Tenants and housing providers invited to have their say as new strategy launches

Nov 23, 2021 | Local News

Providing a range of tenancies to meet all housing needs and a safety net for residents in financial difficulties are the focus of a new strategy in County Durham.

Following the impact of coronavirus and changes to legislation, Durham County Council is updating its existing tenancy strategy and inviting housing providers and tenants in social housing and shared ownership to share their views.

As a housing authority, the council is legally required to provide a tenancy strategy to explain the type of tenancies offered, when different types of tenancies will be offered and the length of fixed term tenancies.

The strategy covers social and affordable rent housing and aims to ensure, wherever possible, that people have the opportunity of a lifetime tenancy so that they can remain in their home for as long as it is suitable for them.

It also aims to help people move from affordable housing once they can access other options and tackle under occupation by giving people the opportunity to move to smaller houses if the property is too big for them.

Starter tenancies which motivate new tenants to follow their tenancy agreement in exchange for a lifetime tenancy after a probation period will be encouraged and tenants will be supported to stay in their homes with any adaptations needed.

Meanwhile, the strategy will also encourage registered providers to help those who are struggling, to avoid people becoming homeless.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet member for resources, assets and investments, said: “We are determined to provide a range of tenancies which suit the needs of all our residents here in County Durham and to make sure that they are secure in their tenancy, whatever their financial situation.

“That is why we would encourage registered providers and everyone living in social housing, or shared ownership tenants, to take part in our consultation and share their views on our updated strategy. This valued feedback will help us to ensure that the strategy is offering the best support to all tenants.”

People have until 5pm on Monday 13 December to take part in the consultation and should visit www.durham.gov.uk/consultation to have their say.

The council’s Cabinet will then consider the new tenancy strategy, including the outcome of the consultation, when it meets in February 2022.

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