Demand for action to tackle poor quality housing stock in Calderdale
A call for more action to tackle poor quality housing stock in the borough was made at April’s meeting of the full Calderdale Council.
Liberal Democrat group leader Coun James Baker (Warley), speaking in the part of the meeting where councillors can ask questions of Cabinet members, said poor quality housing in Calderdale at the moment was an issue which needed to be tackled.
“What are we going to do to improve it and drive up standards with social housing providers?” he said.
Coun Baker said one of the council’s housing partners, Together, had a scheme to tackle issues of damp in homes in the Pellon, Halifax, area, but so many other social housing and private rented homes were affected by issues.
“It’s really pretty shocking. I have seen children sleeping on a mattress with black mould on the walls,” he said.
Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said it was important to recognise the Conservative Government post-2015 had implemented a policy of reducing rents but this had impacted housing association budgets.
“That, however, doesn’t justify properties which are damp and so on,” he said.
The draft Local Plan recognised building new homes was not just about meeting increased demand but improving existing housing stock, he said.
Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said going forward it was important to recognise the strength of the Calderdale and Together Housing investment panel and other work being done with housing providers to suggest schemes, and bringing them forward as quickly as possible.
Beech hill and Titan Works, both in Halifax, were examples of schemes under way to improve existing homes.
“It is important going forward that these issues are identified straight away,” he said.
Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said she knew homes in her ward which were affected by issues including damp, cold and central heating not working.
The council’s environmental health team helped address issues but persuading people to call them in when landlords were refusing to do repairs was not always easy although the team dealt with issues in a sensitive way, she said.