Suffolk’s district and borough councils have secured £2.2m of Government funding to improve the standard of private rented homes in the county – tackling poor housing conditions and improving tenants’ wellbeing.
The successful joint bid, by Babergh, East Suffolk, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk Councils, will see the funding awarded over two years by the Department of Housing, Levelling Up and Communities (DHLUC), from a share of its £14m Private Rented Sector (PRS) Pathfinder Programme.
The funding will be used to create and support additional roles, offering advice and support to tenants and landlords, and taking enforcement action against those who continue to let poor quality housing.
It will also enable the councils to continue working collaboratively, pooling resources to improve the standards of privately rented homes as part of the Suffolk PRS - Empower, Encourage, Enforce project.
Focusing on engagement, the project will give landlords, tenants and communities a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Eligible landlords and tenants will also be signposted to available grants to assist with the cost of improving properties.
Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk District Council, the lead authority on behalf of the partnership, said:
“The private rental sector plays a huge role in meeting the growing demands for housing – so we want the best possible relationships with our private landlords. We want to ensure they have access to the information and support they need to maintain their properties in a way that benefits everyone.
“We know that good quality housing has a positive impact on tenants’ health and wellbeing, reducing the likelihood of them developing a condition that requires health or social care, so this is important not only for ensuring living standards, but also their quality of life.
“Enforcement action against landlords will only be taken as a last resort – but this additional funding means that tenants who live in unsatisfactory housing conditions can receive the help they need.”