Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Management Board
Thursday, 8th August, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Room 1P09, City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Corrina Haskins  Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

26.

Welcome, Introductions and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies for absence were reported from Councillors Paul Smith and Jo Sergeant.

 

27.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the Housing Management Board of 28 May 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

28.

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on 2 August 2019.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on 7 August 2019.

 

Please note, your time allocated to speak may have to be strictly limited if there are a lot of submissions. This may be as short as one minute

 

Minutes:

There was no public forum.

 

29.

Report back from Bristol Homes Board pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Minutes of the previous meeting are attached.

Minutes:

Pete Daw confirmed that he was unable to attend the previous meeting of the Bristol Homes Board on 20 June due to illness.

 

The Board noted the minutes of the meeting and the following issues were raised:

 

Discretionary Licensing

In response to a question about how many people had disagreed with the proposal for discretionary licensing and how many thought the cost was too high, the Director of Housing and Landlord Services confirmed that he did not have this information available, but that more people had been supportive of the proposal (47%) than had disagreed.  In response to further questioning about why the scheme only covered 20% of private rented accommodation, he replied that although some Councils opted for blanket charging, Bristol City Council did not do so as it was difficult to cover and inspect all areas and more efficient to target the worse conditions. 

 

30.

2018/19 Performance and 2019/20 Performance Scorecard pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services introduced the report and confirmed that the two performance tables were in a different format, the information from 2018/19 was a more traditional amalgam of different reporting mechanisms, whilst for 2019/20 he was looking to move to a smaller balanced scorecard of indicators.  He confirmed that the data was split between 4 quadrants, Business Excellence; Customer Service; Finance and People and the performance indicators matched the quadrants. 

 

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services responded to questions and comments as follows:

2018/2019 Performance Data:

  • In relation to DGR372 “Maximise the rent income to housing delivery (total debt outstanding)” What was the impact of universal credit?

Those in receipt of universal credit had a higher level of debt than those who were not.

  • In relation to BCP352b “Reduce the number of people sleeping rough on a single night in Bristol”

Did the reluctance of landlord to take pets have an impact?

A lot of landlords were willing to take pets as it made financial sense to do so.  He considered that the biggest issues were the lack of landlords and the high cost of rent.

Did the opening of St Anne’s House have an impact on reducing the number of rough sleepers?

This did have an impact in 2018/2019 but this reduction needed to be replicated in 2019/20 and there was a new early intervention scheme “The Rapid Rehousing Pathway services” a set up Hub for those new to the streets with access to private rental sector accommodation and support.  Tenants commented that there were other schemes such as the Bristol Quakers initiative.

 

2019/2020 Target Data:

  • It would be useful if the Housing Management Board could feed into the process in the future by recommending targets for inclusion.
  • A commentary to explain why particular targets seem overly optimistic or pessimistic would be helpful;
  • It would also be useful to see the percentages in relation to performance indicators and targets;

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services responded that he was looking to produce graphs and charts to accompany the information.

 

31.

Estate Security pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

1.       

Estates Security Project – Presentation

 

The Head of Estate Management gave a presentation on the Estates Security Project which had been set up to increase safety for Bristol City Council (BCC) residents living in high and low rise blocks of flats:

 

Membership:

  • BCC officers, tenants, leaseholders, involved tenants, police and chaired by Councillor Jama.

Initial work: To understand:

·         What the issues are;

·         What we currently do;

·         What others are doing;

·         What are the options and associated cost.

Progress

  • Confirmed membership of the group;
  • Tour of sites/blocks across the city;
  • Building a current situation of issues;

Common Themes

  • Varying levels and types of anti-social behaviour in blocks including drug dealing and taking (city wide); rough sleeping in bin rooms/stairwells (in central area); Graffiti (prevalent around Dove Street).

Partial Closure Orders

        Used to restrict access to premises as a means of tackling Anti-Social Behaviour;

        Being piloted in Easton (Lansdowne Court and Croydon House);

        Will make the blocks a safer and more pleasant place for residents and staff alike and help reduce crime and disorder;

        The order will be in place for 3 months with the possibility of extending it by a further 3 months;

        A new initiative for BCC and the Police;

        Regular meetings will be held to monitor before extending to other blocks.

Next Steps

  • Inaugural Estate Safety meeting in September;
  • Develop plan with working group – identify quick wins;
  • Monitor success of partial closure orders with a view to roll out to other blocks;
  • Publicise positive outcomes.

 

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services and Head of Estate Management responded to the following questions raised by Board Members:

 

How did the project come about? Who are the members and how were they chosen?

·         The issue of estate security had been consistently raised as a concern at the Area Forum meetings;

·         Tenants and leaseholders were contacted about the project but others were welcome to join if they were interested; 

·         Councillor Jama had volunteered to chair the project as there were a lot of estate security issues within her ward.

 

Would sheltered housing also be included?

This type of accommodation would be looked at too.

 

There was a pilot project in London which evicted families involved in gang related crime.  Would Bristol look at doing the same?

This could be considered but it was difficult to pin down gang related crime.

 

How often would the members of the Project be meeting?

Meetings would be held monthly to keep the momentum going.

 

What is the timescale?  What is the role of the Board in the project?

The Project was ongoing and the Board would be updated regularly.

 

The following comments were also raised by Board Members:

  • Many tenants missed the local housing officers and their role in dealing with local issues;
  • It  would be useful if the Fire Service could be involved in the project as well as the police;
  • Upgrading street lighting was a key issue in improving estate security;
  • Pete Daw expressed an interest  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Moving Forward Together pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Tenant Participation Officer gave an update on progress since the previous meeting on the consultation on Housing and Landlord Services “Moving Forward Together” which was looking at the service with a view to determining what it should be doing, what it should be like and how services should be delivered:

  • There had been 7 large staff events involving over 850 staff led by the Housing and Landlord Management Team;
  • Procurement documents had been drafted to enlist specialist expertise to support resident engagement and a budget approved;
  • The Leadership Factor (TLF) had been appointed as the provider to carry out the telephone research resident’s survey;
  • An article had been published in Housing News inviting tenants to get involved;
  • All of the comments from staff and tenants would be put together and considered;

 

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services confirmed that this had been an exciting and positive project which had been well received by staff and he hoped that tenants would be engaged in responding. In response to questioning, he confirmed that TLF had experience of working with other housing organisations and were competitive in terms of price.  He confirmed that there were no resources to carry out the telephone research in house.

 

33.

Any Other Business pdf icon PDF 191 KB

1          HMB Deputy

2          Our Consumer Regulation Review - report circulated for information

 

Minutes:

1.         HMB Deputy

 

The Board discussed if it was necessary to elect a Vice Chair to support the Chair and the Tenants Participation Officer confirmed that training in chairing skills was available for tenants and leaseholders who were interested.  It was agreed that in the event of the Chair not being available, someone could stand in to Chair a meeting without this being a formal resolution and Pete Daw confirmed that he would be happy to do this, if required, for the next year.  

 

2.         Our Consumer Regulation Review

 

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services drew attention to the new requirements including the recommendations from the Hackitt Review of Fire Safety in tower blocks and the need for a named individual and an additional level of consumer standard.

 

3.         Climate Change/Recycling and Waste

A tenant referred to the climate change movement and the recent Quality of Life survey which indicated that Bristol residents were concerned about climate change and asked if it was possible to measure how much each household was sending to landfill.  Other Board Members commented that this was difficult in some accommodation where bins were shared or access to recycling rooms were restricted and not accessible to disabled residents.

 

The Director of Housing and Landlord Services undertook to raise this with the relevant Council Director and also stated that the Council was always trying to improve the carbon footprint in relation to its own buildings.  He reported that Alex Minshull (Sustainable City and Climate Change Manager, BCC) was advising Council Departments on how to reach the target of Bristol becoming a Carbon Neutral City and could attend a future meeting of the Housing Management Board.

 

4.         Forward Planning

The Chair confirmed that he was working on a forward plan with Sarah Spicer (Business Planning and Service Director Manager) and a way of taking issues forward.  He offered an open invitation to ask Board Members to input into the agenda of future meetings.

34.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 21 November 2019

Minutes:

Thursday 21 November 2019