Agenda and draft minutes
Homes for Londoners
Tuesday 13 June 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 5, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA. View directions

Contact: Eleanor Lloyd, Senior Board Officer, Telephone: 020 7983 5633, Email:  eleanor.lloyd@london.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Chair's Announcements

Minutes:

1.1  There were no apologies for absence.

2.

Declarations of Interest

The Chair to invite Panel members to declare any interests which they may have in any of the items set out on the agenda.

 

[Note: In accordance with the GLA’s Code of Ethics for staff, officers must make a declaration of interest on any issue on which they are advising the Mayor which affects an interest held by them - or any person related to them or with whom they have a close personal relationship whether financial or otherwise - and ensure that the details are recorded in the Authority’s Register of Interests.]

Minutes:

2.1  In the interests of transparency, Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, Cllr Claire Kober and Paul Hackett declared an interest in Item 7 (Homes for Londoners Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21: 2017 bidding round) as representatives of organisations that had submitted bids to the Affordable Homes Programme. The item was for information only and did not provide details of intended funding allocations, therefore all members remained present for the discussion.

3.

Minutes of the Meeting Held on 28 March 2017 (Part reserved) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Minutes:

3.1  DECISION:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 28 March 2017 be agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

Actions Arising pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Minutes:

4.1  DECISION:

 

  That the update on actions arising from previous meetings be noted.

 

5.

Engagement with the New Government pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

5.1  The Board received a presentation from the Executive Director – Housing and Land, outlining key manifesto commitments of the Conservative party in relation to housing, and the implications and opportunities this for existing services.

 

5.2  The Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development would seek to meet with the new Housing Minister once appointed.

 

5.3  DECISION:

 

  That the report and presentation be noted.

 

6.

London Housing Strategy (Part reserved) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

6.1  The Board received a presentation from the Housing Policy Manager on the London Housing Strategy (LHS). It was noted that previous feedback from Members on the draft LHS had been addressed and officers now sought further insight on a small number of key issues.

 

 

 

6.2  During the course of the subsequent discussion, the following points were raised:

 

·  Members discussed ways in which small sites could be better used to increase housing delivery. This could include investigating how small sites could be used to unlock bigger opportunities and looking at ways to encourage larger developers to help resource the development of small sites.

·  Small builders could be offered greater certainty through the planning system. This would need careful consideration but could include measures such as permitted development, accelerated planning permission and certainty around affordable housing;

·  A dialogue should be encouraged between local authorities and local small builders;

·  The role of local authority planning committees was discussed. London Councils’ members agreed to look at examples of good governance and best practice, identifying ways in which this could be replicated across the boroughs to create consistency in the planning system and improve the process, particularly for small builders. 

[Action: London Councils]

·  The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Homes for Londoners Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21: 2017 Bidding Round pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

7.1  The Board received a presentation from the Assistant Director of Housing. It was noted that bids were still being assessed; however, the level of ambition shown thus far was encouraging. Bids to the Innovation Fund had also exceeded expectations, with bids having been received from a wide range of partners.

 

7.2  Through the assessment process, officers would also work to identify opportunities for collaborative working. In addition, talks with the G15 and other housing associations would continue, in order to identify ways to provide additional support. While the intention remained to reopen the fund for continuous bidding, the scope would likely be more limited than previously anticipated, due to the level of ambition shown in the first round.

 

7.3  Key risks were identified. These included availability of land and construction capacity. Officers would continue to work with partners to mitigate these risks as far as possible.

 

7.4  It was agreed that an update would be brought back to future Board meetings to outline progress and allocations to date. Details of bidders would also be shared with the Board at an appropriate point.

[Action: Jamie Ratcliff/Clerk]

 

 

7.5  DECISIONS:

 

(a)  That the report, presentation and discussion be noted;

 

(b)  That an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8a

New Delivery Models: Homes for Londoners Sub-Group Report pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1  Liz Peace CBE introduced the paper and thanked officers for their support in producing the sub-group report. It was noted that the report identified three areas of action, and that further work would be undertaken to follow up the recommendations outlined within.

 

8.2  The Board discussed the issues raised around land identification and assembly, noting the suggestion that strong leadership in terms of site assembly was needed, alongside a central resource that boroughs could draw upon. It was noted that London Councils was working up a proposal for a Collaborative Delivery Vehicle and this could have relevance to this, or that a GLA equivalent to the One Public Estate programme could be set up to identify opportunities within London.

 

8.3  In response to a query, the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development and the Executive Director – Housing and Land explained that the work undertaken by the London Land Commission, particularly the digital map of public sector land, remained relevant; however, it was now necessary to look more broadly at both public and private sector land in London, in order to unlock a larger number of sites.

 

8.4  The Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) noted that TfL  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8a

8b

Overseas Investment: Homes for Londoners Sub-Group Report pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.7  Hugh Bullock introduced the report of the Overseas Investment sub-group and thanked officers for their support in producing the report.

 

8.8  Members noted that while it was interesting that the proportion of property sales to overseas investors was lower than commonly perceived, it was concerning to see that over half of these properties cost under £500,000, and were therefore in the ‘mainstream’ London market that many Londoners could have a greater chance of affording. It was noted that in order to build public confidence in overseas investment and its value to the housing market, common misconceptions should be addressed.

 

8.9  The issue of vacant properties was discussed. It was noted that whilst the percentage of vacant homes was lower than often suggested and centred largely around a few key ‘prime’ areas in London, attention needed to focus on the issue as public perceptions were important.

 

8.10  The Board discussed how overseas investment remained critical for driving housing supply in London, particularly in relation to the pre-sales that builders required in order to secure project finance. The barriers that prevent many Londoners from buying off-plan were discussed and Members considered ways in which these properties could be made available to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8b

8c

Skills and Capacity of the Construction Industry: Homes for Londoners Sub-Group Update pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.14  The Board received the update of the Skills and Capacity Sub-Group. It was noted that while the sub-group had not yet drawn up its final recommendations, research had so far highlighted the scale of the challenge around construction skills in London, and discussions had centred around the best ways in which to address this. The final report of the sub-group would be presented to the Board at its September 2017 meeting.

 

8.15  The Mayor commented that the combination of an ageing workforce and the UK’s exit from the European Union could have a significant impact on the construction industry. It was important that the image of the industry was improved in order to attract young people into the sector, and that the correct deal was struck with the EU in order to ensure any gap in provision could be filled.

 

8.16  DECISION:

 

That the update on the work of the Homes for Londoners Skills and Capacity of the Construction Industry be noted.

 

 

9.

New Homes for Londoners Sub-Groups pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

9.1  The Housing Policy Manager introduced the report, outlining suggestions for two new sub?groups. One would review the provision of social infrastructure required to support housing supply, and the other investigate the quality of new homes being built in London and the subsequent management of any defects. During the subsequent discussion, the following points were noted:

·  The social infrastructure sub-group should be expanded to look at other requirements, such as provision of utilities. It should also undertake research into whether an increase in density automatically requires an increase certain services, such as education provision;

·  It was noted that while two of the three existing sub-groups had reported, further work would be undertaken in line with the recommendations made, however, it was important to identify new areas of work to consider through new sub-groups; and

·  The Board approved the creation of the two sub-groups identified above. Membership and Terms of Reference would be agreed outside of the meeting, however it was agreed that London Councils would lead on the ‘infrastructure to support housing supply’ sub?group, and the ‘quality of new homes and management of defects’ sub?group would be led by the development industry/housing associations. It was noted that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Homes for Londoners Board is scheduled for Thursday 21 September at 10:00am in Committee Room 4 at City Hall.

Minutes:

10.1  The next meeting of the Homes for Londoners Board was confirmed as Thursday, 21 September 2017 at 10.00am in Committee Room 4, City Hall.

11.

Any Other Business the Chair Considers Urgent

Minutes:

11.1  There was no urgent business.

12.

Close of Meeting

Minutes:

12.1  The meeting closed at 11.41am.