A Labour council serving one of the largest private rental communities in the country is reported to have failed to have applied for government cash to help enforcement because it did not have sufficient time.
The Brighton Argus quotes a housing spokesperson for the council as blaming the “short timeframe” for its failure to apply for a share of £4m in funds from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Last Friday the additional funding was announced by the MHCLG, with a number of council initiatives named in the government statement as being beneficiaries of the extra funds.
But the Argus quotes Councillor Gill Williams, chair of the housing committee, as saying that more “sustainable long-term funding” was required from the government.
“There are a lot of responsible landlords in the city, but we know that many tenants are living in poor condition properties that are not properly maintained.
“Our policy is to be tough on the bad landlords so we can achieve a better and fairer standard to help the 31 per cent of the city’s residents living in private rented housing.
“We were successful in last year’s funding and used it to set up a new online reporting system to make it easier to report problems with poor private rented housing.
“We are also introducing a new enforcement policy setting out we will regulate standards in private rented housing and tackle empty homes in Brighton and Hove.”
The council’s failure to seek additional funds has been criticised by activists in the local branch of the Acorn renters’ union.
One is quoted as saying: “Renters are seeing little improvements to their conditions while landlords continue to get richer … I’m not sure why Brighton and Hove City Council hasn’t applied for more funding to deal with this problem because what they have been doing so far hasn’t been working.”