Agenda item

Housing Service Plan


The Assistant Director – Housing presented the draft service plan for the Housing Service covering the period 2023-2024, for consideration by the Board.


The service plan was a working document produced annually by all EDDC services and set out the key achievements over the past year and the forthcoming issues to be faced by the service.  The service plan was produced using a corporate template which had been modified this year to focus on issues integral to the Council Plan.  It linked closely with the Council Plan and the aim of the process was to produce a work plan for the coming year with a realistic view of the challenges and risks ahead.  Producing a service plan presented a good opportunity to look back and reflect and also the ability to forward plan.  Performance should be monitored constantly against the ‘live’ document.  The service plan was coordinated annually with budget planning. 


A range of service improvements and carbon reduction aspirations were identified through a number of SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound).  This years’ service plan had also been produced alongside a comprehensive workforce development plan document to compliment it and ensure that the correct resources and staffing requirements were considered and in place to ensure Plan delivery is realistic.


The plan also considered service challenges and pressures strategically, including climate change implications, the implications of the Social Housing White Act, the new Building Safety Act and the ambitions to increase the supply of social housing with the role of the newly formed Housing Task Force team.


The big issues for the service and the Council were:

·        Quality of life.

·        Decent home for all.

·        Safety first.

·        Protecting the environment.

·        Climate change.

·        Health and wellbeing.

·        Health and safety.

·        Tenant safety.

·        Environmental protection.

·        Safeguarding.

·        Poverty.


There were many challenges ahead nationally, which included:

·        Social Housing Act.

·        Cost of living crisis.

·        Decarbonisation of stock.

·        Building Safety Act.

·        Reprioritising the tenant voice.


The Assistant Director – Housing detailed the challenges ahead for the housing service and summarised them for 2023/24 as follows:

  • Delivering core services well.
  • Not considered ambitious but realistic.
  • Increasing demand in every area.
  • ‘Back to basics’ approach.
  • Prioritising and maintaining staff morale.
  • Ongoing recruitment & retention.
  • High levels of staff absence.
  • Meeting customer expectations.
  • Delivering Council Plan and Service Plan priorities.


The overarching priorities for the housing service were more affordable homes – a decent home for all, homelessness and rough sleeping, and council homes fit for purpose with satisfied tenants.  The Assistant Director - Housing outlined these and what this meant for the housing service.  Headlines from the service plan were:

Ø  Stock Condition Survey

Ø  Robust management of the Integrated Asset Management Contract

Ø  Future proofing Home Safeguard

Ø  Launch of new resident involvement strategy

Ø  Review of Housing Revenue Account Business Plan

Ø  Strategic Asset Management Plan

Ø  Compliance with the Social Housing Act

Ø  Retrofit- Grant Funding

Ø  Upgrade to One Housing

Ø  Reference to new Housing dashboard/management information


A tenant consultation session on the service plan had been carried out on 21 December 2022 and there had been no direct requests to change or amend anything in the plan.  There were a number of questions that linked to operational areas of delivery.  The Assistant Director - Housing highlighted to the Board issues raised during the consultation.


The Board’s input into the service plan was welcomed and gave tenants an additional opportunity to comment, before it was finalised and reported to Cabinet.  During discussion a number of operational, service delivery issues were raised by a tenant representative and it was agreed that officers would look into these and that the written responses would be circulated to HRB members by the Assistant Director - Housing.  Many of the concerns related to tenant involvement and the Resident Involvement Strategy 2023-27, which the Interim Housing Services Manager advised would be reported to future meetings of the Housing Review Board.


RECOMMENDED:  that Cabinet approve the Housing Service Plan for 2023-24.


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