To provide Housing sub-committee with details of changes to the Affordable Homes Programme and provide an update on delivery of affordable homes in 2021/22 and plans for 2022/23.
The sub-committee received a report which provided details of changes to the Affordable Homes Programme and an update on the delivery of affordable homes in 2021/22 and plans for 2022/23.
By the end of 2021/22 it was expected that 1,916 affordable homes would have been delivered as part of the affordable homes programme, including 573 homes directly delivered by the Authority. This represented a 135% improvement on the ten years prior to the programme starting.
The Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-25, agreed by full Council in September 2021, had increased the affordable homes delivery target from 3,000 (as set in October 2013) homes to 5,000 homes and confirmed a commitment to reduce the number of derelict properties across the borough. To meet this challenge, the homes would be delivered in two phases.
Phase one would see the delivery of a further 2,000 affordable homes bringing the phase one total to 4,000 by 2032. This would include the delivery of a ten-year Housing Revenue Account (HRA) plan that would deliver around 350 new Council homes, utilising new technology to reduce carbon emissions, supporting the Authority’s work in response to the climate emergency declaration.
The sub-committee was informed that Phase two of the plan would consist of several workstreams to deliver the additional 1,000 homes, including:
· Identifying potential ‘windfall’ opportunities for both the Authority and private developers;
· Exploring the potential of brownfield sites that could be used to provide new affordable homes;
· Increasing the number of derelict properties that are brought back as affordable homes; and
· Further increasing the delivery of affordable homes through the North Tyneside Trading Company Limited
In 2021/22, 266 new affordable homes were delivered. A full breakdown of the overall delivery programme was appended to the report. The Authority, through the HRA, had built 12 new homes and converted 11 empty homes into 7 affordable homes in 2021/22.
The Authority had continued to bring back derelict and empty homes for use as affordable homes. This included targeting long-term properties and working with owners struggling to maintain their rental properties. In 2021/22, 8 long-term empty properties were returned to use as affordable homes by the Authority.
It was highlighted that the Authority continued to work closely with Registered Providers and Care Providers to identify opportunities to meet housing need in the Borough. One of the examples of this was the completion of 50 affordable homes by Riverside Housing on the site of West Chirton industrial estate, North Shields. The homes were a mix of affordable rent and intermediate affordable housing.
The largest volume of homes within Phase One of the programme would be delivered by private developers who were subject to ever changing market conditions. The decisions on when to bring forward large sites for development was not within the Authority’s direct control and the affordable homes programme was heavily reliant on the strategic sites at Murton Gap and Killingworth Moor coming forward. In 2021/22 a total of 54 new homes had been delivered across North Tyneside by private developers.
It was noted that the North Tyneside Trading Company Limited, through its subsidiary company Aurora Affordable Homes, currently had plans in place to increase its asset base to 100 affordable homes in 2022/23 as part of Phase One of the Affordable Homes Programme.
It was expected that 275 affordable homes would be delivered in 2022/23. The delivery programme for 2022/23 was appended to the report.
A member asked if the Authority was ambitious in purchasing properties to add to its own stock. It was explained that the Authority was not currently actively looking to purchase property but was committed to bringing derelict properties back into action. The North Tyneside Trading Company, which was separate from the authority, was purchasing properties. It was clarified that any property bought by the Trading Company would not be subject to Right to Buy, whereas properties owned by the Authority under the HRA were subject to Right to Buy, unless the property fell into one of the exempt categories. Information was sought in relation to how many Right to Buy completions there were each year. The officer in attendance agreed to circulate this data to sub-committee members. It was also requested for information to be circulated on the number of empty properties in the borough and how this compared with previous years.
The Chair thanked the officer for the information provided.
It was agreed to note the progress of the delivery of the programme to date and the anticipated delivery going forward.