Ealing launches first private housing strategy

Ealing Council’s housing and homelessness strategy for the next five years includes its first ever private sector housing strategy.

The two strategies have been drawn up to set out Ealing Council’s plans to meet increasing demand for housing in the borough.

Cllr Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for housing, employment and skills said: “The welfare benefit caps have hit us badly, we are the third most affected borough in England. Typical rents charged in the private sector are unaffordable for many of our residents as demand outstrips supply and homelessness increases. Our housing strategy will be key to delivering more affordable housing, and to tackle some of the problems found in the private sector including getting tough on rogue landlords.”

The increase in property prices has seen more people turn to renting from private landlords in Ealing. The council will work more closely with landlords to provide training and accreditation schemes and will also crack down on landlords housing tenants in poor quality or even dangerous homes.

The council will also consider setting up its own local lettings agency to provide lower cost fees for tenants and extra security for private sector landlords.

Owners of empty properties can also get grants of up to £30,000 to renovate their homes and, in return, let them out at an affordable rent for five years. Since January 2013, the council has brought more than 100 empty properties in the borough back into use.

As part of the housing and homelessness strategy, Ealing Council’s estate improvement and new build programmes will deliver more than 3,000 mixed tenure homes over the next five years. Empty commercial properties on council owned estates could also be turned into homes to provide more temporary accommodation and reduce the number of families needing to stay in bed and breakfast accommodation.

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