Report by Service Lead – Affordable Housing (attached).
The Committee considered a report by the Service Lead – Affordable Housing (circulated previously), regarding Funding to Deliver Affordable Housing via Community-Led Housing Models.
The Service Lead – Affordable Housing highlighted the following:
· There were eight formal Community Land Trusts in North Devon with two Parishes considering becoming Community Land Trusts.
· This gave the opportunity to provide around 141 affordable homes led and driven by local people in small communities.
· Government had not renewed the Community Housing Fund and so other ways of funding this initiative had to be found.
· The Community Land Trusts network, Middlemarch, Officers of North Devon Council and Team Devon had all been lobbying Government to continue funding. A discussion had taken place with a Housing Minister who recognised the importance of Community Land Trusts to deliver housing and ways the Government could tackle the loss of funding.
· £3.8 million would be the total required sum to borrow to complete the remaining 8 projects in the pipeline
· Table 1 at paragraph 5.1 of the report listed the 8 future projects that required funding.
· Table 2 of the report detailed the potential revenue and capital sources available to fund future projects which totalled £611,602.
· Officers would continue to work on identifying funding sources and report this back to a future committee meeting.
Councillor Pearson re-declared an “other registrable” interest and left the room after she had addressed the Committee.
In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:
· The 67% drop in available privately rented accommodation had not changed.
· If you looked at a map showing where the Community Land Trusts were you would find a big cluster in North Devon. This was testament to the hard work by the teams to get them up and running.
· The loss of available accommodation to rent was not all as a result of holiday homes but also due to Landlords leaving the market.
(a) the allocation of £611,602 from funding sources as outlined in section 5, table 2 of the report be approved for the delivery of additional new build social rents delivered through community-led housing models across North Devon, namely:
(i) Parracombe build costs gap-funding alongside Registered Provider/Homes England funding as set out in 4.9.1 of the report; and
(ii) Ilfracombe build costs contingency alongside Registered Provider/Homes England funding and Brownland Release Fund as set out in 4.9.1 of the report.
(iii) One year of set-up grant of £600 for each of the 9 Community Land Trusts/parishes in the community-led housing pipeline;
(iv) The residual balances of capital and revenue funding available as set out in section 4.10 of the report be used to help further schemes progress be noted;
(b) Officers continue to work to support the formation of Community Land Trusts in the North Devon community-led housing programme and continue to identify funds available to progress their work;
(c) When the identified Community Land Trusts in the North Devon community-led housing programme were in a position to proceed, further reports come back to Committee if additional funding was required, outlining the level of support available;
(d) Negotiations with Devon County Council commence regarding establishing a joint funding pot for community-led affordable housing using the Devon County Council element of funding from the potential Council Tax levy on second homes; and
(e) Council approve to vary the Capital Programme by £520,985 and funds be released, subject to a Grant Agreement upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed by the Proper Officer and Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer.