(Report to follow).
The Housing Development & Enabling Manager presented the Green Homes Funding report and in so doing informed Members that the report contained information regarding Phase 2 of the Green Homes Funding allocation which consisted of £476,900 worth of funding. The Phase one allocation was currently being processed. The criteria for both phases were virtually the same with the exception that homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F and G would also be included. Members were informed that the maximum household income in order to meet the criteria was £30,000 and the allocation for funding could be up to £10,000.
Some Members queried whether there had been a reduction to the Green Homes Funding as per a Central Government announcement made earlier that day. However, Officers were unsure and undertook to find out if there had been any changes and circulate any information to Members.
At this point in the meeting there was a slight pause due to loss of connection for the live streamer. The Chairman was immediately informed, and the debate was paused until connection was re-established.
Members were interested in how much discretion there was in respect of the allocation of funding and whether there were any specific locations within the District that would be likely to receive funding. It was confirmed that initially the homes that would be prioritised were Park Homes and these had already been identified by Officers. It was agreed that Officers would provide some clarification on the number of houses that could potentially benefit from Green Homes Funding in the District.
Councillor R. Hunter stated that he understood there was a deadline on 15th April 2021 to agree the funding by Cabinet however, he was keen that the Climate Change Working Group be involved in consideration of allocations alongside the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services.
During a lengthy discussion, the following was highlighted by Members:
· Due to the tight deadlines and prescriptive requirements of the Green Homes funding there would be no time to consult with the Climate Change Working Group prior to the report being considered at the Cabinet meeting due to be held on 31st March 2021.
· That the Climate Change Working Group was an appropriate place to consider the allocation of the funding and would be an opportunity for the Working Group to carry out some detailed work in respect of this area. However, it was felt by some Members that the Board was the appropriate place to scrutinise such an important area and further involvement by other Working Groups may make the process protracted and cumbersome. The Board was informed that they would be kept informed of the outcomes of any decisions by Cabinet in due course.
· How much funding had been allocated during Phase 1a of Green Homes Funding and what was the process to apply for funding? Officers informed Members that during the consultation period there had been 174 letters sent out to residents which had resulted in 40 applications being made which were currently being assessed for eligibility. It was thought that there would be a similar uptake for the second phase of the funding.
Following detailed debate, Councillor R. Hunter proposed the following:
That delegated authority is granted to the Head of Community & Housing Services in consultation with Portfolio Holders for Housing and Climate Change and the Climate Change Working Group to administer the funding received in line with the grant conditions.
On being put to the vote this recommendation was lost.
RESOLVED that the Green Homes Funding report be noted.