Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy (2021-2031) Consultation
The council provides assistance for home repair, improvement and adaptation ranging from advice, financial assistance through to enforcement. With these powers, the council’s main objectives are:
- To tackle housing conditions that represent a hazard to the health and wellbeing of the occupier, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable households.
- Improve the quality of life of elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents by appropriate adaptations to their homes, where they are not in the position to do so.
The council’s previous Private Sector Housing Assistance policy was adopted in 2003 and was last amended in 2008. The proposed document brings the previous document up to date. Since the last amendment a number of changes have been made including:
- The establishment of the Hertfordshire Home Improvement Agency (HHIA) and the transfer of Disabled Facilities and Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant work to the HHIA.
- Budget reductions that have led to certain grants no longer being given (HMO Grants and Decent Homes grants to landlords).
- During budget setting for 2021/2022 it was agreed that the council would change to offering Loans instead of grants for Decent Homes.
The proposed Policy takes account of these changes and proposes a replacement of the majority of Decent Homes Grants with secured, Interest bearing, Decent Homes Loans repayable on sale of a property. The council aims to use its funds as fairly and effectively as possible. To achieve this, the council has made the decision to move from grants to loans for housing repairs. This is so that the funds can still have the same positive impact on residents’ lives but also be recovered and recycled in the future to benefit more residents.
Other key changes to the policy:
- Introduction of a small (up to £1,000) grant for emergency repairs for home owners on certain income related benefits.
- Removal of grant to landlords for repairs to rental property including HMO’s.
When the consultation closes, we will gather the feedback and use it to update the Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy so that it further reflects the views of East Herts residents and communities and other stakeholder organisations.
The Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy will then be presented to Full Council in December 2021.
You can download the Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy here.
The consultation is open for 4 weeks from Monday 23 August 2021 and will close on Sunday 19 September 2021 at midnight.
There are two ways to share your views:
1. Via email to: email@example.com
Please make the subject of your email “Housing Assistance Consultation”.
2. In writing either by post or hand delivered to: Environmental Health, East Herts Council, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8EQ.