Housing Select Committee - Tuesday, 15th September 2020 at 7:00pm - Lewisham Council Webcasting

Housing Select Committee
Tuesday, 15th September 2020 at 7:00pm 









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2 Minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2020
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3 Declarations of interest
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4 Responses from Mayor and Cabinet
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5 Financial stabilisation - budget update and medium term plan
6 Housing's response to Covid-19
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7 Housing Strategy 2020-26 and Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-22
8 Select Committee work programme

thank you thank you
so I'm yet welcome everybody to this meeting of the House and Select Committee
My name is John burdens on the scrutiny manager for this committee and as this is the first meeting of this news to year I need to ask the Committee to confirm the Chair and Vice-Chair so can I please invite Members to confirm Councillor Peter burners Chair
and Councillor Stephen Penfold as Vice Chair by a show of hands please
thank you and some now pass over to the confirmed Chair canopies Bernard's to go through the rest of the meeting and could be much
evacuations both eating thank you very much under thing about like don't for that thank you
good evening and welcome to the same Housing collect committed are given that is the fact of his son is a two-year and term up on them on your Lavea in a new dispensation now of their incomes over how we conduct our meetings are unheard of now not read them
of some level 3 and homeware went to contact this meeting are going and unless you are a member of the Committee
do your camera should be switched off until it is yet item on the agenda or I have specifically after the sick uplift gave your microphone noted until we're invest please a queue in the three indicate but you wish to speak at any other point in it for that of the Webber accustomed with that to a name of a love I'll let the out and other messages on questions left on the chart and will not be responded to the Japan is not for general discussion if you get disconnected from the meeting due to technical difficulties you should use the link you were returned to the meeting
it is not there this meeting is being webcast under recording of a meeting will be available on the Council website and next item the din is them apologies I've been notified of an apology from Councillor Gallagher and Councillor Davies of acts official
and also Councillor Susan Weiss and have a Porgess

2 Minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2020

the Scrutiny Chapter to cordless apologies please I am the next item is have a minute of the last meeting I knew Taser him agree of it an it is only the meet with the Dáil many for the nothing it
most Members who went on to commit
came part bling
finance to the the the silence the TA is soul good there are great

3 Declarations of interest

declaration of interest and would want to live
and the Declaration of interests
Salama Amir tend to you and to the training dressed
apologies for Lewisham homes tenants
thank you

4 Responses from Mayor and Cabinet

item 4 is the responses and from the man covenant on the the were law a Mayor and Cabinet responses on their fall

5 Financial stabilisation - budget update and medium term plan

I don't want to take us through to item number 5 with a financial stubbly vision Budget update and the current law and the I invite her with Austin to introduce this report thank you Chair and David up to
thank you
so this report is before you this evening as it is going to all the scrutiny committees through September to really bring you up to speed with the latest financial backdrop that the council faces it faces in the current circumstances as you noted this is the first of the formal meeting of the year because of those so it was felt important that everybody should share and understand the context of the financial considerations we we have to face
at the moment it comes at a level where it's it's a general update so that everybody has understanding and you can ask questions to ensure that we've got that firm before bringing forward the more detailed proposals around how we propose to close the financial gap those will come forward in November and help us build a Budget for next February so the context more generally is that you as much as we plan prudently for the financial stewardship of the Council's assets and funds the current circumstances are presenting us with particular challenges and a level of uncertainty that we're really not not used to I mean when we replacing really across four fronts but got the covert and then it came packed with got continuing pressures around certain services with some overspends reflecting both rising cost and demand with a the population growing
we've got tremendous public finance uncertainty in particular for local government has were waiting on the comprehensive spending review the government deferred the Fair funding Review we we've yet to get any real indication as to how matters may move forward into the next financial year so planning is difficult and then more generally and it's not cut across all of them
there are concerns around the economy you know clearly very toppled at the moment is is what happens if there's a covert the serious case that second wave with rising numbers where we may get to with the Brexit negotiations and were all of the recovery may mean for for the Council both directly in terms of its own communities and businesses and but also what that means the government may fund as with so so that backdrop is is challenging the report really says that normally we plan be able to deal with one maybe two of those things but had to try and cope with all for it is a particular challenge particularly after the decade of austerity so the report intense to two areas the in-year pressures and risks and then looks forward to the the medium term financial planning and the gaps in respect of both of those in year we're facing a shortfall on the funding to support this the spend that we've met on the loss of income we're facing around the covert response and as I said we've got some services overspending respectively they're in the region of 20 million and 17 million respectively and we continue to report to government monthly and I know Members are lobbying regularly and a number of levels to to to bring this to to to to government attention in respect of the overspending management action is being taken now and the report talks to the over five million pounds of in-year savings at where we seeking to make as we should to live within the budget you satyrs for the current year
all of this of course puts pressure on our reserves as the Council nonetheless if not addressed then the other partner report looks to the the medium term and the next 3 years in particular it sets out the assumptions on which we're planning and as I say there's at there's a lot of uncertainty here but these these are best assumptions and we've we've we've tried to reflect those but nonetheless the outcome of that is that we're looking up at least we think 40 million pounds of cuts needed over the next three years with the majority of those in the first of those three years I for the budget next February to implement in the 21 22 period and that's a gap of 24 million so urgently to to find a and bring forward in addition to the in-year proposals there in the report the actions in respect of the future year gap officers are taking a themed approach so we're not setting targets we're trying to get around as it's called the salami or siloed challenge that you've given as in previous years to come away from that and look at the needs and objectives the Council has in its strategic priorities towards the community and its businesses and then work back from those into how we organise an operate and from that that we we ensure that we do that within a reasonable and available financial budget and 2 that's the approach we are taking
that that thematic approach has started and as I said it will bring forward the the proposals in November that will seek to get your scrutiny and then we want a Mayor and Cabinet decision housing around those just as examples as a theme around asset so which buildings are we in how we run our services there's a demand management pay so is there anything that we can do working or in a different way to engage the Committee that might hopefully reduce the pressures on services we're looking jointly across different services and this has the advantage of the thematic approach to see if particularly following the covert constraints that have been put up as an honours in terms of how we meet with people how we engaged them are there different ways we could do the customer Service interaction the appointments that so looking again at what our front doors but in a more joined up way so those are examples of how the housing theme might come through in the thematic work and then finally the report to summarise the timetable which I've already mentioned so this is the time to go through an short ones up to speed with that that context and the challenge that lies ahead will bring forward detailed proposals in November that should hopefully set alongside whether a Chancellor's autumn budget although those rumour that may may be delayed hopefully a comprehensive spending review which originally was pamphlet 3 years but again there's remarry may be down to one year
from that will flow the local government finance settlement from which we can build the outline budget in January again to go back to scrutiny and and Maran Kavanagh before being presented to Council for adoption in February next year so the report covers the covers those areas the contacts the in year cuts the medium term plan and a timetable to to close the gap that come out of those areas although the budget next February and very happy to take any questions
yes please give us the chance to ask questions but are seen as Nirvana's hands upon physical insults Obama are you ask a question thank you Chair and thank thank you for that aim
thank you
in terms of housing do we have no it's really difficult because the chance for my 0 my not give us the budget in which they may or may not be any more money
but as things stand currently how is this going to affect our housing matters specifically
I'm looking at it in in the broadest sense any in instance which areas it's going to have the greatest impact
taken and visit sooner with some more delivered I've before you answer that question can also ask a Council panful support his questions Lookin under the moon together sorry
I got a paradigm of our got a couple of questions
from what is
where the them with covert and I know for instance Lewisham homes are effectively moved out of the I'll tell hole because I just don't need any more as an aside any way that certain building would be freed up may be are to be sold or or leased out for two other organisations when they be authorising come a general point I wanted to make and his mentioned in the report that shall take a page 44
is that a stitch in time argument I'm not of housing
of homes this works on the idea of prevention and I know from my experience of in 2 thousand 15 the Conservatives wanted to cut the legal aid budget and I took certain items out the scope for its ascetic wealth at benefits out of scope so that meant that you can no longer get legal advice also housing benefit and most rent arrears in the Borough of course by housing benefit problems for then there was a saving because the legal Aid Agency the Nat spend that money anymore but it also meant that people or so homes it meant the marriage broke up in the children were taken into care for most of the saving appoint Arnie there was a huge expense further down the line and what I am concerned about with cards is that this it's so the thought through that
by saying let's get rid of this discretionary service that we can give it about we don't have to provide it we then end up having to spend more on a mandatory service at a later point that was a
another point was about to touch them as early I gael on how the cuts will impact on housing as opposed to the other areas of the Council I want the SIF specific question I had with the Council Tax reduction I know that we introduced our own scheme about 2 thousand 40 is that funded solely by central government or do we have to do we pay for that and the Brent quietly than so as my questions thank you
the whole plan on to his my May that the and invite the other officers more closely in line to the service as they want to give examples because another your questions around things don't they may be thinking of although at the moment with the LA buffets or other stage of exploring though not nothings no firm if you like I'm in a gave some some examples in the introduction around
and the one you picked on you know assets can we can we look at how we work and where we work from does that release unearthing is there anything we can do around the demand but that does very clearly in have to ensure that we factor in the risk of or cautioned and where too not least because local government is often the last resort of the public services so he got to be very careful what you're cost-shunting to if there is any of that and any example around the customer service and the front door set so those are the sorts of things we're we're looking at and and there will be more whether it's in respect of housing or the Council more generally that the point that we're trying to take at the moment
and the way we're doing this with the Executive Directors and Directors in groups rather than in their own managerial silos is to ensure that all of all of the Council's looked at and that we are able to challenge each other so that there's no no defensiveness clearly further down the line and including the scrutiny work new will be asked to do in November
you will be able to to balance and moderate some of those things against not just the managerial task but also your own political perspectives as a group so that's as it applies to housing in terms of Lewisham homes in moving out of the Old Town Hall Yes that is the case and
in respect of that it is helpful
in the context of the Catford masterplanning which I know is being disgusted and other Committee this evening so no one would hope that that's one less decant one less delay one less problem in that schemes are yes Oakley it will unlock things to move more quickly and to realise the value through that work progressing the check with the Asset parties there's some smaller revenue costs around the running costs that we can look out but also that as you said we may need to consider about does the Council need to keep those assets and and might be in their interest to
to sell them or use them differently when in as as we have given land into housing schemes and things like that to try and progress opportunities that said that will be part of it
on on the homelessness point
yeah man I think I made I made the point around the question and and there is always that respite if you if you limit the discretionary which is the investment towards preventative you end up creating a bigger bill for yourself downstream when you get to the statutory service that risk is recognised but at the end of the day with this level of financial challenge the Council may be backed to an exact into that corner of needing to consider the statutory mandatory element
first and foremost and then see how we can can juggle it but the detail of that will come come forward in respect of the the question about impact on housing and and having said all the things about being a whole Council and that the approved the themed approach meaning that everyone is is challenging so that we don't get locked into two individual silos the Council does also have to be mindful of the HRA so to an extent
that that businesses protected necessarily because of the way it's thundered that they let the contract we have with tenants and to ensure that you know the stock condition is maintained and those kind of things said so that's that I suppose that's your point about mandatory that that to an extended locked into the persistent and finally a question about the Council Tax reduction scheme
the changes you referred to in 2 thousand 13 14 actually transferred the responsibility on to the council to pay for it so what used to be higher Council Tax benefit was stopped that funding was cut by 15 percent at the time rolled into our base grant which has continued to be cut but the Council is responsible for funding the Council Tax reduction scheme which at the moment is up to 75 percent for working age and of course a consequence of the cave pandemic which I think is where you're going with this possibly is clearly there are more people unusual universal credit so there are more people who are entitled to that reduction so there is a bigger bill to the council to fund that
and at the moment we think it rising in the 2 to 3 million pounds for the year but it may go higher depending on the level of universal credit claims the Council experiences which is why I said an introduction yet the economic backdrop is critical as well as any specific things that we're we're responding to
thank you I'm roughness
it's a question from Councillor Keller
thank you Chair as on this thing I'm thinking about and the
the ban on evictions is about to come to an end
I am as we know many people rather than being furloughed and kind of be
effectively ousted from their jobs
which means that they are in rent arrears and so soon as the Koch we open we're going to have a huge amount of evictions going on I'm I'm wondering what we're doing to prepare for that as part of our homelessness strategy where we can prevent and obviously the financial impact I bagged or pressure is going to bring to us I think it vital that we have a plan in place or that we can make and also
it enables us to go back to central government and say this isn't us managing our money you actually and deliberately underfunding us we need more now please
so in any information you have on that diluting much appreciate you thank you
Councillor reform for
person that will be on responding to that can I ask a question here and David and
can you tell us how all of this new homes bonus
this New homes bonus that you have indicated that be that is gone as is coming to an end how is it going to affect what impact is going to have four wonderful new bills Grace thank you
threatening eviction and arrears point I mean yes clearly there is a risk
started reminding people were with the weather in arrears because there comes a point which began which because very difficult to recover from that so that that communication both from the council and our staff but also I know with Lewisham homes to their tenants they also started and engaging with them whether our arrears where the Council as landlord yes we have always been very sensitive to the erection rest can we on the customer Services side work very hard to to to offer support to engage earlier as I'm sure the housing team to and and I believe notion homes but on that one are probably invite fennel one of the team to pep talk to more specifically what what what what they may be doing or planning
around that that that the real risk that that there will be higher numbers and
An impact from it but needless to say those numbers are in both the covert numbers were reported to government now but for the rest of the year and to an extent our assumptions around the level of Council Tax and the like that we would be collecting next year that you're there is a risk that we we will struggle to get to the levels we would normally expect because of because of the challenges that individuals are facing at home on the New homes bonus question that used to be and effectively an equivalent Band D for every new tenancy registered on that for Council Tax within the borough for every new premises for residential purposes the government has incrementally been reducing the value of it
and last year they stopped paying any new but they're running off the existing tales is paid for 4 years and we were receiving around 6 million pounds a year now last year was down to four in this year will go down again because we're running it off as I said it's uncertain whether the government will continue with that approach hold it where it is now change it to something else all of that was due to be considered under the
the Fair funding Review and an and the the funding for government from government for local government but as I say that none of that's come been forthcoming as yet so if we don't get it near the impact will be in the region of 2 to 4 million next year but what I would say is we've not built that into our base budget so we have always used it where we've been setting the budget with reserved in previous years to cover that element we have not built into the base service spending so as long as we can set the balanced budget within the parameters available we shouldn't miss it and of course that's part of the challenge of working this through but exactly what will happen to the New homes bonus and how it's tied into any of the other planning reforms and Housing Development initiatives that the government has not yet yet clear but I'll start then I don't know if cabin or one to come in on the preparing for evictions in arrears
yes will I consulted the House so I noticed that you do so at it in the in the chance that you were thinking that familiar about people in the peerless so yet so I'm suggesting just to confirm that in addition to what David has a set out what we are doing is where people are approaching us saying that they are you know either having problems with paying around all the of other discussions with their landlords about the difficult what we are doing is immediately working with with this lie on Sunday landlords to try and support them
enable them to access will never support the available look at there of as part of prevention work that we do is mourn of already are also working with the landlords who work with us well talking to them about you know working with their tenants around payment plans and and all of that so we are trying to kind of mediate we know that our people are having problems which will obviously mean that there's so we're trying to work with we've we've both sides the other thing that I need to also say a debate too aware of the Kinahan but the government has introduced them emergency legislation which has increased the notice periods for people evictions to six months which takes it up until the end of March 20 21 so what that means is that again is essentially means that we will have more time to work with people who are who were in difficulty the government has also made it clear that they will be no evictions enforced where their local lockdowns and over and thankfully none over the Christmas period which will all you know we know which was really kind of really concerning so the risk of more local in Lewisham and Kevin ism is arranging a meeting between ourselves and Housing purge the other housing associations and colleagues in in the VentureBeat sector needs to try the credit Union I think that meeting is taking place later on this month another 15th of September so it will be later on this month early October are to talk to them as well about what we how else we might support and finally the government has also increased out all Rollo they've made an as an annex to 180 million I think it was of discretionary housing payments available to local authorities to help take to help basically renters were having problems of who are staying red so there are measures that have coming through the government as well as measures that we are sales are doing illusion to support our residents who who might be facing some really really tough challenges can you know once furlough lips so we are very live to this constant Kenner her and we will continue to do our best ultimately we want our residents to be able to stay in the homes that they are rather than be evicted because you know that's really what we what we're trying to work to yet OK thanks gone but I hung up your from arm becoming trim
yeah just to say alongside what we can do as as a Council of course and on a practical basis the Mayor alongside other London council leader that lobbying hard to have this day extended out for the because I think we all recognise that it's likely that the the situation that were in isn't going to end very soon so you know and I think the LGA have taken a choir a good loving stances well so the very sore constant dialogue a political level to try him finer a long term solution for this problem which is going to go away so it's it's it's handing on a practical side but also make sure that
the the the the Council along with its partner Councils are beginning to make the argument in the in the appropriate places and that's going on on a regular basis as well
thank you and
gonna ask him yourself so I think you're Kevin for taking a hand up bar about sorry
another question I can't see the question on the chart and what else wishing to ask again
with evictions right-back Stephen Knight I find thrive OK thank you
but I think that that we can move on to the next one thank you very much David for coming and think now and it goes a minute or so
take no jacket answer whether I'm
but is there any comment the members like to make to them
our public accounts Committee in relation to the sale report from David
now what down to 8 am 6

6 Housing's response to Covid-19

is the impact of COVID-19 on housing and our asker Fenella and our welcome you to this committee is your first time to the jailers here welcome and the we hope to see you quite often on this committee thing I cannot and introduce them report please OK thing he said you so much Councillor buy that I'm not shave seeing me very often means of do you welcome the badly but I look forward to the coming to you of intakes to so of the be put before you end infants of COVID-19 on housing basically summarises how it's the kind of hell was it for you question full of
thinking backwards as to what happened over the Covey period so what we've got in here is a walk through as to how the different sections of my vision
coffee housing stock Carter copse where covert so as set out some of our non-essential services was stopped and some officers what moved into it to the kind of innovative ploys to support other critical services however the big big music for us was that we removed from remote provision we moved from sort of the through the door to a remote provision so through our phone and on the internet for housing options we talk through the report about the work of the Robledo team the work we are what we did to support rough sleepers procuring the procurement team were absolutely fabulous we managed to secure the accommodation that we needed to support all are in are the people who went difficulty at that time and or so weak we carried on we carried on doing emergency either way are we where where residents were in living in homes that were unsafe week we are wrong landed officers went and supported those so nobody was left
nobody that when you off was left to struggle and suffer doing the time so we carried on providing what I believe was an excellent service to a residence or what was a really really challenging time really proud of the officers without so this report basically summarises the work that we did I don't know if there any questions or specific points that people want to us
not figure much on an arm I have one question here and among the some assisting those with no recourse to public fund as it one arm and obviously of absurd now on the run of resulting in a term
this hasn't been dimmed am not not a miracle the council can along up found Vinson five of them
00 5 or Morecambe addition you cannot accommodate those kind of people in a more and we are hearing about a second wave where are these people going to go
right OK so in
so so so if if their if what the council did was to was to deal with was to support people when we were in an emergency situation way so if we have a second wave we will be in an emergency situation situation aim again
case sorry the likes of just gone off where I am so I just take to kind of wave on it have been otherwise hopefully you can you might not be able to see me Fuseli
OK so what do you can see me now
yeah so so so that way so that's so that would then cover that but right now it is the case that we would be no table to we're not we're not able to legally provide accommodation for for residents in in who were in this situation so
1 rather mannequins but blunt I bring my question was not time is not answer the satisfactory because I want and I want to know of is really when a when I don't be the somehow we if we leave people too soft for on the street term under the pandemic and because of weaker were legal are not able to help them after our to bring into the cabin has given him
just to clarify so I think the most important thing is we're not in the business of them making anyone homeless that's not meant to do there there is some discussion with the government about how long they will allow us to carry on doing the job that we've been doing for those people with no recourse to public funds it's not settled yet because we are looking like we're going to go into a second wave is not settled yet as to what the outcome of that will be something of an L was just saying was that if the government revert to its previous legal position then it would be illegal for us to provide accommodation for people with no recourse to public funds that that would then potentially we would then need to assess people in relation to as you know the duties that we have under section 17 and other duties to see what we could do in on that on that basis but we've been we've been housing the no recourse to public funds individuals 5 4 in this pandemic using the government's legislation that they created particularly for that purpose and the government are talking about rescinding that legislation we are going to lobby against that of course and we will ensure that you know we we we were not gonna be putting people out in the straight we'll do that that's not what we're about it's about finding their way that the solutions for those people but I think the point Fanellan makes us right the government are talking about rescinding that legislation which enabled us to do at very easy and very quickly without without any major assessment so that's where the that's the situation
ripe for reform of the Christian Peoples presumed drowned after Councillor Bell the open-door unfollow under Le Councillor PAN for before
thank you for the good thank you Peter and just to echo what Fen and carrying a sex so our policy in Lewisham is regardless of where people are from we will try and help the where possible there's a legal framework that we have to abide by but we don't see any difference between someone who's from the European Union from outside the European Union or from UK everyone deserves a whole so just in terms of what's happened during the pandemic so 50 rough sleepers have been supported who have no recourse to public funds a number those people have been transferred to more stable housing officers have sought legal advice and we continue to lobby the government to allow us to house people no matter who they are and whether from because this is a human humanity issue it doesn't matter to it to me it doesn't matter the Council we have to do is make sure that we help human beings in terms of transition but officers in fenced him have done an amazing amount of work in terms of to regularise these individuals immigration status so they'd gone to try and help that situation because a number of them are EU citizens as well and those people have had have a right to remain in the UK so the Council officers have been working that area too so we will do everything possible to help everybody we can given except where the legal framework prevents but it doesn't mean we're going to say OK then but what we're going to do is try and find a way to help you in beings and that's that's an important message because we are a bar of sanctuary
thank you
Councillor not a woman there were
thank you Chair I'm sorry for my maiden as I went to Phoenix AGM I don't really have because I'm Councillor Berllan cabin already answer the question on that to act thank you
thank you Lord Curzon benefit
I effect and one clarification on what that the answers are a poll and Fenella gave and run stand was set for 6 March I think there was the all in thing by the government he had to house more as everybody in that there wasn't assessment that ended on the 4th of July so all we now suspect that I want the people that were housed
post 26 March who actually wouldn't have been out pre 20 surplus because they didn't have children Act issue although don't ever issued under the Care Act so there they wouldn't be house more what's happening to those are they still accommodation
he just keeping them in their for now hoping that we can do that and what is happening to people that have applied in in that category so somebody there isn't gonna section 17 argument somebody who hasn't got a care at argument what is happening to people apply post 4th July so that's one question second question is I note in the report you're you're working to regulate individuals and greater statuses of see if we can get people's immigration status recognised then that would mean that I bet possibly education benefits and then haven't certain rights etc how is that being done is that being referred to outside agencies or I is is that DEL in the House I just wondered how it how that work is being done
third could I got back to the point of Fenella made about the six months because about section 21 notices that that where inspectors any tells only half the story that was only introduced in August in March when all this hit the two months those pyramids extended to three months and then it's been so if allowable going notice say on the 1st of April that Lotus period has expired which means that landlords will be able to issue proceedings on the 20th September this this is lifted equally have some been issued a notice on 1st February practice that loads of expected its two months so do we know it's not a question we got six months now because nothing's going to have to watch it has got to happen before that with a lot of people who we give a note says prior to August the we know what's likely to hit us now until that that's what questions thanks
yeah but go and the government GaryLineker reprise
thank you Chair and I he what Fernando set about Section 21 but we also have aim
Will 8 evictions that are solely based on eight weeks arrears hi have they also been extended and what other work is being done around that Fenella I know that you're working really hard at your team are doing everything they can to support people my concern is not on us it's about ensuring that we have the right information to give the central government to say actually there not being very realistic about what actually happening on the ground that's by what one question and in for Council of Bell
in terms of the number of people with no recourse to public funds potentially what impact is that can have on our borrow sanctuary status are we see yes we help everyone that we can that's who we are for I'd like a little bit more detail on potentially what can happen and what can we do to mitigate any worst case scenarios thank you
then you'll for us
Councillor Suleman something afford on my Bill Condry half the Fenella under the gruesome slung Low your uncle enough to book
OK it's YEP so as a start of so in terms of testicle the first question of apple pie get I have encouraged the top in my in my legs but so in terms of your first question around of the people who've or who are with us who got picked up during the everyone in everyone in time those people are still with us so we are we evasive we what we haven't done this since Laville of said was we have in Sutton strong anybody out so we are working with those people are able to basically accept them get them so says them those who need supported options were putting them through that those who are able to sustain tenancies Tennessee's we're putting them and in the you know what we're looking for tendencies and supporting them into that so so so we've not we've not on any one of those are our residence that we now have and we are working and we are working with them so so that is that in terms of how we are recognising and terms of what we are actually doing to to support our residents who haven't got and the statuses to to gain them so that they are able to to access the benefits and stay 0 we've got officers in the team you may may or may not know her John in John Barker scheme Maria battle and colleagues they do support on our residence they actually work with them and I've seen them contacting the Home Office they literally to support them so he is an in house they worked with others
the DUP in other agencies but Marie and her team actually so physically support on our clients to get to get their say so we we are doing that here where life and eventually built up quite a bit of expertise themselves so they are able to support people in terms of years in terms of your third question section 21 and to seize do we know how many are coming through are I actually I haven't I don't I can't give you an exact numbers or do we know what I know is that we know the figures for unemployment it the unemployment in Lewisham so we can do some extrapolation on that I think my colleague Rachel is on there is on the because I'm so we we have we have a sense we're getting a sense of link in the Housing Network homelessness network I think officers are getting a sense of what the numbers might be looking night what we're doing is doing a lot the work to clear the cases that we currently have to prepare for people coming through an increase in people coming through DMAA in or to looking for support but it will in terms of actually how many people we might be expecting we we believe that we know that they were expecting more people but I have not got at this stage any sort of any idea of when we'd be three times more five times more all anything own and were able to tell you anything as specific as that but what I can assure you is that we are off we are tracking the numbers of unemployment around London we are tracking and what's coming through in terms of questions and queries and we and everything everything that we know tells us that we are expecting our residence to be coming do expecting more people coming to our front doors or demand management will be something that we are very much expecting to me to work on so this that in terms of and the the rule addictions this is the evictions around and them money
actually Rachel do now able to help me out on this one I don't I'm not as a as as as as a fail need right now but we'd may be that's an Cussler Kelleher that we need to do you a separate briefing after the meeting which are able to add anything were met
and free at the point avatars can add was around be at them and point raised around the six month notice period and that is the case that if somebody was served a notice near the start of Copa they would be coming to you know at the court when the courts are OK and they would be
near the front of the queue so to speak and and I think that's where I'll prevention offer and our prevention work with with families needs to start as early as possible in terms of people coming with any notices so that we can start working with landlords and and mediating where we can I I I was going to suggest that if you'd like to get more information we could ask the teams to kind of pull together a bit more information about how many that people are approaching bringing notices I don't want to say one where the other because I'm not sure I'm correcting my my feeling about whether it's it's expert is increased a lot so if that's something you're interested in we could definitely and bring that I just also wanted to add that the team for the no recourse in that reset the settling of state as it is and and that side I understand that the team do also commission or work with other Law Centre to do some of those that process to get the technical aspects of of a working with clients so that was just and their funding for that was came from the and bedded Home Office worker that you remember and left the service and it was that was some of the way in which that kind of commissioned commissioned service came in I'm sorry I don't know if that answered the question that Councillor Keller her asked I may have skipped over and gone back back a question
there's Lamb of God and got a steep who want a former upon the 1 point of them of his vision stave yeah yeah it's just for fun
what we were taught what I think my first question is in two parts them I probably the next best by while but you answered about the first part that basically if people Ren after they all infiltration for March there Stelling as it were and mines stand with that requirement take everybody in ended on the 4th July
so what has happened to people who don't have who that have any argument under section 17 or under the Care Act don't have an outstanding immigration application so who we wouldn't have helped prior to the 26th March because we said Well you'll know because one family done there's no other duty that we can actually confined for you what has the Sunday Post 4th July
that no single man
none crisis Loan Crescent status Sprecher whatever what happens with him we were ever to turn that on 2nd July would have had to have house them what happens to them now
sorry okay as just yet OK and what would happen to him is basically we go back to how we assist people and worked with people before covert
right to bring in a part of the Bill
thank you and Peter so sooner and I don't quite understand your question are you saying what impact on our borough Santry status would with policy have concern for civil it's not the area that I lead and so I want to tell you stuff that I don't know so I would suggest you refer that questioned Councillor bought evere who does lead on this there is obviously the fact that every Council has to obey the law and we can't break the law but what I said before is that we'll do everything possible to support people and we've just welcomed an asylum hub into Lewisham to support people 0 because there's been an increase in asylum applications so I political principles now believes are very much there but in terms of detail the bone century I'd referred to Councillor Bonneville but in terms of the law we still have to be the law and that's that's part of what we have to do but am is the human story that were also interested as coming on let us
Gavin Sheehan upon by Rachel place yeah I just wanted to also say that you know we we've we've as you are aware with world were we've got a homeless this network of providers that there who we've been working very closely with for many years we work also with the Churches and the charities and a whole lot of stakeholder agencies who don't have to how as formal approach to many of these things as the Council does and it's important to recognise that the network of a help that we've got out there for people who fought his struggle to get funds because of the law there are still opportunities at there to help them and to sort out the problems enter you know support them find find places to stay and mai homelessness never goes away it's always been here you know
the locally the government took a sensible Achaidh in last period pandemic where flying everyday to make sure that they continue to have that sensible attitude to try and you know mergers Hamas's to nothing really which is what we'd long like to see in the borough it would regard as a people status but there's always opportunities to help people even if we can't do it with resources and finance
thank temperature and the I just wanted to add an so what Fenstead on in the report 7 point once free that we've added some detail there about the updates the statutory homeless Code of Guidance so those who after everyone in ended the assessment that is Dunning for priority need there was an amendment that makes you know added that covert the I'm sort of those who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid would be assessed as being priority need and that was just to highlight that point in relation to that that question thanks
thank you anybody else indicating to ask a question
no thank you very much for that report for the LA good contribution from the richer and Paul van and share and Kevin Sheehan them the housing strutted homeless and rough sleeping strutting about of Zoo again Fenella

7 Housing Strategy 2020-26 and Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-22

so can I take this into parts fees Chair saw a subtle with their housing strategy and then we can so the report before you basically things to you the housing strategy you've seen this before our prior to to covert fortunately COVID meant that the work on its stopped so we are bringing it back to you having reviewed and refreshed it to take on board and the to to it a night of covert so and it's come to you for how all I'm final approval and clearance before we take it to a Maran let at that so at the neck or have any other questions to ask
and remembers an honour the questioning asker forever
report No a half comment on that yeah and woman part to Italy's officers be out of into all the work and cancer alas but a detailed and a question from members
right okay and that's not got the next one which is harmless and oscillating started this yet the recipe strategy so this is a new report which was due to be which was on the on your Workplan for before covert but is now has now come to you and for the first time and we welcome your comments and your input and this this this strategy is particular strategy as because really live because of the issues that we've just been discussing what we just gone through and so we will look to you to I will be seeking your comments and contributions are falling into this draft document
dot I have I'd loose seen it off before so I didn't want to spend too long talking about it
Steve enough to ask them a question her and continued and a questionnaire Ms asking lifeless now my question ever for already offer tussle Harmer about what the notice parents are when you got rent arrears
somehow right now
finance and we realise that obviously you know is that what started you have for the homelessness and rough sleeping invasion under but I'll obviously have a good preparation in terms of the people hold my come no king after the coronavirus hit a second wife given the unrest people was to one bird Nirvana's hit they lost their jobs and most of them will have nowhere to run and the council are having said that it comes with some other consequences like a mental health issues which accompanies those kind of
sudden changes so what term what help that Sam the Council half for those kind of people who we are we anticipate might or might not on others
OK so he said sons of the health that we might have for people who are coming to us and in seeking housing housing support Councillor nuts
yes I'm sorry
government nor were they nominally indoor come but we are expecting more than usual after the second wave of Covid are hitting people was already lost their jobs
there was one wanted to
the facilities that you have can only cater for so much so if we have more than there were no more than we planning for and the normal usual people what we know what strategies of you got to make sure that we have been overwhelmed by the numbers of you know I mean yeah so OK so
what we want so what we what we are doing
in terms of preparing for a possible increasing demand following cove it is we all our officers are what the managers in the front line and as what the managers of the teams on the front line are clearing we've got our officers prepared in terms of making sure that we have the capacity of the front door people who do that prevention work people who were either out fostering that for string am the I don't know how much she can be answering this correctly but essentially what we're going to be doing is in terms of participating and demand in in in in in in because people will come in and call as they would normally so we just peak week we will be working and picking through the calls and the and dealing with them as they as they arrived so I don't know that's really that's probably anoints not quite what you're looking for in terms of the announcer and I think in terms of running the service we will be with with spectrally will be prepared to receive to to support the people that come through but I'm not able to say to you exactly I'm not sure that I can answer the question in the in the detail of that think you'll wanting and they've Kevin you can help me out on this one no brand on Palm on not only on him to say that time so in in a in a a covert 19 situation the Council prioritised its critical Thu authors and so as you're aware adult social care housing and homelessness EIMS so often on services fairer our old prioritised for support and should we come into that situation again when those a wave of demanded that whether it be because people are shielding from the social Care perspective or whether it be because people are being evicted or whatever far because of the coward situation then we will again prioritise are critical services in the cath that's what we always do and I'm those services that are less critical will Bill being scaled back a bit whilst we focus resources and attention on those areas that critical so you know I sit the management team and Mary cabinet agree but there's critical services are housing and homes and will definitely be one of them are always is and they will get the resources they need to do what any of these new ways that come come on but I don't Kid everyone to say that the council can solve all problems because the council's budget has been slashed by the government you know for the last 10 years and continues to be slashed and you know earlier on you at David Austin I need presented to you this very difficult situation that we've been because the amount of money that we spent on covenanting when we're not going to get back to going so it's not when we will always prioritise that the most vulnerable people and about the most certain services that that that you know do with those people I will continue to do that collectively the council but I don't want to you know sugarcoat the fact that the Council's in a very challenging position financially overall and we haven't got solutions for everything and that's why we have to keep on arguing with the government about you know what's what's what's what's required to deal with these situations to have that helpful
yes I'm handsome camera
thank you Chair yet one of the reasons that I've been asking the questions I'm asking is to enable calving to go with his facts when it comes to send the meetings be central government and because as I said it's from white all that we really really keep banging on we are not miss managing our money we are not doing anything wrong we are just being seriously underfunded and this is what our actual costs are I think that I can't stress enough that this is the case we need to have our facts ready for when we go
and the Republic is rolled out that's more Councillors bells remit to deal with the the media part although we can all do our bit but yet we just need to keep heating that Messi time that we're not we're not being greedy we've got people in genuine need and we need to meet those needs or we ourselves are doing wrong
Councillor Penfold
thank you Chair as target for point I met David Austin the thought and the first
priorities and the some startling that homelessness has earliest opportunity and that must be absolutely right because that prevention is key and it stops at higher cost further down the line I'm just saying begging offices near on given the cuts I coming down the line I would hope that that priority can remain because that housing Bentley's quite a soft target I expect intend to cut this is a lot of it is discretionary not all of it but some of it and if we lose that I think it's going to cost us more in the long term as well as causing a great deal stress logic to people such as making that Clea I'll shut up
the shape of those can slip announce
yet so I was not going out there was an implicit
yes some back on now I'm not so sure cause like can ahead acquistion them I do as a consummate Kelleher because I was looking down on the two bits I didn't know exactly what was going on so he had occurred lurking in his questions than Cynthia alright thank you very much for that arm well administration here which I would like you to to to to tell me how it can be can be resolved I've had I got contacted by somebody who MOT in this borough pursuit is not just an isolated case
had to put up his family up to another family because he couldn't afford rent because it couldn't them be able to look after his family animal so you just for the family with another family to leave while his going to himself go and live with his friend is it because they did not know that their eviction notices have been there
I was phoned up given 6 months of they're all is it thereby information is not getting to people are about this so that a which is one of no I don't know what you've come up those kind of carcasses where people doesn't know what to do they have some rights but they don't know when I'm gonna information of where or how to to execute the right
I think I consider that's that's that's always a challenge for our for public of decisions on another in a way we do oppositions do their best to get information out out to people and you hope that so the channels and to through everything else that you are getting the information out but ultimately there will always be people who will come forward all Hall may not know all wind not her so that is that his own that is a challenge and we the work that our rogue landlord officers are do shows that they are people out there who are not aware of their rights either may be a friend tells them or they stumbled upon something and then they come to us and so we continually seek to put information out into all the spaces that we can using the partnerships that we have to get information out but he did but it is regrettably the case that actually there will always be
some vulnerable people out there who just don't know what information 0definitely rights or don't know that they can go to you just don't know that they are places they can go to get the support that they need we will strive to try and capture the speedo culture
trying to provide the safety net provided information that we can but we can but obviously of their account
I can't say to you that I'll never be in a position where I can be 100 percent certain that everybody that should know something absolutely does know what they should know but I will what I can say to you is that we are doing what we can to get messaging out to the people that's that we need to so you you'll the person who gave you that in the EU spoke to you eventually found out that they could talk to you and and and and hopefully as a result of I even though it must have been a little bit later as a result of talking to you I'm hoping that you sign posted them to either their local authority or to an agency and then hopefully so there was a result of that they will now be supported they'll be able to approach to get help one hopes and and I hope that obviously that they will also be telling their networks about about this to prevent others because people know people in situations and in the end that some news gets' but yes what you're saying I do recognise what you're saying thank you were March number is not among regard to hear that the cabinet man she had mentioned that you're working with catches and local Local connecting no areas where people go so that they can have this kind of information of these days people are not going to their libraries so that of the business of social media which I hope you are not going to be using while Councillor O'Callaghan
thank you care I've just got one very quick following question and I hear what we're doing for all of our tenants especially in private rented sector one of the things that
I am thinking about bees yet but what are we doing to ensure our lie note understand the changes in the law and what they can and can't do to me that that equally vital yen because Elano can be and also there are problematic tenancies the and so for me when we're working in PRs it's not just about attendances also about the land orginal communication pathways with them
thank you for your letter absolutely absolutely right they'll depots this the other side of the same coin isn't it anchors the killer have so I understand what you're saying so in so as we are communicating with tenants and leaching out messages we are also communicating and reaching out to landlord Soft on our website on our web pages we shut up I have not checked it of recently but there should be information as well for nods where we can anywhere with where we are advising them of the the rules the latest as acquittals also we support landlords as well because some none looks do need support just as there are some really cheeky landlords out there there are also some really Chiki tenants and as well so it's it's a it's it's it's it's it's not it's not just an unknown to a bad my colleagues in the Procurement Team who work all have the support of nine other the nightly paid an attack recommendation providers and the landlords that we work with they are continually and sending their mail shots updating them 1 am information and recall during Clovermead we were sending a landlords who run our hostels order rules to make sure that you know people were increasing or cleaning and things like that so we are we all
communicating with both sides one of the another thing that we are doing and I think just the days of just kind of runaway for me we're now in the middle September is we are looking to revitalise our landlord forum where we will be bringing a landlords together its inner service plans just at one other thing that have not yet done and but officers are working on or on on the material for our next landed for them and that is also part of our own it it's part of a strategy for how we're going to ensure that when the what I call the ticking time bomb when the moratorium lives and we we have the situation that we will be discussing tonight
that is part of our strategy to ensure that we are talking to everyone that we need to be talking to ensure that our residents are not out to support us to support our residents to stay in their homes so yes we are talking to and the national community and certainly we also need to be unwell so aware that landowner our suffering the Sun Inn not all landlords are the big corporates with others' Ludus of money that we you know the inner by their landlords out there who also themselves being followed in sales being make it ended so Yapp so I think we're all where we are literally on its own that a lot of us are in it but yet you on the whole we do have landlords who we need to keep a very very wary eye on and dance and yet
thank you
none of a hand up so I am upon sum but big and for this and what else sum up and a grant mascots John on that
thank you thank you very much an earner for coming and them when you are invited to stay what the as well because you can live if you if you wish to retire the me you're still invited to stay
I am

8 Select Committee work programme

next brought to the next item on the agenda is that Select Committee work programme and to invite John to give us that turn item thank you and as this is the first meeting of this municipal year the Committee also needs to discuss its priorities and agreed work programme for the year ahead as you'll see in your agenda packs there's a a draft work programme on page hundred 83 in a spreadsheet format
and as Members will be aware there is some items in it as scheduled based on the Committee's previous work and previous interests but also some spare capacity for the end of the cycle in January March to ensure its members need to discuss their priorities about what it wants to have spare capacity the workprogramme house and they're finally agreed work programme them but just the note as well of course the work programme can be adjusted to meet urgent developer needs throughout the year so that future
thank you thank you very much arm
I think we were contacted to other order is on our page all do have an air and them alteration that you want to M anagem that there are Members want to bring to bring forward but all stated
thank you Chair I propose that we put in a shared-ownership together
yeah that what that John
I'm taking notes as we speak yet
there are some good term
Councillor Carter
I second OK Go
that was not the only change that we are we making on this item another Tench
yeah thank you very much on them if there is no another
and other comments or another business and on the same meeting an hour declare the meeting closed
I say that I'm thinking about awful coming again everyone
I gave evidence I say all eating and yet oddly or see everyone is I slotted in languages by and
start making his generous state Fakhar her 3 1 Kanye but the anew hence the R webcast now please thank you