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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/07/2002
Do It Yourself Shared Ownership Scheme for Essential Workers



This report:-

1. advises the Executive of the Council’s ability to fund its own Housing Association Do it Yourself Shared Ownership (DIYSO) scheme for essential workers through the provision of Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LA SHG) and

2. seeks authority to spend LA SHG on DIYSO schemes for essential workers within an agreed budget.

The financial implications arising from this report can be found in paragraphs 7 & 8.
APPENDIX M

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE– 9TH JULY 2002

________________________________________________________________________
Title:
DO IT YOURSELF SHARED OWNERSHIP SCHEME
FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and Purpose

This report:-

1. advises the Executive of the Council’s ability to fund its own Housing Association Do it Yourself Shared Ownership (DIYSO) scheme for essential workers through the provision of Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LA SHG) and

2. seeks authority to spend LA SHG on DIYSO schemes for essential workers within an agreed budget.

The financial implications arising from this report can be found in paragraphs 7 & 8.
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Introduction

1. Since 1988, Waverley Borough Council has funded DIYSO for its tenants and people on the Council’s Housing Needs Register. The scheme has been operating successfully but to date, only people in priority need have been housed using this scheme.

2. It is generally acknowledged that key workers in Waverley are experiencing increasing difficulties in obtaining a home of their own. This was evidenced by the Housing Needs Survey carried out last year which showed that a household income of 30,000 is required in order to afford even the cheapest property in Waverley. The Government introduced the Starter Homes Initiative last year to try and address some of these difficulties. Waverley was part of a Surrey-wide consortium which successfully bid for funds from this scheme. Whilst this scheme has gone some way to assisting keyworkers in Waverley (12 have been housed to date in Waverley alone), the scheme is only for health workers, police, teachers and a few other Surrey County Council employees (mainly Fire workers and Social Service employees).

3. What has become apparent is that there are a number of other people who work in ‘key worker’ occupations, but are not eligible under the Starter Homes Initiative. Examples are care workers, adult education teachers, student nurses, bus drivers etc. For this reason, it is proposed that Waverley funds a scheme for key workers which embraces a wider definition


Definition of Essential Worker

4. It is proposed that the definition of essential worker for the purposes of this scheme is:-

The DIYSO Scheme

5. The DIYSO Scheme helps people to purchase a home of their own, who could not otherwise be able to afford to do so. The applicant purchases a share in a property and pays rent on the remainder, the maximum value of properties which may be purchased in the Waverley area 2002/2003 are:-

6. It is proposed that Waverley allocates the LA SHG to Thames Valley Housing Association (who currently operate the general needs DIYSO and SHI for Waverley) and nominations are made by Waverley to the scheme.

Resource Implications

7. The Council has provided 250,000 in 2002/03 and 250,000 in 2003/04 in its LA SHG programme for DIYSO provision.

8. It is proposed that an additional 1,000,000 is set aside from the Local Authority Social Housing Grant Programme for the purpose of DIYSO for essential workers. It is proposed that this scheme would be run over two years, 2002/2003 and split over years 2003/2004.

9. In accordance with normal practice, officers will be carefully monitoring the amount of actual capital receipts Waverley received to ensure they are sufficient to meet the approved capital programme.

10. In addition, the progress of the Local Government Bill, with the Government intention to ‘pool’ Waverley capital receipts and share them around the country, could likewise affect the Council’s ability to finance housing capital expenditure. The Bill’s progress will be closely followed. Changes in respect of actual receipts or Government regulations may result in alterations to the Council’s spending plans.

Officer Comment

11. Members should be aware that the same rules would apply to DIYSO schemes funded by LA SHG as with all other LA SHG schemes in that all monies are fully reimbursed to the Council by the Housing Corporation. The funds can then be used for other ‘non-housing’ purposes in accordance with the Financial Strategy.


Conclusion

12. The scheme would allow approximately 20 essential workers in local services to purchase their own property within Waverley who would otherwise be unable to do so.

13. A DIYSO scheme for essential workers represents good value for money, particularly as all monies are then reimbursed to the Council.

14. As part of the Economic Strategy, the need for affordable housing for local workers has been clearly identified and articulated.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:-

1. 1,000,000 be set aside to fund a DIYSO scheme for essential workers over the two financial years 2002/03 and 2003/04;

2. officers work with Thames Valley HA to promote and market the DIYSO essential worker scheme; and

3. the Director of Housing be delegated the authority to determine eligibility for the DIYSO essential worker scheme having regard to the definition set out in paragraph 4 of this report and to allocate LA SHG accordingly up to the limit of the approved budget.
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CONTACT OFFICERS:

Name: David January Telephone: 01483 523361
Karen Novell 01483 523096
Email: djanuary@waverley.gov.uk
knovell@waverley.gov.uk


comms/executive/2002-03/100 28974