Issue - meetings

Resident Involvement in Housing Scrutiny Commission Report

Meeting: 06/06/2016 - Cabinet (Item 5)

5 Resident Involvement in Housing Scrutiny Commission Report pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report 248/16-17

 

Key decision

All Wards

 

Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

Cabinet Member for Housing: Councillor Matthew Bennett

 

Contact: Mark Howarth, Governance & Resident Engagement Manager mhowarth@lambeth.gov.uk; and, Neil Vokes, Programme Director, Housing Regeneration 020 7926 nvokes@lambeth.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett, and Councillor Mary Atkins, co-chair of the Housing Scrutiny Commission, introduced the Report and noted:

·           it represented a huge amount of work over a significant period of time and contained 62 recommendations, along with an Action Plan and officer response;

·           the decision to bring Lambeth Living back in-house was made in 2014,a  survey of residents took place in which only 37% of tenants and leaseholders rated engagement as satisfactory;

·           the Commission ran in parallel to consulting residents on plans for future resident engagement as a separate process looking at best practice for the future; and,

·           the recommendations were aimed at making residents and leaseholders central to processes and improvements of housing-related works and services, but was not about changing specific policies;

·           it doubled as a learning experience for Lambeth and was research- and evidence-led and based, and had both professional and resident input;

·           certain recommendations were not ground-breaking and focused on culture change and basic tasks, but it was hoped being codified would help effect change and mitigate the frustrations of residents;

·           recommendation one held the work together, enshrining cooperative co-regulation and putting officers in residents’ shoes, representing a cultural shift that empowered residents through coproduction, recognising there were no blanket policies for all, and that a range of structures was needed to facilitate resident involvement;

·           it had become clear when receiving evidence on structures and processes that an outcome-based approach was more important than structure, as flexibility was wanted;

·           the report highlighted the rigorous use of evidence and value for money; and,

·           the Action Plan would continue housing management improvements and would be monitored by resident involvement structures, Housing Management and OSC.

 

Cabinet next heard from Stephen Gyte, Chair of Leaseholders’ Council and Chair of the North Lambeth Area Leasehold Forum; and Malcolm Baker, member of Tenants’ Council and of the Housing Scrutiny Commission:

·         the Chair of Leaseholders’ Council had not been invited to speak to the Commission;

·         the Action Plan was commendable and contained some good points;

·         the resident involvement survey from Tenants’ Council (11 May 2016), which related to the proposals put forward in the October Cabinet report as opposed to the commission’s recommendations, only had 51% in support of the changes and a third did not know enough to comment, whilst the low response rate (6.5%) highlighted a lack of endorsement;

·         Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ Councils sent their own surveys to tenants and residents associations (TRAs) and 84% said they did not support the changes proposed in October’s report;

·         there was a lack of detail of how the proposed bodies would function;

·         Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ Councils executives were keen to work with the Council, but felt they and key resident representatives should have been involved from the beginning, and did not reflect well on the Council’s wish for co-production;

·         it was stated that Leaseholders’ Council suggested many of the proposals when aiming to achieve better value for money on major works;

·         it was unclear to many representatives why the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5