Issue - meetings

Better Homes for All Update

Meeting: 13/07/2023 - Cabinet (Item 13)

13 Better Homes for All Update pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To receive an update on the Better Homes For All Programme.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member: Homes & Enforcement presented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure.


The Better Homes for All Programme was introduced in 2018, and updated in 2020 in order to improve conditions in the growing private rented sector within the Borough.  It also set out how it would tackle rogue landlords.  In 2022 the Council’s programme to ‘Protect Care and Invest to Create a Better Borough’ was introduced to continue this programme of development which included a key objective for the Council’s Housing Strategy to make the best use of existing homes.


Private rented sector (PRS) housing was now the only housing option for many people including young families and vulnerable adults due to a decline in social housing and this filled a gap in the market.  Many single individuals were living in shared housing with houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) being their only option.  An ageing housing stock and the condition of PRS housing was a major focus.


During the previous twelve months, the Council had dealt with 489 requests from tenants living in poor housing conditions a 30% increase.  A total of 300 inspections had taken place identifying 511 hazards such as falls, damp and mould and fire.  An additional 50 property inspections had been undertaken linked to the Safer Streets Programme which had now totalled 500 inspections.  A total of 18 HMO licences had been put forward for full inspections and 10 Multi Agency Targeted Enforcements Strategy (MATES) operations had taken place.   There had been 140 enforcement notices, 12 Civil Penalty Notices, 1 formal caution and 3 prosecutions undertaken and 137 long term empty properties brought back into use.


Capital grant funding for affordable warmth of £4m had been granted.


A Landlord/Tenant Programme had been introduced to support landlords and tenants to resolve issues at an early stage.  Inspections had taken place on properties for Homes for Ukraine programme, monitoring of supported accommodation and visiting HMOs to ensure licenses were met.


Cabinet Members welcomed the report and the work undertaken to raise the standard of private landlords.  Having a dry, warm and safe home underpinned the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.  With the increased cost of mortgages it was essential going forward that the standards of housing conditions remained high and it was vital that this work continued.


The Leader of the Liberal Democrat group welcomed the report and noted that the majority of private landlords were of a good standard.  This needed to continue and the Council be ready to support local residents when things go wrong.


The Leader of the Conservative group echoed comments made by the Liberal Democrat group leader.  It was important to maintain the standard of living conditions and noted the pressures on landlords.  He complimented the Officers on their difficult work and asked that this continued going forward.


The Leader reported that the Council had a good working relationship with the large social landlords, Telford and Wrekin Homes and NuPlace.  They acted as a market disrupter and raised the bar in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13