When news happens, text ROMS and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
TVBC to appoint house hunter
10:10am Saturday 12th May 2012 in News
TEST Valley’s housing shortage is now so serious that the council is taking on a new member of staff to entice private landlords to let their homes to those in housing need.
The drastic action was agreed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday after members were told that 2,309 of the 3,500 households registered with the council demonstrated a high or significant housing need.
They also heard that homelessness had soared by 192 per cent across the borough in just two years as high rents coupled with the economic downturn caused increasing hardship.
Andover councillor, Sandra Hawke, who introduced the item, said: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, homelessness is increasing, but we don’t have a just wring-our-hands policy, but a do-something policy.”
The number of homeless households in temporary accommodation already stands at 58 – an increase of 75 per cent in just nine months.
Under the Localism Act, councils can make more use of private housing to discharge its obligations to house someone in “reasonable accommodation” without the need to obtain the consent of the applicant.
Private landlords who had been consulted were keen to be involved. Mrs Hawke said: ‘“The enthusiasm is out there.”
The part-time post liaising with private sector landlords will be funded from the council’s homelessness grant reserve.
Council leader, Ian Carr, said: “It is something that could help bring on some more houses. Let’s give it a try.”