Have a say on housing

Coun Stephen Thomas
Coun Stephen Thomas

PRIVATE sector housing tenants are being urged to have their say on whether schemes to make life better for them are working.

The effectiveness of private sector housing schemes in Hartlepool, specifically selective licensing, landlord accreditation, good tenant schemes and policies for dealing with empty homes, are being examined by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Scrutiny Forum.

As part of its five-month inquiry, the forum is inviting private sector tenants to come along to one of two focus group meetings next month to share their experiences.

The meetings are being held on Tuesday, October 4, in the Lynnfield Centre, in Grosvenor Street, at 6pm and Wednesday, October 12, in the Stranton Centre, in Southburn Terrace, at 6pm.

Councillor Stephen Thomas, chairman of the forum, said: “It’s very important that we get as many points of view as possible from private sector tenants.

“The two focus groups are an excellent opportunity for people to have their say and influence the direction of the forum’s thinking and the recommendations it makes.”

The council currently operates a number of private sector housing schemes which are aimed at making life better for residents in a number of ways including improving the condition and management of properties.

As well as examining current private sector housing schemes in Hartlepool, the scrutiny forum will also be looking at the impact of current and future budget pressures on those schemes and exploring how such schemes might be provided in the future.

It will also consider whether there are alternative ways of reducing anti-social behaviour and helping to promote thriving communities.

The comments and information received at the two focus group meetings will be discussed at the forum’s next formal meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, October 26, in committee room B, in the civic centre, in Victoria Road, at 4.30pm.

Members of the public are welcome to attend this and future meetings.

For more information about this investigation, including how to submit evidence or get involved in the focus groups, contact scrutiny support officer Elaine Hind on (01429) 523647 or email: Elaine.hind@hartlepool.gov.uk