Housing Strategies

Strategic Housing Services works to a number of key strategies and documents to make sure that we achieve our aims and make sure our vision becomes a reality.

Our Aims 

The key aims of Strategic Housing Services are to;

  • Assess local housing needs and understand the local housing market.
  • Develop effective partnerships to increase the supply of affordable housing.
  • Prevent and minimize homelessness.
  • Improve conditions in the private sector.
  • Enable people to live independently in their own homes.

Strategies & Policies

Title

Description

Private Sector Stock Conditions Survey 2015 This report provides a review of the current condition of private dwellings across the city, to assess the impact of recent policies and initiatives, and to enable informed decisions to be made relating to future private sector housing policies and potential intervention programmes.

Housing Assistance Policy

The Housing Assistance Policy 2015, sets out the basis on which an agent working on behalf of Worcester City Council will offer financial assistance for works of repair or renewal in the private housing sector.  The document outlines a range of financial assistance and the key objective of the policy is to assist vulnerable people to achieve decent, suitable and affordable homes in sustainable communities. It is to be read in conjunction with the City Council's Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy which is currently being updated and subject to review.

Enforcement Policy

The Housing Act 2004 introduced powers for local authorities to assess housing conditions and contained a package of enforcement measures. These powers, together with other legislation such as the Housing Act 1985 and Protection from Eviction Act 1977, can be used to tackle poor housing conditions. The purpose of the enforcement policy is to outline the Council's approach to tackling poor housing conditions particularly in the private sector and the approach we will take when considering enforcement action ensuring that we deal with everyone in a consistent and fair way.

Worcestershire Housing Strategy

The Worcestershire Housing Strategy sets out the key priorities and objectives for all aspects of housing in Worcestershire and Worcester. It establishes how the Council and its partners will work together to meet these objectives. 

Worcestershire Homeless Strategy

The Worcestershire Homeless Strategy sets outs out how Worcester City Council and all the other District Councils in the County will work together to tackle homelessness in the City.

Worcester City Tenancy Strategy

In response to the Localism Act (2012), the Worcester City Tenancy Strategy has been developed:
 

  • To ensure that affordable housing meets local housing need
  • To provide guidance and direction to RP partners in the development of their tenancy policies
  • To provide a framework for up to date knowledge of the housing market in Worcestershire that can then be used to inform policy and practice
  • To indicate to tenants and prospective tenants what they can expect from their tenancy

Worcester City Private Sector Renewal Strategy

The Worcester City Private Sector Renewal Strategy sets out how we will improve conditions within the private sector and enable people to remain in their own homes.

Worcester City Empty Homes Strategy

The Worcester City Empty Homes Strategy sets out how we will bring empty homes in the city back into use.

Worcester City Affordable Warmth Strategy

The Affordable Warmth Strategy sets out how we will tackle fuel poverty in the City.

Worcestershire Strategic Housing Market Assessment

The Worcestershire Strategic Housing Market Assessment sets out the patterns of demand, need and aspirations of existing and potential residents of Worcester City and an indication of the level and nature of need for affordable housing.

To purchase a copy please send a cheque for £10.00 to Strategic Housing, Orchard House Complex, Farrier Street, Worcester, WR1 3BB made payable to Worcester City Council. Once the cheque has been received the document will be dispatched

Worcester SHMA 2012 Overview Report

Worcestershire SHMA 2012 Main Report

Home Energy Conservation Act 1995

The Act requires that every energy conservation authority prepares a report to send to the Secretary of State. The report will be required to be published on the authorities website with a link sent to the Secretary of State by the specified date.

"The report shall set out energy conservation measures that the authority considers practicable, cost effective and likely to result in significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in its area"

Definitions- "energy conservation authority" means a local housing authority within the meaning of the Housing Act 1985 "energy conservation measures" includes information, advice, education, promotion, making grants and loans and carrying out works "residential accommodation" means premises occupied or intended to be occupied as a separate dwelling and forming the whole or part of a building

Private Sector Housing Research Project 2012 

This report has been prepared following an instruction from Worcester City Council to undertake an investigation into the best use of a commuted sum arising through Planning Obligations made under section 106 (as amended) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The brief includes a specific requirement to give an indication of the level of spend required for each proposal along with: Empty Properties,Licensing,Delivery of New Affordable Housing Units on Identified Sites and Access to Home Ownership.   

 

The Partnerships

As a housing service, there are a range of partners and organisations that we work with to achieve our aims and vision. Below you will find a list of partnerships that we work within. 

Worcestershire County Partnerships

  • Chief Housing Officers Group - consists of the Chief Housing Officers in each of the districts, representation from the Chief Executives across the districts, Social Care, Connexions, Supporting People, Probation, Local Government Office West Midlands, The Housing Corporations, Primary Care Trust and is responsible for the strategic direction of housing and the wider aspects of housing e.g. health, social care, safer communities across the County.
  • County Homelessness Implementation Group – to ensure effective implementation of the Worcestershire Homelessness Strategy 2012-2017 and associated action plan and ensure the involvement of key partners. This group consists of a core team of local authority strategic housing officers from the district councils in Worcestershire and officers from Registered Providers who are contracted on behalf of local authorities to carry out the housing advice function. Specific task and finish groups are established to carry out specialist or intensive tasks. 
  • County Private Sector Officers Group - responsible for developing private sector initiatives and sharing good practice across the County.  It consists of officers from each of the 6 districts in Worcestershire, the National Landlords Association, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire Service, and voluntary sector organisations.
  • Worcestershire Delivery Group - is responsible for sharing good practice and developing affordable housing across the County.  It consists of officers from each of the 6 districts in Worcestershire and the Housing Corporation.
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Worcester City Partnership

  • Housing Forum- is responsible for the effective implementation of the Council's housing strategy and consists of local Registered Social Landlords e.g. Worcester Community Housing, Nexus, Bromford, Rooftop, as well as Supporting People, Primary Care Trust, Worcester Racial Equality Centre, Ethnic Access Link and the County Council.

Client Groups

  • Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence – we sit on the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence which aims to ensure that people can feel safe and confident in their homes and communities, as well as improve and develop those services, which are available to victims and survivors. 
  • Worcestershire Alcohol and Substance Misuse Strategic Commissioning Group – we sit on the Worcestershire Alcohol and Substance Misuse Strategic Commissioning Group along side representatives from Worcestershire County Council's Directorate of Adult Services and Health, Children's Services, Public Health England, DWP and NHS England. This group aims to support and provide advice and recommendations for the effective commissioning of alcohol and substance misuse services, to meet health and well-being and community safety objectives within Worcestershire, to meet evidenced need.

Housing Strategy - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Housing Strategy?

The Housing Strategy covers all types of housing in the City whether it is rented from the Council, a housing association or private landlord, or owned by the householder or family. It considers issues in relation to the cost of housing in the city and how affordable it is for its residents; the condition of houses people are living in; homelessness, the need for new housing in the City and the availability and provision of services that enable people to continue to live independently within their own homes. It highlights the key priorities in relation to these issues and sets out how, within current financial constraints, the Council and its partners will work together to address them.

Why do we need a Housing Strategy?

The Housing Strategy sets a strategic framework that will guide how the Council and its partners can work together to tackle issues and ensure that Worcester is a place where everyone enjoys good quality housing in a pleasant and safe environment.

How does it affect me?

The aim is to maximise investment in housing and to ensure that everyone has access to good quality housing that is appropriate to their needs and that they can afford.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing is housing which is provided to meet the needs of those who are unable to afford to buy or rent housing generally available on the open market. In Worcester this normally takes the form of Council or Housing Association houses and flats to rent although there is a small amount of affordable housing available on a shared ownership basis.

What is the Council doing to make sure there is more affordable housing?

Councils are no longer allowed to build new houses (with the exception of replacement dwellings) and the majority of new affordable homes are provided by Housing Associations. The Council, however, works with private developers and Housing Associations to bring forward sites for new affordable homes. For example, where private developers wish to provide homes for sale on larger sites (over 12 dwellings) the Council will negotiate for a proportion of the site to be transferred to a Housing Association for the provision of affordable homes.