Proposals for problem housing block published

Proposals for problem housing block published

Overslade House which was deemed unsafe last August and those living in it were shipped out en masse after an inspection by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue

Overslade House – Design & Access Statement

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Northampton Council procure accommodation in excess of 200% the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rate

Northampton Council procure accommodation in excess of 200% the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rate

 

Temporary Accommodation in Northampton
Households in self-contained temporary accommodation will be charged a weekly rent that is equivalent to 150% of the relevant April 2018 Northampton Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rate.

Problem with this is the council have procured a supply with rates ranging from 220% to over 265%

 

The Council has procured a supply of self-contained, nightly-purchased accommodation in Northampton, all of the suppliers of self-contained, nightly-purchased temporary accommodation have agreed to charge the council the following standard nightly charges:
1-bedroom home: £38 per night (£266 per week) =265.87% LHA
2-bedroom home: £45 per night (£315 per week) =249.39% LHA
3-bedroom home: £52 per night (£364 per week) =260.30% LHA
4-bedroom home: £59 per night (£413 per week)=220.69% LHA
5-bedroom home: £66 per night (£462 per week) =246.87% LHA

 

The case for building council homes is;

1-bedroom home: (£75.38 per week) =75.34% LHA
2-bedroom home: (£90.80 per week) =71.89% LHA
3-bedroom home: (£97.56 per week) =69.77% LHA
4-bedroom home: (£108.41 per week) =57.93% LHA
5-bedroom home: (£108.73 per week) =58.10% LHA

 

 

The relevant April 2018 Northampton Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rate.

1-bedroom = £100.05
2-bedroom = £126.31

3-bedroom = £139.84
4-bedroom = £187.14
5-bedroom = £187.14

 

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The financial COST of the Council’s growing reliance on expensive Bed and Breakfast accommodation

Challenges on temporary accommodation and homelessness budgets…

 

Phil Harris, Head of Housing and Wellbeing advised (January 2018) that over the last two years homeless applications to the Council has doubled, in the same period, households in temporary accommodation has trebled and social housing has decreased which has led to an increase in those in temporary accommodation. The Housing Officer’s caseloads has significantly increased which in turn had increased the number of outstanding decisions.

For example, Officers had around 50 cases outstanding (the norm being 15); the backlog had increased and by September 2017 had peaked at 200 plus, with 150 families in temporary accommodation. The number of people living in bed and breakfast accommodation had trebled; with a number living outside the borough. An action plan was produced and 130 decisions were outsourced to a Residential Group that had helped to relieve the pressure.

From September to December 2017, homeless applications had decreased from 205 to 66. Housing Officers caseloads reduced from 59 to 18 and the average wait time to see a Housing Officer reduced from 4 weeks to a few days. Further statistics were provided. This approach, through a series of Policy changes, had worked very well as it had reduced the backlog, reduced workloads etc. The Team is coping much better now BUT COST is a challenge. Funding from central Government is only a fraction of the actual cost to the Authority.

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Labour should press the government to reopen the 2012 council housing ‘debt settlement’

Labour should press the government to reopen the 2012 council housing ‘debt settlement’

 

Local authority Housing Revenue Accounts are suffering a financial crisis as a result of extra ‘debt’ imposed on them in 2012 and government policies since then which have resulted in a significant loss of income. The signatories (of which I’m one)to this Appeal are calling on Labour to urgently press the government to reopen the council housing ‘debt settlement’ of 2012 and to cut the debt in line with income lost as a result of government policies.

 

See attachment for more of the detail Labour should press the government to reopen the 2012 council housing debt settlement

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Housing security time bomb ticking for 1,661 Northampton council households

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How Northampton Council culled the housing register….from 10,000 to 3,000

How Northampton Council culled the housing register….from 10,000 to 3,000

The pen and willing voting fodder is mightier than building homes for people on a housing waiting it seems

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Are Northampton Borough Council using a loophole in homelessness legislation?

Are NBC using a loophole in homelessness legislation?

London councils skirt six-week rule for homeless families

Homeless families are being housed for protracted periods in council-owned properties, Inside Housing has discovered, in conditions that would be illegal if their temporary accommodation was privately owned.

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/london-councils-skirt-six-week-rule-for-homeless-families-54132

What Northampton Defend Council Housing would be interested to know is are NBC making use of loophole in homelessness legislation?

Norman Adams said “what I do know is in November 2017 the council was using 65 of its own properties for temporary accommodation”

Norman Adams – Northampton – 25 January 2018

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