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Local lettings policy to help support sustainable communities

Published: 29/10/2015

As a landlord the Council recognises the importance of balancing the needs of new tenants and the interests of existing tenants and continuously seeks to respond to local housing issues to help create safe, pleasant neighbourhoods, where people aspire to live. To further this aim a report seeking approval for the development of a framework for local letting policies to help tackle local housing issues is to be considered by the council’s Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny committee on Wednesday, 4 November. The proposed framework aims to: · help tackle identified areas of low demand helping to ensure we maximise the investment in our existing homes · maintain the long term sustainability of established and new areas creating vibrant, healthy and great places to live · help support and encourage balanced and cohesive communities where people choose to live · improve community safety by addressing and preventing issues of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and harassment · protect both the interests of local residents and our homes by seeking to prevent or reverse social decline and deprivation The degree and extent to which these objectives are applied will vary between each local letting policy, in recognition of different local housing issues across the county such as: · concentrations of deprivation · large new developments where it is felt that a new community needs to be established · supporting tenant employment opportunities through job related moves and those people who are making a positive contribution to a particular area in an economic or voluntary capacity · the needs and sustainability of rural communities e.g. where affordability of housing is an issue · under-occupation and/ or overcrowding. Cllr. Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for housing said, “A local letting policy would be applied in either a defined geographical area or on a new build development and would help the council respond to local housing issues. This would in turn help create sustainable, vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods balancing the needs of new tenants and the interests of existing tenants.” It is proposed that the Council considers the need to implement local lettings policies for some of the new developments, by starting the process of gathering the evidence to demonstrate whether or not there is a specific need for a local letting policy. Consultation will be carried out in line with the framework and the process for approval to implement a local lettings policy. This will include consultation with local Elected Members, residents groups and other Housing Associations.