4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development
Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development held on Wednesday, 3rd April, 2013 At 11.30am in The Training Room, Sligo County Council, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo
- Councillor G. Mullaney,
- Councillor D. Bree,
- Councillor M. Fleming,
- Councillor C. MacManus,
- J. McDonagh
OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:
- Ms. D. Clarke, Director of Services
- Mr. J. Gethin, Housing Officer
- Ms. O. Campbell, A/Housing Officer
- Ms. S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer
- T. McDaid,
- S. Boles
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 5 DECEMBER 2012:
Proposed by Councillor M. Fleming
Seconded by J. McDonagh
“That minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 5th December 2012, be and are hereby approved”.
MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES:
The Director of Services advised Members that following the resignation of Ms Helen Rochford Brennan from the Committee, a nomination for a replacement would be sought from the Community Forum.
Mr J. McDonagh again raised the issue of the storm drains on Chapel Street. The Director of Services advised that she would look into the matter.
ASSESSEMENT OF HOUSING NEEDS 2013:
A report on this item was circulated to the Members with the agenda. The Housing Officer advised Members that each Housing Authority was obliged to carry out an assessment of all applications for Social Housing in accordance with the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 by 30th April, 2013. He further outlined that all applicants on the housing list would be reviewed to pertain if they are still seeking Social Housing.
Councillor G. Mullaney asked how the figures compared to the last Housing Needs Assessment, in response the Housing Officer advised that currently there are approx 700 on the Borough Council housing list and approx 500 on the County Council housing list. For the last Housing assessment in 2011 the figure for the County Council was 392 and the figure for the Borough Council was 432.
In response to Councillor C. MacManus regarding applicants who had experienced domestic violence and the difficulty in getting on the Council housing list if they own a property, the Housing Officer advised that at the discretion of the CWO applicants could apply for rent supplement and therefore qualify for inclusion on the housing list.
A general discussion took place on this matter with the Housing Officer answering members queries.
SOCIAL HOUSING INVESTMENT PROGRAMME/HOUSING ADAPTATION GRANT SCHEMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY 2013:
A report on this item was circulated to the members prior to the meeting.
The Director of Services advised Members that the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government have notified the Council by circular letter dated 1st March, 2013 that a Capital Allocation of €276,983.80 for Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, of which €55,396.76 is to be provided from own resources, she further advised that the allocation notified is a combined allocation in respect of Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council.
The Director advised that an appeal issued to the Department in respect of this allocation and a reply issued from the Department on 22nd March, 2013, advising that the initial allocation still stands but that a national reserve is to be set aside for applications from local authorities for supplementary allocations once the initial allocation has been exhausted will be considered.
The Members expressed their disappointment at the allocation received.
The following motion was put to the floor:
Proposed by Councillor D. Bree
Seconded by Councillor C. MacManus
“That this SPC deplores the decision to impose savage cuts in the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Schemes; and further we call on the Government to reverse the cutbacks and to provide adequate finances to fund the Housing Grants Schemes for the current year.
Members were advised that it is proposed to open the Scheme for one month from mid April to invite new applications for Disability and Adaptation grants only. Also advised that processing of the commitments on hand has commenced which will take up to circa 50% of the allocation notified.
TO NOTE NEW POLICY IN RELATION TO THE FIRE SERVICE – KEEPING COMMUNITIES SAFE:
The Members received a report on this item. The Director of Services advised members that this new policy was launched by the Minister in February, 2013. The policy aims to ensure the safety of the public in their homes and other locations, as well as worker safety in providing emergency services. The service delivery is to be reshaped from the current 30 fire services to 21 based on developing and extending a “shared service” approach which provides services for population groups of 120 to 200 thousand persons. Sligo will share services with Roscommon/Leitrim.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
There was no discussion under this heading.
The meeting concluded at 12.35 pm.
Meeting Date 03/04/2013