Agenda item

Housing Strategy

To agree the Council’s Housing Strategy 2023-28 and its accompanying delivery plan.


In moving the amended recommendation, Mayor Jason Perry, stated that the updated version of the strategy tabled for consideration by Council, reflected the changes following discussions with opposition colleagues. The strategy was based on recent changes and the Housing Transformation Plan agreed last year and it also solidified long, term housing improvement objectives, focused on key priorities, such as keeping neighbourhoods clean, improving the repair service, stamping out anti-social behaviour, enhancing neighbourhood safety and ensured the Council’s compliance with the regulator of social housing consumer standards.


Councillor Stuart King, speaking in support of the recommendation, stated that the Labour Group amendment, had sought successfully to strengthen the strategy by setting out explicit and clear commitment to consult on options for the introduction of a landlord license and scheme on either a borough, wide or a selective, targeted area basis. He expressed gratitude to the Liberal Democrat and Green Councillors for their support.


Councillor Chrishni Reshekaron welcomed the strategy and advised the Council could review how homelessness and housing applications from survivors of domestic violence could be supported and the quality of services offered improved. She expressed concerns at the lack of engagement from private tenants during the consultation.


Councillor Ria Patel stated that although houses in the borough were unaffordable, and efficiency could be improved, that the strategy would help drive forward the transformation that the housing service desperately needed. She argued that the strategy did not deliver a meaningful plan with clear, measurable and scrutinised progress and did not mention how the strategy would be reviewed,


She welcomed the inclusion of the climate emergency in the amendment but felt it did not go far enough. She stated that the Greens would have wanted to see the housing strategy layout, the standards for new bills being passive house standard, considering operation energy costs and embodied carbon or new building. And buildings should not be demolished. Refurbishment must be prioritised, and buildings must be brought up to modern standards, reflecting the need for adequate modern fire and safety measures.


Demolition should be a truly last resort. The Council should work with housing associations and private animals to ensure that they are also delivering the housing standards required.


Councillor Lynne Hale, statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Homesspeaking in support of the recommendations stated that the strategy set out how the Council intended to respond to the challenges of ensuring that existing housing stock in both the private and social housing sector were well managed and safe, and that residents with genuine housing needs were adequately supported. She said that significant progress such as the adoption of a residence Charter, progress with the Regina Road regeneration plans and the launch of a new repair service had been made in closing, she said the process had involved considerable consultation and thanked officers and Members for their hard work and contributions.


Mayor Jason Perry, exercising his right of reply stated that the strategy which was a key part of the exit strategy for the Improvement and Assurance Panel, had always focused on the private rented sector and the Council’s statutory duties as a local authority and it was important that residents form a key part of Croydon’s improvement journey. He asked cross party support for the strategy to ensure the lives of residents across the borough were improved in the years to come.


The recommendations as set out in the updated version of the Housing Strategy were put to the vote and it was RESOLVED: to agree the updated Housing Strategy 2023- 2028.


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