Council services by letter

Decision details

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Joining Capital Letters (London) Ltd

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To approve the decision to join Capital Letters (London) Ltd.

 

To allow the appropriate staffing cost to be transferred to enable Capital Letters to recruit directly.

 

To note Capital Letters’ governance structures including the Borough Representative Body on which all boroughs are represented.

Decisions:

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)          the decision to join Capital Letters (London) Ltd be approved;

 

(2)          the appropriate staffing cost to be transferred to enable Capital Letters to recruit directly be allowed.

 

(3)          Capital Letters’ governance structures including the Borough Representative Body on which all boroughs were represented be noted.

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

1.            This initiative was required to deliver additional affordable, suitable private sector accommodation to allow the Council to meet its homelessness duties at a cost it could sustain against the background of:

 

·         A challenging market with limited availability of accommodation for households on low incomes;

·         The likelihood of an increasing number of homeless households next year, following the cessation of the ban on evictions and once the extended Section 21 notice period expired;.

·         A shift in emphasis in homelessness policy towards use of resources to prevention;

·         The importance of working closely with other London boroughs to collaborate to secure accommodation.

 

2.            The Capital Letters’ governance process required the third wave of boroughs to secure internal approval to join the company so the Borough Representative Body could confirm their membership. However, the actual date of implementation would be designed to suit the London Borough of Harrow’s internal timescales and operational arrangements.

 

3.            The main financial benefit of joining the company was to access Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) funding and increase the number of private sector properties sourced in order to reduce the need for Temporary Accommodation.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:  As set out in the report.

 

Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member/Dispensation Granted:  None.

Report author: Divisional Director, Housing

Publication date: 12/11/2020

Date of decision: 11/11/2020

Decided at meeting: 11/11/2020 - Cabinet

Effective from: 20/11/2020

Accompanying Documents: