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Agenda item

Controlling Migration Fund

Report of the Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services.



The Committee received a report on the Controlling Migration Fund to confirm the detail of the Private Sector Housing submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).




In attendance for this item was Janet Sharpe (Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services) and Councillor Paul Wood (Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety).




Janet Sharpe stated that the Controlling Migration Fund had been launched by MHCLG to help local authorities mitigate the impacts of migration on communities and the Managing Migration Project will put in place measures to support the most vulnerable people living in private sector rented housing. One of the priorities for officers in the Housing Service is to ensure safe and secure housing conditions and being able to identify and disrupt organised crime such as trafficking, forced labour, intimidation and exploitation, however it is not their role to seek proof of immigration status and will not make referrals to the UKBA. It is intended to work closely with other local authorities and share best practice with them.




Members made various comments and asked a number of questions, to which responses were provided as follows:-




·                     Housing Teams have uncovered some serious crimes whilst carrying out inspections, resulting in a number of agencies being called upon, as well as the Police, to deal with these cases.




·                     It will take six to nine months to collect data relating to London/Abbeydale/Chesterfield Road Selective Licensing and, once this information is available, a report will be brought to the Committee.  This information would have to be taken into account before Selective Licensing could be considered city wide, as an investment of up to £40m would be needed to get the scheme up and running.




·                     It was acknowledged that the Selective Housing Scheme in the Page Hall area of the city had initially been a success, but the emphasis is on to see if it continues to do so.




·                     With regard to derelict public houses, which can be an eyesore, there are a whole range of powers that can be used.  The Council works with the landlords and/or owners to convert the premises and bring them back into use.  This was also the case with empty blocks of flats.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)       thanks Janet Sharpe for their contribution to the meeting;




(b)       notes the contents of the report and the responses to the questions; and




(c)        expresses its regret at the concerns raised; encourages training and developing protocol; and asks that the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety releases an explanatory statement regarding the content of the report that prompted concerns and public questions on the purpose of the CMF in Sheffield.


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