Agenda item

Housing Strategy 2022-27 - Engagement Programme


The report was presented by Ryan Farmer.


Referring to page 16, Councillor Redsell noted the points on complaints and on the safety of flats and said that the flats in Blackshots were concerning with damp issues. She went on to say that more bungalows were needed for older generations. Referring to page 24, she queried why Ward Councillors were not on the list for consultation. Ryan Farmer apologised and said that it was the service’s intention to include Ward Councillors in consultation. He referred to paragraph 8.4 and said that the right to accommodate housing options addressed housing needs such as bungalows and would go through the Local Plan process for assessment. He explained that the White Paper on Social Housing addressed how residents could complain and would be incorporated into the Housing Strategy. He said that there was an aspiration for people to live as safe as possible and that the Housing Strategy would be addressing these issues.


Regarding complaints, Councillor Fletcher pointed out that complaints were addressed but ‘regurgitated’. The process needed to change as complainants were often told what action had been taken only. Regarding damp issues, he said that other areas in the borough also had significant levels of damp and needed to be taken into account. He also asked what the process was for housing stock that was nearing its end. Ryan Farmer answered that with complaints, the service was learning from complainants. Regarding damp issues, he said that other strategies worked alongside the Housing Strategy which would look to have a robust mechanism in place to ensure residents were supported and look at the housing stock. He referred to Alexander Court as a good example of this which had reached the end of its life. It would be decanted and residents there would be supported positively and moved to other accommodation such as Calcutta Road in Tilbury within the borough.


Referring to paragraph 5.2, Councillor Pearce noted the points made on violence against women and girls and asked whether men and boys at risk of violence had a refuge to go to as well. Ryan Farmer stated that the Council did not intend to exclude anyone at risk of violence and said that the strategy included all those at risk of violence.


Regarding damp and mould in council properties in Tilbury, Carol Purser pointed out that the Council’s contractor, Mears, painted over the mould. However, the mould would come back again a few months later.


The Chair thanked Ryan Farmer for attending community forums. Referring to HMOs, she said that private landlords and sheltered accommodations needed to be included as part of the strategy consultation process. She stated that paper based surveys were needed and not only online surveys as not everyone could access this. She said that houses in Thurrock needed to be ‘Thurrock affordable’. She noted that page 33 highlighted that 33% households could not afford a one bed median rent property and pointed out that rents were increasing but not wages. She went on to say that new homes needed good insulation, electric vehicle charging points and should not be built cheaply. Ryan Farmer answered that the consultation process would take place until the first week of January and the engagement for this had been in person with no online engagement yet. The service would also attend forums and have paper based surveys. In regards to ‘Thurrock affordable’, he said that the service was working with other Council departments to ensure this. For sustainable homes, the Asset Management Strategy would cover this. The Chair said that the service could engage with the Over 50s Conference with Jerry Corbett for the consultation process.




Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee were asked to note the contents of this report and comment on the emerging themes presented, in particular, to highlight the priority areas which committee members feel should be considered for inclusion within the Housing Strategy


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