EXECUTIVE BOARD

DATE: 29TH JULY, 2019

 

SUBJECT:

BUILDING MORE COUNCIL  HOMES- OUR AMBITION AND PLAN OF ACTION

Purpose:

The purpose of this report is to set out our transformational plan to deliver over 900 new Council homes over the next 10 years. This delivery plan follows on from the presentation to Full Council in February 2019.

The report will:

·         provide the detail on where and when these homes will be built;

·         identify the resources available and the delivery models that will be used;

·         show how we will support wider regeneration priorities across the county; and

·         demonstrate how we will maximise new opportunities as they arise.

 

As a result of this plan, we will deliver the greatest increase in the number of Council homes in the county since the 1970’s and return our housing stock levels to those last seen in the 1990’s.

Recommendations/Key Decisions Required:

 

1. To re-affirm the key delivery principles for the Council new build programme, aligning with our successful Affordable Homes Delivery Plan;

2. To agree the range of delivery models that will be used to build over 900 new Council homes, enabling us to offer a variety of housing options in different areas of the County;

3. To confirm that the new Council homes will be delivered using the affordable housing action areas developed as part of the Affordable Homes Delivery Plan;

4. To agree the priority phasing structure to be used to determine when the new build sites will be developed;

5. To confirm the criteria to be used to move developments from Phase B and Phase C into Phase A; and

6. To agree the first three year delivery programme for building new Council homes in the county, investing over £53m and creating over 300 new Council homes.

 

 


 

Reasons:

·         To ensure that we have a robust plan in place to meet our ambition to build over 900 new Council homes over the next 10 years;

·         To ensure that we meet the diverse needs of our communities across the County and that the new homes are delivered in all action areas;

·         To provide clarity around the delivery programme, based on clear criteria;

·         To ensure that the detail around the first three years of the delivery programme is confirmed; and

·         To ensure the programme remains dynamic and flexible, by re-stating our priorities on an annual basis.

 

Relevant scrutiny committee to be consulted :   YES – Community Scrutiny Committee –

                                                                                    2nd July, 2019

EXECUTIVE BOARD/COUNCIL/COMMITTEE:

Scrutiny Committee Recommendations/Comments:

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED to recommend to the Executive Board that:

1. the key delivery principles for the Council new build programme, aligning with our successful Affordable Homes Delivery Plan be re-affirmed;

2.  the range of delivery models that will be used to build over 900 new Council homes, enabling us to offer a variety of housing options in different areas of the County be agreed;

3.  that the new Council homes will be delivered using the affordable housing action areas developed as part of the Affordable Homes Delivery Plan;

4. the priority phasing structure to be used to determine when the new build sites will be developed;

5. the criteria to be used to move developments from Phase B and Phase C into Phase A; and

6. the first three year delivery programme for building new Council homes in the county, investing over £53m and creating over 300 new Council homes be agreed.

 

Exec Board Decision Required                     YES – 29th July, 2019

Council Decision Required                            YES – 11th September, 2019

 

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER PORTFOLIO HOLDER:-

Cllr. Linda Evans (Housing Portfolio Holder)

Cllr David Jenkins (Resources)

Directorate

Communities

 

Name of Head of Service:

Jonathan Morgan

 

Report Author: Rachel Davies

 

Designations:

 

Head of Homes & Safer Communities

 

Providing More Homes Lead

 

Tel Nos./ E Mail Addresses:

 

JMorgan@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

(01267) 228960

 

Ramdavies@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

(01554) 899202

 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

EXECUTIVE BOARD 

DATE: 29TH JULY, 2019

 

SUBJECT:

BUILDING MORE COUNCIL  HOMES- OUR AMBITION AND PLAN OF ACTION

 

1.  The purpose

 

The purpose of this report is to set out our transformational plan to deliver over 900 new Council homes over the next 10 years. This delivery plan follows on from the presentation to Full Council in February 2019.

The report will:

·         provide the detail on where and when these homes will be built;

·         identify the resources available and the delivery models that will be used;

·         show how we will support wider regeneration priorities across the county; and

·         demonstrate how we will maximise new opportunities as they arise.

 

As a result of this plan, we will deliver the greatest increase in the number of Council homes in the county since the 1970’s and return our housing stock levels to those last seen in the 1990’s.

2. The context

 

Providing more affordable homes has been a key strategic priority for the Council for a number of years. We published our five year vision for increasing the supply of affordable homes in 2015 and, in 2016, we set out our first ambitious programme to deliver over 1000 additional affordable homes across the County.

We are now in the fourth year of delivering affordable homes. The first three years have been very successful with nearly 700 homes delivered, ensuring that we are well on course to reach our 1000 homes target.

The delivery of affordable homes to date has been achieved by using a variety of solutions including buying private sector homes, supporting landlords in the private rented sector with our innovative Social Lettings Agency and bringing empty homes back into use.

It was always anticipated that over time, we would need to provide even more affordable homes to meet the actual housing need in the County. As a result, and to ensure that we were in a position to deliver more homes, we have been continually looking at opportunities to deliver an ambitious new build programme.

 

 


 

3. Building over 900 new Council homes

 

The result of this work has enabled us to develop an ambitious programme that will deliver over 900 homes with a 10 year investment programme of nearly £150m.

 

We achieved this by:

 

·         Prudent financial management;

·         Setting up our Local Housing Company, Cartrefi Croeso;

·         Maximising external funding opportunities, including Affordable Housing Grant, Innovative Housing Programme Funding and Self-Build Wales;

 

4. Our approach and delivery models

 

Our new build programme will align with the principles of our successful Affordable Homes Delivery Plan. This will mean that we will:

 

·         Deliver homes in the areas of greatest  housing need, with housing solutions based on the needs of the particular area e.g. more low cost home ownership in rural areas;

·         Deliver more homes for  general needs households as well as specialist housing meeting specific housing need e.g. assisted living schemes for learning disabilities, mental health and older people’s housing;

·         Deliver mixed tenure developments where possible;

·         Provide homes in areas with good transport links and easy access to facilities;

·         Support the wider strategic regeneration priorities across the County;

·         Be flexible enough to take advantage of external funding opportunities;

·         Be clear on our delivery timescales as soon as they are known; and

·         Allow us to design and build Council homes that are future proofed and maximise the potential of assistive technology and telematics.

 

Our homes will also be built using a range of delivery models, including:

 

·         Developing homes directly, building on the success of the 48 homes already on site at Dylan and Garreglwyd;

·         Taking on board the pending recommendations of the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Review that will potential give the Council access to Social Housing Grant funding and the range of housing options this will present;

·         Commissioning homes through Cartrefi Croeso and supporting the company’s overall offer on individual developments;

·         Developing homes to support wider strategic regeneration priorities throughout the county, including town centres and rural areas;

·         Developing partnerships with private developers where appropriate and maximising the affordable housing offer on developments;

·         Working in collaboration regionally with other LA’s and Housing Associations;

·         Making best use of the Section 106 affordable housing planning obligations on private developments;

·         Utilising the new WG Self Build Wales model, encouraging the delivery of self-build homes in the County.

 

Recommendation 1

·       To re-affirm the key delivery principles for the Council new build programme, aligning with our successful Affordable Homes Delivery Plan.

 

Recommendation 2

·         To agree the range of delivery models that will be used to build over 900 new Council homes, enabling us to offer a variety of housing options in different areas of the County.

 

5. Where will our homes be built?

 

The delivery of our new build programme will follow the affordable housing action areas developed as part of the Affordable Homes Delivery Plan. Four action areas were created by building up wards in the County into distinct areas, which link geographically and culturally.

 

The four action areas are:

·         Carmarthenshire Rural and Market Towns;

·         Ammanford and the Amman Valley;

·         Carmarthen and the West; and

·         Llanelli and District.

 

A financial summary is provided in Appendix 1A.

Recommendation 3

·         To confirm that the new Council homes will be delivered using the affordable housing action areas developed as part of the Affordable Homes Delivery Plan.

 

6. When will our homes be built?

 

Our new build Council development programme has been developed using a delivery phasing structure. The phasing structure reflects when the homes will be built and is based on a number of factors, including the likely timescales for delivery.

The programme has three priority phases and the investment for each priority phase is shown in Appendix 1.

 

·         Phase A developments are ready for delivery with funding in place (Appendix 1B).

·         Phase B developments are reserve schemes which will be developed in the future (Appendix 1C).

·         Phase C developments are aspirational schemes that required more detailed investigation (Appendix 1D).

 

The phasing structure is explained in more detail in the main report.

 

 


 

 

Phase B and C developments will move up into priority Phase A when all site information is complete and funding is confirmed, subject to an assessment of the following criteria:

 

1.    Meets housing need;

2.    Supports our wider strategic priorities;

3.    Supports future Cartrefi Croeso developments;

4.    Has the potential to attract external funding; and

5.    Deliverability within the defined timescales

 

It will be important to ensure that the phasing structure operates with maximum flexibility, allowing us to bring in further developments as opportunities arise and replace existing developments if, for some reason, they are unable to proceed.

 

The programme will also be reviewed annually and our priorities re-stated to make sure it continues to be dynamic to deliver what is needed.

 

A monitoring framework is also being developed with appropriate governance arrangements.

 

Recommendation  4

 

·         To agree the priority phasing structure used to determine when the new build sites will be developed.

 

Recommendation 5

 

·         To confirm the criteria to be used to move developments from Phase B and Phase C into Phase A.

 

7.     What will our Council new build programme look like for the first 3 years?

 

During the first three years of the programme over 300 new Council homes will be built with a total investment exceeding £53m. The investment is currently made up of £44m HRA capital funding and £9.3m of external grant funding.

The level of funding is, however, likely to increase as more grant funding becomes available from Welsh Government.

The detailed three year investment programme is shown in Appendix 1B (Council New Build – Phase A Developments)

The homes will be delivered in all affordable housing action areas as shown in the map, using a range of housing solutions reflecting the needs of our communities.

 

 

 

 

Map 1 - 374 Council homes to be delivered in the first 3 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAP KEY

1 - Gwynfryn, Ammanford

2 - Garnant

3 - Nantydderwen, Drefach

4 - Maesgriffith, Llansteffan

5 - Assisted Living Scheme

6 - Carmarthen West

7 - Brynderi, Pontyates

8 - Meidrim, Trelech

9 - Land at Alltwalis School

10 - Land opposite Llangadog School

11 - Dylan, Bynea

12 - Garreglwyd, Pembrey

 

13 - Llangennech

14 - Pentref Gardd, Burry Port

15 - Llanelli, Town Centre

16 - Station Road, Llanelli

17 - Assisted Living Scheme

18 - Wellness Village Llanelli  (Assisted Living)

 

Recommendation 6

 

·         To agree the first three year delivery programme for building new Council homes in the county, investing over £53m and creating over 300 new Council homes.

 

8.  Delivering a lasting legacy

Our new build programme is ambitious and exciting. It will deliver the greatest increase in the number of Council homes in the County since the 1970’s. It will also:

·         improve health and well-being by providing high quality homes for some of the counties most deprived families;

 

 

 

·         stimulate the local economy, creating local jobs, training opportunities and maximising the benefits of housing based regeneration;

·         enable us to develop a social responsibility policy that will set targets around apprenticeships and employment and look at innovative ways in which these can be delivered;

·         create sustainable communities, places where people want to live now and for generations to come; and

·         Complement the variety of housing options that will be delivered by Cartrefi Croeso (e.g. low cost home ownership), which will further significantly increase the number of affordable homes.

 

Maps of all developments in the three Phases, by action area, are provided in Appendix 2.

Appendix 3 highlights our commitment to delivering our services in a sustainable way as outlined in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

DETAILED REPORT ATTACHED?

 

YES

 


IMPLICATIONS

 

 

I confirm that other than those implications which have been agreed with the appropriate Directors / Heads of Service and are referred to in detail below, there are no other implications associated with this report :

 

Signed:      Jonathan Morgan  Head of Homes and Safer Communities                               

 

Policy, Crime & Disorder and Equalities

 

Legal

Finance

ICT

Risk Management Issues

Staffing Implications

Physical Assets 

YES

YES

YES

NONE

YES

YES

YES

 

1.    Policy, Crime and Disorder and Equalities

The approach being proposed is an evolvement of our Affordable Homes Delivery Plan, agreed by Full Council in 2016.

 

2.    Legal

None at this stage, however, any services that need to be bought in to assist with the delivery plan will be subject to the Council’s procurement procedures.

 

3.    Finance

The delivery of the proposed 10 year investment programme will be subject to the availability of sufficient financial resources. This will include borrowing through the HRA Business Plan and external funding opportunities.

 

The £53m required to deliver 374 homes during the first three years of the programme has already been confirmed in the 2019/22 HRA Business Plan (£44m HRA Capital, £4.6m Affordable Housing Grant, £4.7m Innovative Housing Programme Funding).

 

The finance implications’ accurately reflect our current position i.e. 3 year programme as detailed in the business plan/MRA submission to Welsh Government and is funded. Our aspirations are to source additional external funding and borrowing to deliver a long term programme.

 

4.    Risk Management

Failure to deliver the programme will mean we will not meet affordable housing needs in future years.

 

There is also the risk of lack of capacity in the building industry to deliver the new homes. We are seeking to mitigate this through including the Council’s and partners’ proposed pipeline of housing developments within the tender documentation for the £1bn 2020-2024 South West Wales Regional Construction Framework. The Framework is about to be tendered and includes Cartrefi Croeso, registered social landlords and all public sector organisations across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. This Framework arrangement will also enable early engagement and appointment of contractors to deliver the anticipated projects.

 

 

 

5.    Staffing

Additional resources are being identified to assist in delivering the programme

 

 

6.    Physical Assets

The new build investment programme will result in an increase in the number of homes in the Council’s Housing stock.

 

CONSULTATIONS

I confirm that the appropriate consultations have taken in place and the outcomes are as detailed below

 

Signed:     Jonathan Morgan Head of Homes and Safer Communities

 

1. Scrutiny Committee – The report was considered by the Community Scrutiny Committee on 2nd July, 2019.

2.Local Member(s) 

Will be engaged as part of the consultation and delivery process.

3.Community / Town Council

Will be engaged as part of the consultation process on each development.

4.Relevant Partners 

Will be engaged as part of the delivery process.

5.Staff Side Representatives and other Organisations 

Will be engaged as part of the delivery process.

Section 100D Local Government Act, 1972 – Access to Information

Background papers used in the preparation of this report include:

THESE ARE LISTED BELOW

Title of document

File Ref No.

Location that the file is available for public inspection

Our Commitment to Affordable Homes 2015 – 2020

 

www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales – County Council meeting of 14th October, 2015 – Item No. 10.3

Affordable Homes Delivery Plan 2016 – 2020

 

www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales – County Council meeting of 10th March, 2016 – Item No. 13

Carmarthenshire Homes Standard Plus Business Plan 2019/2022

 

www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales -  County Council meeting of 20th February, 2019 – Item No. 9.4