on Thursday, August 13, 2020