4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 19th June, 2008 at 4.00 pm in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • J. Queenan,
  • M. Baker,
  • V. Cawley,
  • C. MacManus,
  • D. Bree,
  • I. Henry
  • S. Boles,
  • C. Fitzgerald,
  • E. Haran

APOLOGIES: 

  • F. Brannigan


OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Ms D. Clarke, Director of Services
  • Ms. B. Conway, Administrative Officer
  • Ms. O. Campbell, A/Senior Staff Officer
  • Mr. B. Gavin, Project Manager
  • Ms. M. Healy, Clerical Officer
  • Ms. A. Monaghan, Clerical Officer


MINUTES OF MEETING OF 17 APRIL 2008: 

Proposed by J. Queenan
Seconded by C. MacManus

And agreed

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 17th April, 2008 be and are hereby approved.”

MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES: 

Cllr. V. Cawley asked that the Rent Supplement issue be scheduled with HSE for the next meeting to discuss decisions on rent supplement and the affect it is having on the community.

POLICY FOR HOUSING OF VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 

Ms. D. Clarke introduced Niamh and Grace from DVAS who made a presentation to SPC with a view to introducing a policy and implementing a strategy to provide better services for victims of domestic violence who may find themselves homeless.

Proposal: Regional Planning Committee (RPC) would like to set up a sub-committee and agree a time limit and nominate a representative from SLA to take part to implement guidelines to front-line staff in relation to assessment of need and risks of those who find themselves homeless due to domestic violence.
 
Much discussion ensued and it was agreed that Sligo would participate on the proposed sub committee.  Ms D. Clarke agreed to discuss the appropriate representation with the Housing Officer and revert back to DVAS with the nominees from both Local Authorities by the requested dead line of 30th June 2008.
 
Members present commended the DVAS on the work done and stated that mid-term and transient housing remains a problem and needs to be addressed. 
 
Clarification was sought on the current composition of the Regional Planning Committee on Domestic Violence Against Women and this was outlined by the DVAS representatives
 
The DVAS representatives were sincerely thanked for their attendance and presentation.  The SPC would be kept informed of progress of this sub committee.

PROGRESS REPORT ON GRANT SCHEMES 

A report was circulated and Ms. D. Clarke gave an overview of the new grant schemes:

  1. Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme for People with a disability
  2. Mobility Aids Housing Grant Scheme
  3. Housing Aid for Older People Scheme

Ms Clarke pointed out that there is a significant shortfall in funding from the Department in relation to the allocation for 2008. The Department have been asked to review Sligo’s allocation to meet current shortfall.
 
Due to the current shortfall and the number of grants already approved (including Disabled Persons Grants & Essential Repairs Grants from 2007), Ms Clarke indicated that she had no alternative but to cease processing any further applications under the Schemes for 2008 pending a response from the Department.

HOMELESS FORUM 

A report proposing the re-establishment of the Homeless Forum was circulated.  It was noted that the National Homeless Strategy was soon to be published by the Department of the Environment.  The Housing Officers for both Borough & County are to progress with the seeking of nominations from the Forum and will revert back to the SPC with the list of nominees at a later date.

ASSESSMENT OF NEED 

A report on the recent Assessment of Need that was undertaken by both Local Authorities was circulated.  The report outlined the process involved and the revised figures on the waiting list for housing need in both local authorities.

Ms. D. Clarke outlined the process that was undertaken and an analysis of results would take place to prioritise those still on the list which should be available by the Autumn. She stated that a review of the Scheme of Letting Priorities may be needed.

From the revised assessment it would now be appropriate to review and revise our Scheme of Lettering Priorities.


MUSEUM PROJECT 

Mr. B. Gavin outlined progress on the Museum project and the funding already received from the ACCESS programmes and also applications for funding from various other sources.
 

It was agreed that the next SPC meeting would be mid to end of September 2008 at a date to be decided

The meeting concluded at 5.30pm
 


Meeting Date 19/06/2008