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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Jack Clarkson

That this Council:

 

(a)       believes that this Council should give preference in respect of social housing allocations to local people, whose parents or grandparents have lived in the area for a considerable time;

 

(b)       is concerned that young families, especially young single parents, are being allocated Council properties through the bidding process, that involves them having to travel very long distances away from their native communities and employment, when immediate family and close friends could indeed assist with child care arrangements and emotional support where necessary;

 

(c)        believes the housing bidding process should take into account local people’s connections to the area that they reside in, the distance of their employment, and family connections;

 

(d)       is appalled that residents with a history of anti-social behaviour and other undesirable activities, are often re-allocated properties in local communities in preference to local residents who have been on the housing waiting list for long periods of time, and believes this is unfair and a more robust approach should be enforced to ensure fairness;

 

(e)       is saddened that many of the age banded properties are being sacrificed for the sake of general needs allocations, and that many elderly tenants’ lifestyles and health will be drastically affected by this new policy, and believes that elderly people should be entitled to peace and quiet; and

 

(f)        notes that UKIP would encourage housing authorities to be more open and transparent in relation to housing allocations.

Minutes:

 

Social Housing Allocations

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor Jack Clarkson, seconded by Councillor Pauline Andrews, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       believes that this Council should give preference in respect of social housing allocations to local people, whose parents or grandparents have lived in the area for a considerable time;

 

(b)       is concerned that young families, especially young single parents, are being allocated Council properties through the bidding process, that involves them having to travel very long distances away from their native communities and employment, when immediate family and close friends could indeed assist with child care arrangements and emotional support where necessary;

 

(c)        believes the housing bidding process should take into account local people’s connections to the area that they reside in, the distance of their employment, and family connections;

 

(d)       is appalled that residents with a history of anti-social behaviour and other undesirable activities, are often re-allocated properties in local communities in preference to local residents who have been on the housing waiting list for long periods of time, and believes this is unfair and a more robust approach should be enforced to ensure fairness;

 

(e)       is saddened that many of the age banded properties are being sacrificed for the sake of general needs allocations, and that many elderly tenants’ lifestyles and health will be drastically affected by this new policy, and believes that elderly people should be entitled to peace and quiet; and

 

(f)        notes that UKIP would encourage housing authorities to be more open and transparent in relation to housing allocations.

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Harry Harpham, seconded by Councillor Chris Weldon, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words therefor:-

 

(a)       reaffirms the existing policy that the priority for social housing allocations be primarily based around need of the applicant;

 

(b)       will always try to take into account preferences for location, however, regrets that the ultimate problem is the lack of affordable housing and particularly a lack of social housing across the country; 

 

(c)       regrets that this Government’s policies have made the problem worse, such as encouraging the mass sell-off of housing stock, without using the funds to invest in replenishing the stock, and also its failure to instigate a significant shift in the number of affordable homes being built;

 

(d)       further regrets that the knock on impact of this is increasing amounts of money being spent on housing benefits, which is leading to greater dependency on landlords who can profit from the lack of social housing, such as UKIP’s housing spokesperson who is reported to have earned nearly £750,000 in rent payments funded by housing benefits from occupants, and believes this money would be better spent on building more social housing;

 

(e)       welcomes the Lyons Housing Review and the commitment by the Labour Party to build 200,000 new homes a year by the end of the next parliament and address the country’s housing crisis, which this Council believes the present Government have failed to address;

 

(f)        welcomes the actions of the present Administration to put in place plans to increase Council housing stock by at least 700, in addition to working to support the development of the Sheffield Housing Company which is creating thousands of new homes across the city;

 

(g)       acknowledges that for action to be taken on a much greater scale, the devolution of the funding for regeneration and housing is needed, and supports Sheffield City Region in their attempts to obtain greater local control over the housing fund;

 

(h)       is extremely concerned by any attempts to use the Government’s failure to deliver social housing to attack groups such as single parents or to create division between different communities;

 

(i)        notes that where tenants breach their tenancy agreement and behave in a way that is disruptive to their local community, appropriate actions are taken to protect the quality of life of their neighbours, including evictions where this is appropriate; and

 

(j)         notes that housing allocations policy is fully open and transparent through the Council’s Allocations Policy, which was recently subject to a cross party scrutiny review.

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried.

 

 

 

(Notes: 1. Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Rob Frost, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Penny Baker, Roger Davison, Diana Stimely, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Denise Reaney, David Baker and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (a), (b), (f), (g), (i) and (j) and against paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (h) of the above amendment and asked for this to be recorded.

 

 

 

2. Councillors Jillian Creasy, Robert Murphy, Sarah Jane Smalley and Brian Webster voted for paragraphs (a) to (c) and (e) to (j) and abstained on paragraph (d) of the above amendment and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

 

 

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       reaffirms the existing policy that the priority for social housing allocations be primarily based around need of the applicant;

 

(b)       will always try to take into account preferences for location, however, regrets that the ultimate problem is the lack of affordable housing and particularly a lack of social housing across the country; 

 

(c)        regrets that this Government’s policies have made the problem worse, such as encouraging the mass sell-off of housing stock, without using the funds to invest in replenishing the stock, and also its failure to instigate a significant shift in the number of affordable homes being built;

 

(d)       further regrets that the knock on impact of this is increasing amounts of money being spent on housing benefits, which is leading to greater dependency on landlords who can profit from the lack of social housing, such as UKIP’s housing spokesperson who is reported to have earned nearly £750,000 in rent payments funded by housing benefits from occupants, and believes this money would be better spent on building more social housing;

 

(e)       welcomes the Lyons Housing Review and the commitment by the Labour Party to build 200,000 new homes a year by the end of the next parliament and address the country’s housing crisis, which this Council believes the present Government have failed to address;

 

(f)        welcomes the actions of the present Administration to put in place plans to increase Council housing stock by at least 700, in addition to working to support the development of the Sheffield Housing Company which is creating thousands of new homes across the city;

 

(g)       acknowledges that for action to be taken on a much greater scale, the devolution of the funding for regeneration and housing is needed, and supports Sheffield City Region in their attempts to obtain greater local control over the housing fund;

 

(h)       is extremely concerned by any attempts to use the Government’s failure to deliver social housing to attack groups such as single parents or to create division between different communities;

 

(i)         notes that where tenants breach their tenancy agreement and behave in a way that is disruptive to their local community, appropriate actions are taken to protect the quality of life of their neighbours, including evictions where this is appropriate; and

 

(j)         notes that housing allocations policy is fully open and transparent through the Council’s Allocations Policy, which was recently subject to a cross party scrutiny review.

 

 

 

(Notes: 1. Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Rob Frost, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Penny Baker, Roger Davison, Diana Stimely, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Denise Reaney, David Baker and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (a), (b), (f), (g), (i) and (j) and against paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (h) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.

 

 

 

2. Councillors Jillian Creasy, Robert Murphy, Sarah Jane Smalley and Brian Webster voted for paragraphs (a) to (c) and (e) to (j) and abstained on paragraph (d) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.)