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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13/11/2006
HALF-YEAR VOIDS MONITORING REPORT



Summary & Purpose
This is a regular monitoring report that shows the number of Housing Revenue Account permanent dwellings that were vacant as at 30th September 2006. They are broken down by length of time, void, and reason for being void in line with the monitoring information provided to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

APPENDIX O
Waverley Borough Council

Community overview and scrutiny Committee
13TH november 2006
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
HALF-YEAR VOIDS MONITORING REPORT
[Wards Affected : All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

This is a regular monitoring report that shows the number of Housing Revenue Account permanent dwellings that were vacant as at 30th September 2006. They are broken down by length of time, void, and reason for being void in line with the monitoring information provided to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
_________________________________________________________________________

Environmental implications:
Dwellings left empty for a long period of time can affect the local environment and outlook of an area.

Social / community implications:
Turning around properties in a timely and efficient way helps the Council to re-house people in housing need more effectively.

E-Government implications:
There are none arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:
There are no particular direct resource or legal implications arising from this report. However, it is recognised that void properties are unproductive, result in rent loss and those left vacant for over six months are also liable for 90% Council Tax payment. _________________________________________________________________________

Void Property at 30th September 2006

1. At 31st March 2006, the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) owned a total of 5,022 homes for rent on secure tenancies. Properties become vacant from time to time, and the Council aims to relet homes as quickly as possible to households on the Housing Needs Register. The efficient and effective management of void properties is important to provide a home for a household in housing need, minimise rent loss, and ensure that properties are not at risk of squatting or vandalism.

2. It needs to be recognised that the table (attached at Annexe 1) shows a snapshot at a point in time (30th September 2006).

3. On average local authorities in England have around 2.5% of their housing stock vacant at any one time. As can be seen from the table, Waverley had a low percentage of HRA property vacant at 30th September 2006 – 2.04%; this figures is swollen by 42 properties awaiting demolition, and so the true voids figure reduces even further to 1.2%.

4. Annexe 1 shows that 103 properties were vacant on 30th September 2006. Of the long term vacancies at columns (6) and (7):

42 dwellings were vacant at Rowland House, Cranleigh pending the redevelopment of this site (D6 and E6);
4 were void pending a planning permission (E7);
2 are void pending potential major structural works (E7)
2 more are likely to become part of the Trickle Transfer programme (A7 and C7).

5. In addition, 2 properties are awaiting disposal viz:

1 dwelling was awaiting transfer under the Trickle Transfer programme (D5);
1 was awaiting sale on the open market (E5);

6. If we exclude Rowland House, there were only 61 void properties vacant at 30th September 2006. Of these 51 were due to be re-let after any necessary works, and another 10 pending alternative proposals, detailed at paragraph 4 and 5 above.

7. In Waverley, the main source of affordable housing lettings comes from vacancies arising within the Council’s own housing stock. There were 300 lettings of Waverley homes in 2005/06. It is therefore a good thing to have vacancies – so long as they do not remain void for long periods of time.

Conclusion

8. On the basis of national comparators, Waverley compares well in respect of void properties and re-letting. There is not an issue of hard to let properties in respect of general needs. By far the largest number of void properties relate to schemes where the Council is actively seeking to decommission dwellings in order to undertake a redevelopment.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the report be noted.
________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoH)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: John Swanton Telephone: 01483 - 523375
E-mail: jswanton@waverley.gov.uk



comms\o&s2\2006-07\048updated v.doc




ANNEXE 1
ANALYSIS OF ALL PERMANENT PROPERTIES VACANT AS AT 30th SEPTEMBER 2006

Period VacantAvailable for letting
(1)
To be let after minor repairs
(2)
To be let after major worksTo be sold
(5)
Awaiting demolition (6)
Other (7)
Totals% of
total stock
Undergoing works (3)Awaiting works (4)
31.3.06
(8)
AThree weeks or less
4
14
2
0
0
0
2
22
0.44%
BOver three weeks, but not more than six weeks
3
6
1
0
0
0
0
10
0.2%
COver six weeks, but not more than six months
8
4
6
1
0
6
1
26
0.5%
DOver six months, but not more than one year
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
5
0.1%
EOver one year
0
0
0
0
1
32
7400.80%
FTotal
15
24
9
1
2
42
101032.04%
Minus void properties at Rowland House
TOTAL
15
24
9
1
2
0
10611.2%

Total permanent housing stock = 5,022

comms\o&s2\2006-07\048.doc