4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 19th January, 2006, at 3.30 pm in the Members Room, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • Councillor J. Queenan,
  • Councillor M. Baker,
  • Councillor I. Henry,
  • Councillor V. Cawley, 
  • Councillor C. MacManus,
  • Councillor D. Bree
  • G. Creamer,
  • S. Boles,
  • C. Fitzgerald

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Mr T. Caffrey, Director of Services
  • Mr J. Moran, Administrative Officer
  • Ms J. Burns, Senior Staff Officer
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 3rd NOVEMBER 2005:

Proposed by C. Fitzgerald
Seconded by Cllr V. Cawley

AND AGREED

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 3rd November, 2005, be and are hereby approved.”

REVIEW OF DIFFERENTIAL RENT SCHEME 2006:

A report was circulated to the members at the meeting.

Mr John Moran, AO, outlined the changes to the Rent Scheme and advised members that tenants who failed to submit income details were automatically charged maximum rent and would be adjusted to the appropriate rate once documentation was received.  He also pointed out that approximately 20 tenants queried their rent and asked to have it reviewed.  He also stated that any tenant experiencing hardship may seek a rent review under the hardship clause. 

Cllr Cawley & Cllr Bree expressed disappointment at the increase in rent for subsidiary earners.

Cllr Bree advised that the basic formula for the calculation of rent should have increased.

The members agreed that the Rent Review should be placed as an item on SPC 4 agenda in September prior to the next rent review.

Cllr MacManus suggested that Officials should look at rent reviews in other Local Authorities.

It was agreed to include a cap on general rent increases of €30 per week and the inclusion of a cap on rent increases in respect of 1 and 2 bedroomed houses of €10 per week.  Mr T. Caffrey, Director of Services, advised that the reduction in income arising from the proposed amendments to the Scheme would be estimated at €60,000.

Cllr Queenan indicated that the shortfall of €60,000 must not be met through the Disabled Persons Grants & Essential Repairs Grants.

T. Caffrey, Director of Services, indicated that Department approval could be sought on a once off basis for the use of internal capital receipts to fund the 2006 repayment on a loan raised to fund Disabled Persons & Essentials Repairs grants.  This will offset €40,000 of the reduction in income arising from the proposed amendments to the rent scheme and this situation will be monitored throughout the year to determine what additional adjustments may be necessary to balance the Housing budget.

Cllr Bree requested that the report circulated at the meeting would be made available to the other Councillors.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

In response to Cllr Bree, Director Caffrey advised that the Part V Policy was a working document and would be brought before Sligo Local Authorities within the next few months.

Cllr Queenan paid tribute to Director Caffrey for his work with Sligo County Council and wished him every success in his new role as Longford County Manager.  All members wished to be associated with the good wishes expressed.

Director Caffrey thanked the members and expressed his pleasure at working with them over the years.

The next meeting was scheduled for 4.00 pm on Thursday 6th April, 2006.


The meeting concluded at 4.25 pm.


Meeting Date 19/01/2006