Decision to be taken on housing policy

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COUNCILLORS are due to decide on a shake up of Scarborough Council’s housing enforcement policies.

The decision will be taken at Monday’s meeting of the full council and the move has already been recommended for approval by members of the Cabinet.

According to minutes from a Cabinet meeting in May Cabinet members considered a report which proposed a revised Housing Enforcement Policy and new joint housing and planning enforcement protocols.

Members were advised that the Housing Enforcement Policy had been revised to reflect and clarify new legal requirements as well as including local elements such as fire safety enforcement.

And the protocols specifically deal with houses in multiple occupation as well as illegal eviction and harassment.

A council spokesman said: “The resulting policy document enshrined a clear, robust and fair approach to housing enforcement. Members welcomed the report and asked officers to ensure the named contact list was up to date.”

Speaking at May’s Cabinet meeting Cllr Bill Chatt, the portfolio holder for housing and property maintenance, said that people who were under 35-years-old would find it harder to get housing benefit, under new Government legislation, and more people would be forced to homeshare as a result.

The Cabinet recommended that the draft policy and joint protocols be adopted by the full council because they had been developed to provide clarity on of the roles and responsibilities of the council when undertaking housing enforcement action. It is hoped that, under the new rules, councillors, officers, members of the public as well as other key organisations will all be better informed.

The spokesman added: “The changes are being recommended to ensure that the council takes a robust, fair and consistent approach toward meeting its legal obligations.”