Mr Cornall informed the
Committee that entering a Housing Delivery Partnership would mean a
return to building affordable housing.
This would represent a reversal of the Council decision in 2004,
which transferred the Council’s affordable housing stock to
Golding Homes. Mr Cornall explained
that the Council no longer held a Housing Revenue Account (HRA),
which was required to hold and fund housing. The HRA could be reopened, but it would have no
borrowing capacity as it held no assets or income. A specialist legal firm were therefore appointed to
advise on the mechanisms that could
achieve a return to building affordable housing. The Local Plan sought to create 883 new houses
each year, of which 332 were affordable homes. Over the last seven years, 64% of the affordable
housing target had been achieved.
Councillor McKay spoke as a
The Committee commented
·It was crucial to select an appropriate Registered
Provider partner, to ensure that those living in affordable housing
received the right level of front-line services.
·There was a need to ensure that any new houses were
built in an appropriate area, at the right level of quality,
quantity and dispersion to avoid any stigma regarding affordable
·Consultation with Parish Councils was crucial, and
that dialogue with each Parish individually would be
·Consideration needed to be given to those currently
living in affordable housing owned by Housing Associations, to
ensure that they were not disadvantaged.
In response to questions from
the Committee, Mr Cornall stated that this was the first step to
return to building affordable housing, and that it would require
commitment from both Members and Officers to deliver. While governance would be complex, and there were
significant financial considerations, the proposal would ensure
that Maidstone Borough Council held a position of both enabler and
provider in the affordable housing market. Furthermore a full procurement process would be
undertaken when selecting a partner.
1)An Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning
Guidance be produced.
2)The Policy and Resources Committee are recommended
to agree the funding of £7.5m per annum over a five year
period for the Maidstone Housing Delivery Partnership
3)Subject to funding approval of £7.5m per annum
over a five year period by the Policy and Resources Committee, the
Communities, Housing and Environment Committee agrees
a)Delegated authority be given to the Director of
Regeneration and Place, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice
Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, to
secure co-investment between the Council and Registered Provider of
£15m pa total over a 5 year period.
b)Co-investment between the Council and a Registered
Provider be targeted at achieving a 50% market share of the S106
affordable housing market in Maidstone.
c)A programme of engagement with Parish Councils be
commenced, to gauge the appetite for bringing forward rural
exception sites for affordable housing, on a Parish by Parish
d)Further consideration be given to choosing an
appropriate Registered Provider partner.