Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Cabinet considered the report of the interim head of development, regeneration and housing. The report suggested an approach to using commuted sums from developers to provide affordable housing. On rare occasions, it was not possible for developers to provide affordable housing on their site. If the council believed that this was for good reasons, and that viability was not the issue, it could require the developer to pay the council a commuted sum that could be used to provide affordable housing on any other appropriate site in the vicinity of the original development site.
Cabinet considered the options to use commuted sums:
1. To meet a shortfall in the delivery of rented accommodation or to increase the range of affordable tenures.
2. To provide new affordable housing that met specialist needs.
3. To provide new affordable housing for people with a strong local connection.
The use of commuted sum payments to assist in the delivery of new affordable housing could be in the form of a direct grant to a registered provider. However in some cases, depending on viability, it might be appropriate to provide commuted sums as a reimbursable investment, so the council received a return on the invested commuted sums.
The Joint Scrutiny Committee had supported the proposed approach but recommended that an annual report was produced on the status of commuted sums payments received and to detail expenditure. Cabinet concurred with this suggestion.
Cabinet considered that there was a need to approve an approach for the spending of commuted sums, which allowed for the use of these payments to provide affordable housing. Cabinet supported the approach and the use of the three options with the intention of primarily increasing the overall housing stock in the district. However, commuted sums should not be restricted to use for new-build properties only. If an opportunity arose to bring an empty home back into use then Cabinet considered that commuted sums should be used to assist such projects.
RESOLVED: to use commuted sums primarily for the purpose of encouraging the delivery of new-build affordable housing to:
(i) meet a shortfall in the delivery of rented accommodation, or increase the range of affordable tenures; or
(ii) provide new affordable housing that meets specialist needs; or
(iii) provide new affordable housing for people with a strong local connection.
Report author: Gerry Brough
Publication date: 18/04/2017
Date of decision: 06/04/2017
Decided at meeting: 06/04/2017 - Cabinet
Effective from: 14/04/2017