9. How well is housing need being met?
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What success would mean
“To promote opportunity and a real choice of homes for all Londoners, in a range of tenures that meets their needs at a price they can afford.”
Mayor of London1
Housing need being met would mean...
- Stronger local economy - Housing is of specific significance to keyworkers who are engaged in education, health or public services such as the police, prisons or social workers who, whilst being integral to a community, are excluded from living there due to prohibitive costs. The establishment of keyworker housing schemes to tackle this problem provides a direct link from occupational status to housing.2
- Addressing inequality - Poor housing environments impact adversely upon emotional vulnerability and social cohesion with lower socioeconomic groups being affected the most. Whilst intrinsically tied up with the realities of income and status, a person's perception of their place in the social hierarchy can produce negative emotions such as shame.3
- Healthy people - Emotions such as shame can lead to damaging behaviours including smoking and drinking, which can lead to subsequent health problems, resulting in antisocial behaviour and reductions in civic participation, reducing community cohesion.4
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
NI154: Net additional homes provided.
NI175: Access to services and facilities by public transport, walking and cycling.
NI197: Improved local biodiversity - active management of local sites.
No Use Empty
What is it?
- A partnership between Kent County Council and four district councils that aimed to address the increasing problem of empty, run-down properties in the most deprived wards in the county.
- The success of the scheme in its first three years has resulted in an expansion across the whole county.
How does it work?
- Package of interventions - through a combination of loans for owners, professional housing support, specialist empty property officers in the districts and ’master classes’ on legislation.
- Results - the initiative resulted in a positive cultural shift in working practices between the county council and the four districts. Rather than working in silos, legal, planning, building control and council tax are working more closely and are willing to co-operate more readily to deal with empty properties.
- Learning and skills - the initiative has also had a big impact on shared learning and improving the skills of property officers.
- Cost savings -it is anticipated that savings in the reduction of officer time and associated costs in dealing with the problems caused by empty properties (including the dumping of rubbish, pest control, crime, vandalism and boarding up vacant properties) will cancel the initial costs of running the project.
What are the main impacts?
- Housing need better met - nearly 500 properties were brought back into use in the original four districts.
- Stronger local economy - bringing empty properties back into use should also create additional sources of revenue through council tax.
- Better kept area – reduced dumping of rubbish, pests, boarded up properties and vandalism.
- Safety – reduced opportunities to commit crime in empty properties.
For more information, contact:
No Use Empty
T: 08458 247 605
1. Mayor of London Draft Housing Strategy
2. London Health Commission, 2006. Sustainable Local Economies for Health (SLEHP)
3. As above
4. As above.