Community Regeneration Partnership Expertise in Urban Renewal
  • Aug

    Launch of Major Housing Improvement Programme in Hastings

    In July 2011 Hastings Borough Council announced its major new improvement programme.  The programme arose directly out of work carried out by CRP for Hastings Borough Council and Local Space Housing Association.
    The Council’s announcement:�
    ‘Council Takes Further Step To Improve Housing Conditions
    ‘Hastings Borough Council last night moved to improve housing conditions in some of the most deprived parts of the town, as it voted unanimously to introduce an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation.
    ‘Council leader Jeremy Birch explained :- “We are the most deprived town in the southeast, and the second most deprived seaside resort in the whole country.
    ‘”The town has a very high proportion of bedsit/flats, or houses in multiple occupation. In fact our proportion of HMOs, as they are called, is four times the national average, and around 85 per cent of these are concentrated in the four town centre wards.
    ‘”Living conditions in HMOs are often well below standard, so we are introducing an additional licensing scheme to help tackle these problems and provide greater protection for tenants. We have consulted widely on this proposal, and we have had overwhelming support from tenants, the wider community and from a majority of landlords.
    ‘”We see this as an important element in our housing action plan, in our efforts to improve the quality of housing in Hastings. We have already introduced something called ‘Article 4 direction’ which means that smaller HMOs need planning permission. We are starting to compulsorily purchase houses that have been empty for a long time – indeed, we also doubled the number of empty properties we want to target at last night’s Cabinet meeting. We are also working with a partner, Local Space, who are looking to invest £2m in social housing in Hastings. And we will shortly be announcing details of a scheme which will help people get onto the housing ladder by acting as guarantor for part of their home loan.
    ‘”We are absolutely committed to improving housing conditions in Hastings, the decision by our Cabinet last night will help turn this ambition into reality.’

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