Agenda item


This report summarises the work completed on both these reports which are the housing homes and accommodation strategy and housing JSNA chapter and makes a case for the recommendations outlined in both. 







Michael Coughlin - Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth, SCC

Poppy Middlemiss - Public Health Registrar, SCC


Key points raised in the discussion:


1.   The Chair noted that the updated Housing Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) chapter provided a good opportunity to revisit the strategy and endorse the recommendations given the significance of housing as a wider determinant of health and its impact on the cost of living. She thanked the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (SCC) for her hard work.

2.   The Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth (SCC) noted that:

·      The One Surrey Growth Board received a similar item with an economic development and economy focus. There were two parts of the strategy: Call to Action and the Call to Government arose from the work undertaken with stakeholders over the last eighteen months; identified the affordability of housing as a significant barrier to recruitment.

·      Good quality, affordable and secure housing was a key determinant of positive mental and physical health.

·      Work began around the state of Surrey’s housing market and a baseline assessment by the consultants had been produced collating national and local data; concluding that there was a housing crisis in Surrey. Several months after the work, a national housing crisis had been identified.

·      Acute to Surrey was high demand matched against insufficient supply for several years, resulting in high purchase, mortgage and rental costs.

·      Extensive stakeholder engagement tested the accuracy of the findings and gain a complete picture of the baseline assessment; not all the borough and district councils agreed with or signed up to the strategy.

·      It was acknowledged that the strategy must be system-wide and multi-agency, agencies were asked to respond to the Call to Action.

·      The conclusions drawn from the work was the need to prioritise partnership working and to better understand public opinion around housing. Issues identified: aging population, underoccupancy of housing, affordability, vulnerable groups suffering from poor or no housing, land availability and the need for housing developments to focus on essential and key worker housing, and the contribution to net zero and climate change targets.

·      The recommendations in the Call to Action and the Call to Government - submitted to the Housing Minister - focused on policy and funding changes that would help Surrey with its housing crisis.

·      Whilst SCC did not have a statutory housing duty it was part of the One Public Estate partnership and it was taking the lead with a report scheduled for February’s Cabinet setting out multiple work programmes where SCC could have a direct influence on particularly vulnerable children's and adult social care accommodation and services.

3.    The Public Health Registrar (SCC) noted that:

·      The updated JSNA chapter was expected to be published in early January and was developed in collaboration with many stakeholders including district and borough councils, and set out the picture of the housing situation in Surrey looking at how it was affecting people’s health and was to inform commissioners and stakeholders going forward.

·      The current provision was mapped against the gaps in that service provision to identify housing needs for Surrey’s residents. There was an in-depth look at the needs of vulnerable groups including: people with learning disabilities, people with autism and people with mental health needs, GRT communities, and prison leavers.

·      The themes of the draft recommendations were: affordability and availability, homelessness, condition, and meeting the needs of residents.

4.    A Board member noted that the VCSE Alliance contributed well to the JSNA chapter, praising the thorough process and exciting work. Highlighted that in rural Surrey the median income to median house price multiplier was significantly higher than across Surrey as a whole. The report does not recognise the greater cost of living in rural Surrey, the unaffordability of accommodation and larger cost of living impacts for example rural households spend 50% more on transport and are impacted by social isolation. Would be completing a bid to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs for funding to support rural housing enablement, enabling small-scale building to take place in rural communities.

5.    The Chair asked whether the various stakeholders had agreed to be on the multi-agency Surrey Housing Forum; what the take-up was. The Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth (SCC) noted that the membership -based on the steering group and other key representatives - and terms of reference would be included in the February Cabinet report.

6.    The Chair asked whether the training to identify and support the health and wellbeing of their clients through signposting of wider workforce in Surrey including those who work in and for housing was underway. The Public Health Registrar (SCC) explained that it was being taken forward as part of the Making Every Contact Count Train the Trainer programme. She had linked up with the Surrey enabling officers in the districts and boroughs. A Board member welcomed the training but highlighted that the staff turnover of housing workers and within the housing association sector was high.

7.    The Chair noted the shortage of housing particularly in Epsom, which had a long waiting list and the highest figure of people in temporary accommodation and that had many knock-on effects to the children and families; it was a huge physical and mental health inequality. She noted feedback from those aged over 55 years old about the wrong type of housing being built for that age range.

8.    A Board member sat on the board of the Red Kite Community Housing association and would share the detail of its innovative approach of creating a subsidiary organisation where rents could be aligned to people's affordability, that was not a registered social landlord. She asked how it would be ensured that there would be a connection between the housing work and health system, filtering across to the communities within place. The Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth (SCC) noted that he and the Public Health Registrar (SCC) would follow up with the Board member on Red Kite and its subsidiary; and could provide the relevant contacts in housing locally. For example, the Chief Executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council sat on the steering group and would have contacts in the local housing team. He noted that the socialisation of the work across the health system was down to the relevant Board members to action at place level.

9.    A Board member asked about the governance route of that report in February. The Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth (SCC) explained that it was scheduled for SCC’s February Cabinet meeting, focusing on the work programmes within SCC that were a subset of the strategy; to be discussed at the Surrey Chief Executives’ Group prior to that.

10.  A Board member noted the multiple place-based discussions underway as the district and borough councils had housing and planning powers and had established various forums; noted the need to ensure that the Surrey Housing Forum would not duplicate that.

11.  The Associate Member referring to homelessness highlighted the lengthy process before someone could be placed in temporary accommodation concerning the discharge of a legal duty. In some areas that might be a high standard of accommodation in other areas not. Whilst the accommodation might be suitable it was insecure long-term in the private rented sector and increasingly the housing authorities had to subsidise rents to keep families in their current homes. Noted the need to acknowledge that the map around temporary accommodation in Appendix 1 did not show potential hidden issues of the large numbers of families facing the above situation. Would link the report into Guildford Borough Council’s homelessness strategy being written.




1.    Endorsed and supported the Call to Action laid out in the Surrey Strategy for Housing, Accommodation and Homes and the Call to Government for policy changes, resources, and powers to enable partners in Surrey to tackle the housing crisis.

2.    Supported the recommendations of the new Surrey Housing JSNA Chapter in order to reduce inequality driven by housing needs.

3.    Ensured a continued focus on the housing situation, its implications for health and the actions needed to address it amongst all partners in Surrey including ensuring key Health and Wellbeing Board and related strategies should include measures to reduce homelessness and improve housing and social care related health outcomes.

Actions/further information to be provided:


1.    The Executive Director - Prosperity, Partnership and Growth (SCC) noted that he and the Public Health Registrar (SCC) will follow up with the Board member (substitute: Tracey Faraday-Drake) on the Red Kite Community Housing association and its subsidiary; and can provide the relevant contacts in housing locally.


Supporting documents: