Agenda and draft minutes

SCR - Housing Board - Thursday, 2nd July, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting of the SCR Housing Board. 

 

Apologies for absence were noted as above. 

2.

Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda

Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business

Minutes:

None.

3.

Urgent items / Announcements

Minutes:

None.

4.

Public Questions of Key Decisions

Minutes:

None.

5.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Minutes:

It was agreed that the minutes of the previous meeting are an accurate record and may be signed by the representative of the Head of Paid Service, subject to the following amendment at minute 2 (in bold):-

 

That Councillor Furness declared a non-pecuniary interest in the matters to be considered at item 8 by virtue of being a Director of the Bradwell Community Land Trust.

6.

SCR Housing Review - Outcomes of Phase 1 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was presented detailing the outcomes from initial work on the SCR Housing Review.  The report requested the Board to provide initial comments on the Review and support further consultation being undertaken over Summer to inform a proposed response to the Review recommendations for consideration by the MCA in the Autumn.

 

The Board was reminded that they had been tasked by the Mayor with overseeing the development of a SCR Housing Review.  Overall, the Review was intended to take a fresh look at housing across the city region, with no pre-defined ideas or assumptions.  It sought to address some of the more open-ended questions on housing and develop findings and recommendations that can be used by the Mayor, the Combined Authority and individual districts to support the delivery of the right housing, in the right places, and of the right quality and price for local communities.

 

Think Tank Respublica was commissioned to undertake the work and offer a fresh perspective and new insights on the issues being considered by the Review.  An independent Advisory Panel was also established to inform the Review.

 

The Board received a presentation from Respublica covering the headlines from their work on the Housing Review. 

 

The Board was informed that, Part 1 of their Review was an evidence based approach which highlighted that:

 

·         the local housing markets are broadly well balanced, however, affordability and quality was still a barrier to many;

·         social mobility was being restricted; and

·         economic performance was being compromised.

 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was noted that some households would be even more at risk due to tenants being employed in insecure jobs.  Some regions and sectors would see more severe economic contractions.  Additionally, there was a risk of “Urban Flight” to suburbs and demand for “traditional homes”. 

 

The presentation stated that there would also be big opportunities with regards to a new political settlement and potentially a “Homes Fit for Heroes” programme.  There would need to be a re-thinking of city and town centres and greater value placed on public space and quality design. 

 

Part 2 of the Review focused on “moving forward” which defined six separate “propositions” all under-pinned by a single message on housing devolution. 

 

The presentation expressed that there was now a case for devolved housing funds, due to the struggle of attracting private investment on many sites and the City Region and local political priorities not being met through existing funding mechanisms. 

 

The “ask” of Government would be for a “devolved delivery agreement” for housing to 2025.  Together with an agreement on allocation of housing (and infrastructure) funds and a South Yorkshire wide strategy to ensure outcomes are delivered. 

 

The presentation provided Members with a detailed overview on the following 6 propositions as follows:-

 

·         Proposition 1 – Densifying Urban Areas

·         Proposition 2 – Housing Investment Fund

·         Proposition 3 – Private Rental Schemes

·         Proposition 4 – Design & “The Right to Beauty”

·         Proposition 5 – Spatial Planning

·         Proposition 6 – Net Zero Homes and Renewal

 

The Board  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

SCR MMC Audit: Eco-System and Opportunity Report pdf icon PDF 124 KB

– Initial Finding and Recommendations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received to introduce the emerging initial findings from the ‘SCR MMC Audit: Eco-System and Opportunity Report’, for the Board’s discussion.

 

Members were reminded that, at the Housing Board meeting on the 29th August 2019 the Board agreed with the need to promote Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for housing within the City Region to meet the SCRs strategic objectives.

 

Three strands of work were discussed at this meeting, which had been further developed:

 

·           Working with neighbouring Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas with similar MMC aspirations, to understand and explore matters of mutual interest.

 

·            Working with Housing Directors to explore the opportunities and benefits for creating a SCR MMC aggregated pipeline of schemes to support the promotion of MMC at scale.

 

·           Developing a meaningful and informed shared ‘model local authority policy for MMC’ across the SCR.

 

The Board noted that, in order to scope the regional MMC position, the consultants Cast and Arcadis were commissioned in March 2020 to prepare a report on the SCR MMC Eco-System and Opportunities.

 

This report explores:

·            The potential size of the future MMC market;

·            The existing supply-chain and manufacturers;

·            Research and development / innovation opportunities; and

·            Skills – what is required, and could it be delivered through our existing further Educational providers?

 

The Board received a presentation from Cast and Arcadis which provided a summary of the initial findings and emerging recommendations contained within the draft report. 

 

In summary, the following key points were noted:-

·           Manufacturing in construction is key to the post-Covid-19 recovery and there is broad Government support for MMC growth. 

·           27,000 MMC homes were delivered in 2019, estimated to support 6,400 jobs across the UK.

·           Based on cautious assumptions, the MMC sector could double in size over a decade, directly creating: 7,000 jobs and more than £1bn of GVA nationwide.

·           The SCR benefits from a strong contingent of construction supply chain businesses, a number of which are supplying the MMC sector nationally and have expanded to meet demand.

 

Members noted and supported the emerging eight recommendations, recognising that these were still in the early stages of development. 

 

D Gillespie stated that in comparison to the current capital costs, an uplift was required on the MMC provision.  She considered that as the project could be delivered much more quickly, it had the potential to provide some of the housing association partners and PRS operators with the ability to bring in rental yields more quickly, particularly where developed at scale on larger sites.  She referred to the interventions specifically within the Homes England’s portfolio, whilst acknowledging that it would not be possible for them to act on their own in relation to the leverage of shift within the market.  If it was agreed to progress with the project, then Homes England would be keen for collaborative working in the short term on the practical opportunities together with the longer-term pipeline as part of the recovery plan.

 

Councillor Cheetham referred to the visit made to Kelham Island to observe the MMC housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Housing Board Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes:

The Housing Board Forward Plan was presented for the Board’s information.

 

RESOLVED – That Board Members noted the contents of the Forward Plan. 

9.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

No further matters were raised.