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3 hours ago, SleepyJoe said:

Dare say Mr Thomas will personally make a better job of explaining to the public what is happening or is to happen

At considerable length.....

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3 hours ago, SleepyJoe said:

The document does appear to be framed with the IOMGs predilection for bureaucracy max

Dare say Mr Thomas will personally make a better job of explaining to the public what is happening or is to happen

The document is short action plan with appendices including terms of reference. 

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4 hours ago, doc.fixit said:

It seems a very long winded way of saying very little. What an inefficient way of discussing and planning our future.

What do you expect. A serious issue will end morphing into a Department, with Chris Thomas being made Minister of Housing and Communities.

 Lots of hot air, reams of paper and fancy documents placed in the Tynwald Buildings, more civil servants but very few housing will be created. It will be years before any real progress is achieved. 

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1 minute ago, 2112 said:

What do you expect. A serious issue will end morphing into a Department, with Chris Thomas being made Minister of Housing and Communities.

 Lots of hot air, reams of paper and fancy documents placed in the Tynwald Buildings, more civil servants but very few housing will be created. It will be years before any real progress is achieved. 

It will not. Have you read action plan? What specific comments do you have about any of the workstreams or terms of reference? 

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6 hours ago, Chris Thomas said:

It will not. Have you read action plan? What specific comments do you have about any of the workstreams or terms of reference? 

What are your objectives in the short term? I think it is going to be an uphill battle as what you want to achieve is diametrically opposed to what the developers want when they have milked the short supply in this island for years. The best way to win is going to be to hand out contracts to these developers to build more social housing. Rents are only going one way. And the landlord and tenant act is only going to sent rates even further upwards. There is now literally nowhere to rent in the IOM. 

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18 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

I think you'll find that the commercial market is more than capable of providing "bland, drab, uniformity social housing style" without any help from the state [looks in direction of Ballasalla].

But yes there does need to be more social housing and we need to stop only building new to replace the old.

We don't need more social housing.

What we need are mid-market rental properties to get those living in social housing who can afford mid-market rents out and free the properties up for those who genuinely need it.

The way to achieve that is via Housing Trusts/Associations but I believe the relevant legislation doesn't exist.

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10 hours ago, Chris Thomas said:

It is a short action plan. How is it long winded? 

?? I was referring to the anachronistic verbiage utilised in the court. Use modern language, to the point and meaningful. Might get more done that way, customs are all very well but not in a working chamber trying to modernise and update its workings and its image.

It is trying to come to terms with the modern world and its needs and functions isn't it?

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4 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

We don't need more social housing.

What we need are mid-market rental properties to get those living in social housing who can afford mid-market rents out and free the properties up for those who genuinely need it.

The way to achieve that is via Housing Trusts/Associations but I believe the relevant legislation doesn't exist.

There are many varied ways to achieve the goals which are to provide low cost and affordable housing. Unfortunately the authorities are still wedded to the past, the Manx Way and are very blinkered, unable to adapt to change. I find Chris Thomas whilst it’s good he does reply, his attitude is very defensive, instead of conciliatory, but that is my opinion. I would like to think he would alter his viewpoint based on the views of others. 

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9 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

We don't need more social housing.

What we need are mid-market rental properties to get those living in social housing who can afford mid-market rents out and free the properties up for those who genuinely need it.

The way to achieve that is via Housing Trusts/Associations but I believe the relevant legislation doesn't exist.

But by definition we have "mid-market rental properties" - if we have a market there must be a middle of it.  What you actually mean is that those are too expensive to rent for a lot of people, even on reasonable salaries, at the moment.  And if that is the case then the only way will be to introduce rent controls or subsidise those rents (effectively this happens with people on benefits - including in-work benefits - already).  If you're a landlord the latter may sound like a good idea - otherwise why not build more social housing.

Housing associations will only ever be a part of the solution (though a useful one) and tend to be less efficient than publicly-owned housing.

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On 5/30/2022 at 6:46 AM, Andy Onchan said:

We don't need more social housing.

What we need are mid-market rental properties to get those living in social housing who can afford mid-market rents out and free the properties up for those who genuinely need it.

The way to achieve that is via Housing Trusts/Associations but I believe the relevant legislation doesn't exist.

I agree that more mid-rent property is needed. The 5 property pilot scheme in Colby has been successful. Legal basis of this arrangement needs enhancing I suggest. Rent to buy schemes make sense, surely?

I also agree about housing associations, and primary law does provide for them. See part 2 here  Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (gov.im). There are some small ones already too e.g. Legion Housing Association, Manx Housing Trust, etc. However housing association arrangements here are underdeveloped and need developing. Tynwald policy is to do that.

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20 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Housing associations will only ever be a part of the solution (though a useful one) and tend to be less efficient than publicly-owned housing.

Housing associations by law here cannot "trade for profit" and are "established" for "providing, constructing, improving or managing dwellings to be kept available for letting". 

Why do you feel local authority owned housing is preferable to housing association housing?

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On 5/30/2022 at 11:04 AM, 2112 said:

There are many varied ways to achieve the goals which are to provide low cost and affordable housing. Unfortunately the authorities are still wedded to the past, the Manx Way and are very blinkered, unable to adapt to change. I find Chris Thomas whilst it’s good he does reply, his attitude is very defensive, instead of conciliatory, but that is my opinion. I would like to think he would alter his viewpoint based on the views of others. 

Thanks for critical appraisal. I feel I often learn, which sometimes varies my viewpoint. But I also disagree and correct factual inaccuracy. Is that defensive?

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On 5/30/2022 at 5:39 AM, Bandits said:

What are your objectives in the short term? 

Thanks for question.

I guess my foreword in action plan summarises action.

Here's my speech in Tynwald this month when moving Action Plan for approval.

"

I am pleased to bring the Housing and Communities Board Action Plan 2022/23 to this Hon. Court today in line with the commitment made in Our Island Plan.

I also welcome, as I believe the whole Board do, suggestions and appraisal as the Plan is offered to Tynwald for its receipt and approval.

This Plan lays out the initial 12-month actions to articulate more of the legislative, financial and practical interventions to deliver the ‘Building great communities’ housing vision in Our Island Plan by the Housing and Communities Board and others. That vision is of everyone having a suitable and affordable place to call home with the Island’s housing stock meeting the needs of our population now and into the future.

I was honoured to be appointed by the Chief Minister to chair the Housing and Communities Board back in October. I recognise and share his concerns outlined in his manifesto as Chief Minister that affordability of housing for young people is reaching crisis point. My manifesto had identified several areas where urgent action to fix our housing crisis could be taken. I know the other members of the Board care passionately about housing too and are dedicated to addressing the challenges we face with action.

Mr President, there are many facets to the work of the Board and I believe all Board members, and indeed all of us Hon. Members, agree that a holistic approach to housing is needed: a co-ordinated housing policy with optimised regulation and optimised operations.

With that in mind, an objective assessment of housing need is being scoped for commencement in coming months. The objective assessment will look at all aspects of housing and bring together data from across all areas of housing provision to address not just how many properties we need, but also who needs them, along with a comparison of the types of housing we need. There is experience elsewhere from which we can learn.

I can also report that discussions have taken place with the Climate Change Transformation team, some built environment officers and the Manx Development Corporation team to keep each other appraised of plans and delivery, just as the Chief Minister intended.

One hugely significant delivery to date is that £118,000 has been secured very recently from the Housing and Communities Fund to support the continuation of the emergency night shelter operated by Graih for a year. This significant contribution will enable accommodation for those experiencing a crisis. This work has been delivered by the nascent Joint Commissioning Delivery Team, with leadership from the Department of Health and Social Care. Mr President, no person on the Isle of Man should be without a place to sleep, whatever their circumstances. Work is ongoing to introduce the housing first approach – a single pathway with multiple provisions to support living for so many.

The Board has also supported the Department of Infrastructure to prepare an amended Shared Equity Purchase Assistance Scheme, which I hope will be launched in August, subject to Tynwald approval. The proposed changes will help to encourage more take up of the Scheme as thresholds and terms will be enhanced.

In addition, the Treasury intends to make changes to the Social Security budgeting loans regulations to help certain vulnerable people secure accommodation and thus prevent homelessness. The amendment regulations are expected to be brought before this Hon. Court in July.

In addition to the positive announcements I have been able to make today regarding an objective assessment of housing need, emergency housing provision and enabling first-time buyers and Social Security budgeting loans, work is under way according to the other actions outlined in the Action Plan.

For instance, the Board has recently engaged with local authorities in respect of dilapidated properties and how to deal with them. This early work provides a foundation in working towards and delivering an empty property initiative. The Treasury Minister identified other potential dimensions of that in answer to Mr Moorhouse’s Question this morning.

Appendices to the Action Plan include the Board terms of reference and also those for the Treasury Housing and Communities Fund. Approval is now in place, I believe, for a full-time officer to work directly with the Board in all aspects of this ambitious and much-needed programme of work.

Hon. Members, in closing, as Chair of the Housing and Communities Board, I thank Hon. Members for their engagement to date about housing and look forward to hearing from Members today and in the future. This Action Plan provides a framework. The Action Plan is indeed bold and some have said, and would say, it has got ambitious delivery dates. But I am sure Hon. Members here today will agree with me that bold, decisive action is what is needed both in the short and long term and I am pleased to be part of a Housing and Communities Board that is committed to delivering all elements of the Action Plan.

"

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