4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 15th November, 2007, at 3.00 pm in the Council Chamber, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:   

  • J. Queenan,
  • M. Baker,
  • V. Cawley,
  • I. Henry,
  • J. Leonard,
  • D. Bree

APOLOGIES:

  • F. Brannigan

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Ms D. Clarke, Director of Services
  • Ms J. Burns, Acting Administrative Officer
  • Ms M. McConnell, Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr M. Ryan, Acting Senior Executive Engineer
  • Mr B. Gavin, Project Manager
  • Ms M. Brennan, Estate Management Officer
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 19th APRIL 2007:

Proposed by J. Leonard
Seconded by J. Queenan

AND AGREED

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 19th April, 2007 be and are hereby approved.”

NEW NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY STATEMENT “DELIVERING HOMES COMMUNITIES”

Ms M. McConnell, SEO outlined the main actions of the new Policy Statement which was launched by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in February of this year.

The actions include:

  1. Building Sustainable Communities
  2. Housing Need, choice and responsibility
  3. Improving the effectiveness of delivering the housing programme.

Councillor J. Leonard thanked Ms McConnell for her detailed report.  He also wished to pay tribute to the administrative and technical staff in the Housing Section for their work on the scheme in Carrigans.

IMPLEMENTATION OF REVISED HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT PROCESS:

A report on this item was circulated to the members at the meeting.  Ms J. Burns, Actint Administrative Officer outlined the main changes that will occur with the revised process.

After a brief discussion it was agreed that a presentation would be brought before the Council Meeting on the revised process.

HOUSING ADAPTATION GRANT SCHEMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY:

A report on this item was circulated to the members at the meeting.  Ms J. Burns, advised members of the new criteria for grants. She advised that the Housing Aid for the Elderly Scheme would be administered by the Council as opposed to the HSE as and from 1st April, 2008.

Members expressed concern regarding funding for the grants taken over from the HSE.

RENTAL ACCOMMODATION SCHEME:

A report was circulated at the meeting on this item. Ms M. McConnell outlined to members the meaning of RAS, why it was introduced and the benefits of it.

ESTATE MANAGEMENT:

Ms Marie Brennan was introduced as the new Estate Management Officer.  Ms Brennan indicated that she had visited the various housing estates in the county in order to encourage tenants to take a more proactive role in maintaining their estates.

All the members wished Marie the very best in her new role.

Councillor Bree advised members that he had been contacted by the Simon Community regarding their efforts to provide a Tenant Support and sustainment service to three Local Authorities in the North West.  In response, Director Clarke informed the members that they had met with Simon on a number of occasions in relation to their proposal and were assisting them in their efforts. 

However, it was pointed out to the meeting that Focus (Ireland) who have recently established a local office in Sligo were providing this service free of charge to both Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council.

It was agreed to hold a meeting of the Homeless Forum in the near future.

UPDATE ON BALLINODE PPP PROJECT:

Mr Bartley Gavin, Project Manager, circulated a report to the members at the meeting.

Mr Gavin advised that the project is scheduled to deliver up to 500 units on a 37 acre site, comprising a mixture of private, affordable, social and voluntary housing.  He also advised that a community centre, play area, nature-park and commercial units will be included in the development.  It is also hoped to develop an 8 class room primary school site in the development.

UPDATE ON LIBRARY PROJECT FOR SLIGO:

Mr Gavin circulated a report to the members at the meeting.

Mr Gavin advised members that Architects were engaged to undertake a review of the site of the existing library at Stephen St and to establish if a facility of the extent required would be accommodated on the Stephen St site and if so toset out a proposed form for the building.

He further advised that the Architects found a number of difficulties because of the nature and constraints of the site.

The members agreed that the best course of action would be to re-investigate Model and Niland site.


It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in February, 2008.

The meeting concluded at 4.55 pm.


 


Meeting Date 15/11/2007