Agenda item

Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS), 2021-2026.

This report seeks Cabinet approval of the first BCP Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS) 2021-2026. This is an ambitious strategic programme that will potentially invest £233 million into meeting local housing needs. The capital budget and funding for this delivery strategy will require specific Council approval, to be sought annually each year as part of the annual budget setting process.

The separate BCP Council Housing Strategy, which is part of the Key Policy Framework set out in Article 4 of the BCP Council Constitution will also be put before Cabinet on 29 September 2021 and full Council for consideration at its meeting in October 2021.  The CNHAS will help deliver this.

The report sets out in detail a 5-year vision, strategy, standards, specific sites and required resources for the direct delivery of appropriate new homes on BCP Council owned land, building on and scaling up in-house development activity significantly compared to the last few years.

CNHAS will deliver much needed homes for the BCP area and is a responsive strategy to: -

·       The Council’s Corporate Plan Dynamic places aim of building at least 1,000 homes on council owned land across a 5-year period of a mix of tenure types. 

·       BCP’s Housing Strategy 2021-2026 growth priorities.

The new build programme includes: -

1.    a diverse range/typology of 1300+ houses, flats, bungalows & shared unit property types on 24 BCP sites developed through a variety of procurement routes for both permanent and move-on accommodation supported by a programme of street acquisitions.

2.    a diverse range of housing tenures, predominantly affordable (up to 65%)- rent, shared ownership, discounted sale and market (at least 35%) -discounted and full rent with nominal sale units being provided-.

3.    a programme approach is adopted – projects developed in parallel rather than singularly- one after another - this helps achieve pace and scale and secure better value for money.

4.    BCP’s Housing Delivery team’s direct delivery, ensuring control and confidence, on potentially 33 BCP sites

5.    yearly Council approval of programmes of projects to ensure both an effective contribution to the diverse housing needs identified within BCP and in an efficient and timely manner for marketplace confidence.

The CNHAS builds on existing activities by purchasing up to 250 new (to BCP) units of accommodation through expanding the activities of the Homeless Housing Acquisition programme which included approved spend of £44.7M for the purchase of existing properties for homelessness (Cabinet 11/9/2018). 

This strategy seeks approval to extend this programme in line with the Seascape 5-year Strategic Plan buying additional street properties and renting them within the council and via the wholly owned company Seascape Homes and Property Limited for both permanent & move-on type accommodation Market rent & affordable tenures.  The homes will be let to homeless households, care experienced young people (CEYP) and those existing & potentially new residents, simply wanting good quality full market rental properties- enabling a long-term investment opportunity for BCP.

CNHAS allows for the purchase of additional land for development into Council ownership where appropriate, making use of an existing £300k feasibility budget (2021/22) to do the necessary due diligence on ‘harder to reach’ & potential new sites becoming available.

CNHAS is a strategy and operational delivery plan working in tandemwith BCP’s proposed New Approach to Regeneration. Refer para 22.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Homes presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'J' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was informed that this report sought Cabinet approval of the first BCP Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS) 2021-2026, and that this was an ambitious strategic programme that will potentially invest £233 million into meeting local housing needs with the capital budget and funding for this delivery strategy requiring specific Council approval, to be sought annually each year as part of the annual budget setting process.

Cabinet was advised that the separate BCP Council Housing Strategy, which is part of the Key Policy Framework set out in Article 4 of the BCP Council Constitution had also been put before Cabinet today and that it would be put to full Council for consideration at its meeting in November 2021, and that The CNHAS will help deliver this.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the report sets out in detail a 5-year vision, strategy, standards, specific sites and required resources for the direct delivery of appropriate new homes on BCP Council owned land, building on and scaling up in-house development activity significantly compared to the last few years, and that the CNHAS will deliver much needed homes for the BCP area and is a responsive strategy to: -

·       The Council’s Corporate Plan Dynamic places aim of building at least 1,000 homes on council owned land across a 5-year period of a mix of tenure types. 

·       BCP’s Housing Strategy 2021-2026 growth priorities.

The new build programme includes: -

1.    a diverse range/typology of 1300+ houses, flats, bungalows & shared unit property types on 24 BCP sites developed through a variety of procurement routes for both permanent and move-on accommodation supported by a programme of street acquisitions.

2.    a diverse range of housing tenures, predominantly affordable (up to 65%)- rent, shared ownership, discounted sale and market (at least 35%) -discounted and full rent with nominal sale units being provided-.

3.    a programme approach is adopted – projects developed in parallel rather than singularly- one after another - this helps achieve pace and scale and secure better value for money.

4.    BCP’s Housing Delivery team’s direct delivery, ensuring control and confidence, on potentially 33 BCP sites

5.    yearly Council approval of programmes of projects to ensure both an effective contribution to the diverse housing needs identified within BCP and in an efficient and timely manner for marketplace confidence.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that the CNHAS builds on existing activities by purchasing up to 250 new (to BCP) units of accommodation through expanding the activities of the Homeless Housing Acquisition programme which included approved spend of £44.7M for the purchase of existing properties for homelessness (Cabinet 11/9/2018), and this strategy seeks approval to extend this programme in line with the Seascape 5-year Strategic Plan buying additional street properties and renting them within the council and via the wholly owned company Seascape Homes and Property Limited for both permanent & move-on type accommodation Market rent & affordable tenures.  The homes will be let to homeless households, care experienced young people (CEYP) and those existing & potentially new residents, simply wanting good quality full market rental properties- enabling a long-term investment opportunity for BCP.

It was highlighted that CNHAS allows for the purchase of additional land for development into Council ownership where appropriate, making use of an existing £300k feasibility budget (2021/22) to do the necessary due diligence on ‘harder to reach’ & potential new sites becoming available, and that CNHAS is a strategy and operational delivery plan working in tandem with BCP’s proposed New Approach to Regeneration.

The Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board addressed the Cabinet advising that at their recent meeting there had been a good discussion on this item and a Board member had requested that specific reference be made within the CNHAS concerning the need for good outside space to be included as part of new developments, and that Cabinet approve an amendment to the CNHAS document at section 2.8 with the following highlighted wording:

…This objective will require the incorporation of good design quality – externally and internally, sustainable principles – not just from an energy and carbon perspective but future proofed so that an appropriate number of homes are flexible in their uses, as a commitment to the diversity of BCP residents.

Specifics are set out in annex 2, including 10 Characteristics of well-designed places – such as a home’s outside space, and the properties fabric first & ventilation focus being on:…

In relation to this the Portfolio Holder for Homes advised that the comments from the Board had been taken into consideration and will be incorporated into the strategy.

RECOMMENDED that: -

(a)           the principles and expected outcomes for the 5-year CNHAS as summarised in this paper and set out in the Appendix 1 be approved;

(b)           the proposed programme governance, which requires Council approval (including capital budget approval) for each year of the 5-year programme as part of the annual budget setting process be approved;

(c)           Council approves the extension of the principles and funding for the current Homeless Housing Acquisition Programme to also include homes for Care experienced young people (CEYP) & homes at market rent;

(d)           Council approves an increase in the capital budget of up to £5.6 million for the capital schemes already underway and within the 5-year plan, the details of which are set out in the Appendix 2 (exempt);

(e)           Council approves that the Chief Operating Officer is authorised to approve necessary appropriations and contractual and legal agreements in consultation with the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer - such as a Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) linked to an appropriate construction Budget, the details of which are set out in the Appendix 2 (exempt); and

(f)            Council approves that the Section 151 Officer is authorised in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance to determine the detailed funding models in respect of Appendix 2 (exempt).

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Homes

 

Supporting documents: