4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development
Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on 14th December 2011 at 3pm in The Council Chamber, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo
- G. Mullaney,
- J. McDonagh,
- H. Rochford Brennan,
- J. Leonard,
- M. Fleming,
- J. Queenan
OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:
- Ms. D. Clarke, DOS
- Ms. O. Campbell, A/Housing Officer
- Ms. D. Finnegan, A/Assistant Staff Officer
- S. Boles,
- T. McDaid
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 18TH JULY, 2011
Proposed by J. Queenan
Seconded by M. Fleming
“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 18th July, 2011, be and are hereby approved.”
Members agreed to take Item 6 first on the Agenda.
EXTENSION OF MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICES:
Members received a tour of the Mobile Library Unit by the County Librarian. The mobile facility is capable of housing 4,000 different volumes of books and also has access to the internet. Areas of the County that are peripheral to existing branch libraries will be visited on a regular basis by this Mobile Library. Areas in West Sligo,North Sligoand South of the County will be considered as well as some of the housing estates where elderly residents may be living. The location and times of the Mobile Library will be available on the Council website. Funding of €56,000 was received from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to fund this facility.
ASSESSING ELIGIBILITY FOR SOCIAL HOUSING SUPPORTS (SOCIAL HOUSING ASSESSMENT REGULATIONS, 2011 AS AMENDED):
The A/Housing Officer outlined the new regulations in relation to assessing eligibility and the need for social housing which came into effect on 1 April 2011. Report circulated to Members. Applicants can now only apply to one Housing Authority. Applications must be completed in full and adhere to a set of national income thresholds also.
The A/Housing Officer answered queries by Members and was complemented on the detailed report submitted.
POLICY ON TRANSFERS:
A policy on transfers was devised and put in place during 2011, as a consequence of the increased costs being incurred by those who apply and are successful in obtaining a transfer. These costs put huge strain on scarce financial resources in ICR’s budget. As a result this policy was developed and a decision was taken not to consider transfer requests unless there were no consequential maintenance costs arising. This became effective from 1 September 2011. This position will be reviewed on a regular basis.
UPDATE ON RENT SUPPLEMENT MOVE TO HOUSING:
The Director of Services informed Members that rent supplement is being transferred from the Department of Social Protection to Local Authorities and has now been agreed at national level. The date for commencement of the move is 1 January 2013. In the intervening period, progress has to be made on the following:
- Development of appropriate IT database which will be compatible with i homes database.
- Passing of legislation to allow for data protection issues
- Agreement on deduction at source
- Staffing resources
A discussion was held by Members and concerns mentioned in relation to staff resources. Deduction of the rent supplement at source would be welcomed.
- Questions on repairs to houses were answered.
- It was noted that the Community Wardens under the Cranmore Regeneration were on Protective Notice in December 2011. It was highlighted that they had provided a fantastic service to the local community in Cranmore. It was agreed that a letter of support would be sent to the Cranmore Regeneration Office in support of the Community Wardens as proposed by J. McDonagh and seconded by J. Leonard.
- It was agreed that a schedule of dates for the 2012 SPC4 Meetings would be circulated to Members once confirmed.
- It was agreed to extend a vote of sympathy to Louise Gallagher on the death of her grandmother as proposed by M. Fleming and seconded by J. McDonagh.
The meeting concluded at 3.45pm
Meeting Date 14/12/2011