North Warwickshire Borough Council

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Private Sector Housing Assistance

Policy Summary

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General aims - awareness, professional standards and partnership working

We will maintain and improve awareness of the condition of local residential property and record it on appropriate systems, and take other opportunities such as the report data and subsequent studies as appropriate.

We will endeavour to improve awareness of our clients needs and to protect the most vulnerable, especially in private rented accommodation, through enforcement where necessary.

We are aware of the Council's mandatory duties and will endeavour to meet them in full and to a professional standard.

We will work in partnership with others to protect residents e.g. with the Fire Service and the Trading Standards body.

We will liaise and work in partnership with others to address housing issues including Building Control and Planning, Benefits, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), First Stop and landlords and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

We will support the development of newbuild homes and conversion of other properties into homes suitable for the emerging needs of the Borough's residents.

Advice, support, information campaigns

We will seek to engage with landlords and representative groups in the local housing market.

We will seek to reduce the number of longer term empty homes and bring them back into habitable use and a decent condition.  The financial aspects of each case or project will be determined by the Assistant Director (Housing), on an individual basis to achieve maximum value and impact (and Financial Support, and Enforcement).

We will seek to reduce the impacts of fuel poverty by promoting affordable warmth initiatives.  Initially, it is not proposed to offer financial assistance from the Council's own capital, but to work with other external funding groups, bids and providers in the insulation/heating market (and Financial Support, and Enforcement).

We will continue to support the effective Home Safety Check Scheme to reduce the risks of serious domestic accidents to our elderly residents.

We will seek to offer technical, legal and professional advice and support to those who need it, to reinforce peoples responsibility for their own circumstances and give them control over those matters.

Financial support

We joined the Houseproud scheme via the Home Improvement Trust for one year from 1.4.2012, promoting safe Equity Release and supporting this with small grants and loans.  **UPDATE - this scheme was withdrawn on 31/3/2013 and is yet to be replaced.  Alternatives are being considered.

We propose to support the Green Deal by promotion and financial incentives where possible.

We propose to support the improvement of private housing by the application of available funds as opportunities present, including Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) funds with partner RSLs to address empty homes, the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), and initiatives such as Private Sector Leasing.



We will license Houses in Multiple Occupation as required by the mandatory national scheme.

We will investigate complaints of unsafe and poor quality residential accommodation to implement the Council's statutory duties and use it's regulatory influence to protect resident's health - in particular in regard to category 1 Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hazards regardless of tenure., and including overcrowding,  associated caravan site licensing and public health issues.

Each of the above proposals is reliant on financial and staff resources and will be prioritised by professional judgement and limited by available funds and staff time.  Significant new opportunities, developments or needs will be reported to Members for determination as and when they arise.

*The Council's statutory duty to provide disabled facilities grants, and associated opportunities to deliver adapted accommodation and to support relocation etc. are described in different policies.

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