Housing Committee - 29/10/2012

At a MEETING of the HOUSING COMMITTEE held at Dundee on 29th October, 2012.

Present:-

Lord Provost Bob DUNCAN

Depute Lord Provost Christina ROBERTS

Bailie Willie SAWERS

COUNCILLORS

Ken GUILD

Stewart HUNTER

Laurie BIDWELL

John ALEXANDER

Ken LYNN

Lesley BRENNAN

Jimmy BLACK

Vari McDONALD

Georgia CRUICKSHANK

David BOWES

Craig MELVILLE

Tom FERGUSON

Bill CAMPBELL

Gregor MURRAY

Brian GORDON

Kevin CORDELL

Alan G ROSS

Richard McCREADY

Will DAWSON

Kevin KEENAN

Norma McGOVERN

Mohammed ASIF

Councillor Jimmy BLACK, Convener, in the Chair.

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 10th September, 2012 was held as read.

Unless marked thus * all items stand delegated.

I DECLARATION OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were made.

II REVIEW OF RENTS AND OTHER HOUSING CHARGES 2013/2014

There was submitted Report No 394-2012 by the Director of Housing seeking approval to consult with tenants on the proposed rent increase and other related charges for 2013/2014.

The Convener, seconded by Councillor Hunter, moved that the Committee:-

(i) approve that the Director of Housing be instructed to consult with tenants on the proposed options for the rent increase and other charges for 2013/2014 as contained within the report;

(ii) note that estimated rent increases for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 would be included in the consultation document to tenants to provide an indication of future rent levels; and

(iii) note that these proposals were discussed with Dundee Federation of Tenants' Association on Thursday, 20th September, 2012.

As an amendment, Councillor Gordon, seconded by Councillor Brennan, moved that the review of rents and other Housing charges be delayed until a re-calculation could be carried out with the correct current basket of indices.

On a division, there voted for the motion - the Convener, Councillors Guild, Alexander, Bowes, Campbell, Cordell, Dawson, Hunter, Lynn, McDonald, Melville, Murray and Ross, Bailie Sawers, Lord Provost Duncan and Depute Lord Provost Roberts (16); and for the amendment - Councillors Keenan, Asif, Bidwell, Brennan, Cruickshank, Ferguson, Gordon, McCready and McGovern (9) -whereupon the motion was declared carried.

III DRAFT LOCAL HOUSING STRATEGY

There was submitted Report No 402-2012 by the Director of Housing submitting the Draft Local Housing Strategy 2012/2017 which was the strategy for the provision of housing and associated services to meet the needs of the citizens within Dundee. The Draft Strategy set out the Council's aims and objectives to address the housing issues which had been identified.

The Committee:-

(i) approved the Draft Local Housing Strategy for consultation; and

(ii) noted the Draft Strategy would then be made available to all relevant stakeholders, including statutory and voluntary agencies, registered social landlords and the public for comment. The Strategy would then be reported to the Housing Committee prior to submission to the Scottish Government.

IV THE PROPERTY FACTORS (SCOTLAND) ACT 2011

There was submitted Report No 386-2012 by the Director of Housing outlining the rationale key legislative provisions and compliance requirements contained within the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 and briefing the Committee on the implications of the Act relative to the delivery of land and property services to owners of ex-Council stock, who resided in mixed tenure properties and open plan estates.

The Committee:-

(i) noted the legislative requirement for Dundee City Council to register as a Property Factor by 1st October, 2012;

(ii) agreed the appointment of the Chief Executive and Director of Housing as 'responsible persons' in accordance with legislative requirements;

(iii) noted the key elements as outlined within the Act in terms of the registration of land and property relative to the delivery of capital, revenue and hard landscaping services to owners of ex-Council stock within mixed tenured properties and open plan estates across the city;

(iv) agreed that the Director of Housing, in association with other appropriate Council departments, prepare and issue a written statement to be provided to all relevant owners who received Dundee City Council factoring services; and

(v) remitted the Director of Housing to monitor and review the administration fee element that formed part of the professional fees levied when recharging owners for Council services, in accordance with the terms of their title deeds. The review would include any new/additional services identified consequential of delivering services in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

V DECORATION CARDS

On a reference to Article IV of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12th March, 2012, when it was reported that a procurement exercise was underway to look at alternative methods of issuing decoration allowances under the Tenants Allowances Scheme, there was submitted Agenda Note AN175-2012 recommending that, following the procurement exercise, B&Q be appointed to provide allowances by a decoration card scheme from 1st November, 2012.

It was reported that the Dundee Federation of Tenants' Association had been consulted and was supportive of the scheme.

The Committee approved the decoration card scheme.

VI REPAIRS TO PROPERTIES AT 14, 18, 20, 22 AND 24 SANDEMAN STREET, DUNDEE

Reference was made to Article VIII of the minute of meeting of the Housing, Dundee Contract Services and Environment Services Committee of 22nd March, 2010, when a tender for pitched roof replacements to tenements at 14, 18, 20, 22 and 24 Sandeman Street was approved. There was submitted Agenda Note AN176-2012 advising that as a grant condition for roofing repairs which had recently been carried out, the sills of the properties required to be repaired. The cost of this work was estimated at 15,000 per tenement, totalling 75,000, based on a quotation from the contractor. This included the contract work, professional fees and contingencies.

A contract had been awarded for the concrete repairs of Council owned properties to Anderson Specialist Contracting. It was proposed to add this work to the present contract. This would allow the work to be carried out timeously and provide best value by negating any further tendering and set-up costs which would be required as part of another contract.

The Director of Corporate Services had confirmed that funding for the works would be met from the Housing Planned Maintenance budget 2012/2013.

The Committee approved the foregoing.

Jimmy BLACK, Convener.