Council continues to improve neighbourhoods through Better Homes For All programme
Telford & Wrekin Council is continuing to raise housing standards in the private rental sector under the Better Homes For All programme.
At cabinet today (Thurs) the council highlighted how the scheme is focused on making neighbourhoods across the borough better places to live by working closely with tenants and landlords to improve housing conditions.
The council acknowledges that the majority of landlords operate legally and ensure their properties meet the required standards and continues to educate and encourage them.
However, where education and encouragement do not work, through Better Homes For All the council is committed to tackling non-compliant and criminal landlords who provide unsafe, unhealthy and sometimes dangerous conditions which exploit vulnerable tenants.
The service aims to help landlords and tenants resolve issues before other council services need to get involved and/or signpost them to a range of support services.
In the last decade the private rented sector (PRS) has doubled in size, with home ownership becoming unaffordable for many, and declining social housing means the private rental sector is filling an essential gap in the market.
Over the past 12 months the council has dealt with 489 requests for service from tenants living in poor housing conditions and has carried out 300 inspections identifying 511 hazards, including falls, damp and mould and fire.
A total of 18 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have been issued with licenses following full inspections.
The council is also working in partnership with Just Credit Union to offer residents on low incomes a loan package called a ‘Better Homes Loan’ to help improve conditions in their properties.
This includes essential repairs and energy efficiency measures and is also available to support owners of empty properties to help bring their properties back into use.
The council launched an Empty Property Strategy in 2021 and has brought 132 empty homes back into use so far and aims to bring a total of 375 back into use by 2025.
Councillor Richard Overton (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes & enforcement, said: “Through the Better Homes For All programme we are continuing to improve housing conditions across Telford and Wrekin in the private rental sector.
“We’re making best use of our existing homes and are working closely with tenants, landlords and partners to raise standards and make our neighbourhoods a great place to live.
“We remain committed to tackling rogue landlords across the borough but our enforcement policy aims to educate and encourage landlords first before we move to enforcement.
“We introduced our landlord tenant co-ordinator service in 2022 which is supporting landlords and tenants – helping them to resolve issues before other council services need to get involved.”
You can find out more about the support and advice which is available for tenants and landlords here: www.telford.gov.uk/info/1010/housing