Decision details

Lambeth Housing Management Services

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decisions:

(Report 14/15-175) (Key decision)

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report:

·           The report confirms the decision taken pre-Christmas 2014 and updates residents, following sessions at Tenants and Leaseholders Councils, which both the Cabinet Member and Deputy Member for Housing have attended.

·           There were three main areas: resident control, resident engagement (historically with low levels of satisfaction); and, service integration (especially given centrality and overlap with council services).

·           Resident control: there were a broad range of responses; with a high level of interest in having a say in future development, procurement, and selection/oversight of contractors.  There was a need for a flexible response to accommodate this range of views over the estates.

·           Resident engagement: 1744 responses (representing 6.5% of total), but 70-71% had never heard of Tenants or Leaseholders Council – which was a concerning statistic as that was main area for Lambeth Council to gain views.  There was a need to improve engagement and a more targeted approach, especially with regards postal letters, was needed.

·           Service integration: it was fairly clear that health and social care were seen as the most important services and jointly comprised the majority of responses. Community safety and anti-social behaviour, and the environment (bins, recycling, fly tipping, etc.), were also seen as important services.

·           It was noted these areas were not for decision tonight, but for when housing management is brought back at the end of June.

 

Cabinet Members made the following comments:

·         The Cabinet Member for Children and Adult Social Care was pleased that the report went some way to quantify views on social/care services; as there was a suspicion that a large number of cases were in council homes.  It was noted that there was still much to do, especially in early intervention; and that recommendation 4 needed to include the social care agenda, which formed an important part of council’s role and momentum would need to be maintained in the jobs agenda and care leavers housing protocol to support this. It was asked whether the table on page 22 represented the percentage of tenants as one vote per household and when a breakdown of the results (especially of persons with disabilities) might be available.

·         The Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability praised the report for addressing various concerns, noting how property affects health, wellbeing, feelings to neighbours, through to children’s education. She was content that these proposals would improve the way we interact with tenants and reshape how housing works, whilst providing a vehicle to listen to resident’s views.

·         The Deputy Leader (Policy) also praised the report, but there was a question of inequalities arising; as well as the limited amount of information to go on; as part of the reintegration this needed to be improved.

·         The Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said it was a valuable report, and was useful to see residents sharing the council’s priorities.  He noted that social care was key and that prioritising housing management would help assist with mental health residents; allowing the council’s front-line staff to get to those living away from care – instead of reliance on neighbours and the community.  He also noted that anti-social behaviour often resulted when support to live independently is not present.

 

In response to questions and comments, officers stated that:

·         The survey was put together by just asking people, so it was hard to see whether it was answered on a multi-household or individual basis. It was realised that responses would be limited and acknowledged the need for more data; for which they were talking to Lambeth Living and other initiatives in the borough.  It was noted as crucial to have the right information on property databases, so that the council are aware of these needs and where these were located.

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That Lambeth Living, the housing management service, be reintegrated back into the Council on 26th June 2015, subject to the need for any short term extension to the management agreement necessary to ensure a smooth and stable transition back to the Council.

 

2.    That the coproduction and consultation work with tenants and leaseholders as set out in the report was noted.  All residents have been consulted on the future of the housing management service currently managed by Lambeth Living and will continue to be involved in shaping the future model for housing management.

 

3.    That Lambeth Living will be reintegrated back into the Council and the company dissolved, its responsibilities taken back on unless otherwise stated in the report.

 

4.    That Lambeth Council will engage with Lambeth Living staff to get feedback on the housing management service which will help shape the future of Lambeth’s Housing Management service as part of the coproduction process.

Report author: Lynette Peters

Publication date: 17/04/2015

Date of decision: 13/04/2015

Decided at meeting: 13/04/2015 - Cabinet

Effective from: 25/04/2015

Accompanying Documents: