The occupation of Council premises by Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) organisations has evolved over time creating inconsistent lease terms, little transparency about use and occupation of the premises an increasing maintenance backlog. At the same time, there is an ongoing requirement from the VCS for good quality affordable accommodation.
This proposal addresses the core VCS portfolio of 49 properties totalling approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of accommodation. It is seeking the adoption of a social value mechanism, supported by a VCS Panel and a new VCS tenant liaison officer. A letting policy is also proposed to ensure a consistent approach to lease terms including rent, repairs, and sharing of premises.
The aim of the strategy is to deliver a range of good quality affordable property dedicated to the VCS with well-utilised spaces delivering services and activities aligned with the objectives of the Borough Plan. The strategy includes the application of a fair approach to rent, management of compliance with lease terms and a proposal to invest over £2m in repairs.