Strategic Housing Services
Our promise to you is to be an organisation that will ensure everything we do is delivered through a set of values that are shared by all our employees and Councillors to deliver the results that people want .
As a housing service our aim is for those values to be applied across all service areas, front and back office and for us all to be accountable for this commitment to you.
"The right home, at the right time, in the right place"
This means that we want every household in Worcestershire to be able to access housing that suits their needs and circumstances when they need it.
"We will work with individuals, communities and partners to deliver housing opportunities so that people have the right homes, at the right times and in the right place"
Who are we and what do we do ?
Worcester City Council no longer own any housing stock - these were all transferred to the ownership of Worcester Community Housing (WCH) in 2004.
However the council still has a key strategic role to play in ensuring that housing in the city is of a good quality; affordable and accessible to those who need it; is used effectively, and that there is adequate supply to meet the wide range of needs.
To fulfil this role we are required to develop, drive and evaluate the success of housing strategies, co-ordinating the involvement of stakeholders and partners in the strategic process.
A balanced housing market is critical to economic growth and social wellbeing. It provides healthy and liveable communities by encouraging responsible land use and development of housing types.
A variety of housing at prices residents can afford creates a vibrant community with people from all walks of life.
Housing choice allows workers to live near their jobs, young residents to bring an energetic vibrancy, senior residents help to contribute to the sense of history of the community allowing them to age in place and live near children and grandchildren. New housing also brings in additional residents that in turn will become customers for local services and business.
There are currently 42,470 dwellings within the city, 84% being owner occupied or private rental properties and 16% social or affordable housing.
Purpose of the Service
- To develop the Councils strategic housing role
- To deliver a balanced housing market
- Improve access to good quality, affordable housing in a fair and equitable way.
- To increase the number of houses available to buy and rent, including affordable housing
- Improve the flexibility of social housing
- Tackle homelessness
- Support People to stay in their own homes.
At the heart of this approach lies the need for stronger, clearer and more consistent partnerships between housing providers and other bodies with a stake in the city's housing.
Priority Goals set to Achieve Our Vision:
- Better use of existing homes – we will maximize the use of existing stock.
- Delivering new homes- targets will be reviewed annually.
- Improving the conditions of existing homes-improve the standard of private rented homes.
- Providing Housing Related Support –via the Supporting People programme.
To work with customers, colleagues and all agencies with an interest in housing and related services.
To involve communities and together to create a strategy to produce the best choice of housing environments for the residents and communities in Worcestershire.
The teams included in Strategic Housing Services are:
Housing Needs and Development
Responsible for the development of housing and homelessness strategies as well as working in partnership with developers and Housing Associations (Registered Social Landlords RSL'S) to increase the supply of affordable homes for rent or shared ownership in Worcester for those in housing need.
The Housing Advice Team (HAT) offers housing advice to anyone that needs it, including tenants, homeowners and outside agencies on a wide range of housing issues. They assesses the needs of applicants who are homeless or in danger of losing their homes with the aim of preventing homelessness wherever possible.
We work in partnership with other agencies to prevent homelessness wherever possible and identify and advise on the appropriate housing options available including social housing, private rented sector, shared ownership and mortgage rescue.
We are also responsible for developing and managing the councils Allocations Policy working in partnership with the five neighbouring local districts - Malvern Hills, Wychavon, Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove and Stratford Upon Avon - as well as agencies such as Social Care, Supporting People, County Council, PCT, Police, Probation and housing association partners to assess housing need and allocate social housing via Home Choice Plus.
The Private Accommodation Standards Team
The PAST Team has responsibility for ensuring that properties in Worcester are safe warm and secure including properties which are owned.
Advice is given to tenants, landlords and owner occupiers
They deal with matters such as fire safety and amenity standards, energy efficiency advice, houses in multiple occupation (HMO'S) and student accommodation.
They can offer advice on harassment and illegal eviction, financial assistance for landlords and owner occupiers and disabled facilities grants (DFG'S) to enable residents to remain living in their own home.
They also work in conjunction with private landlords and letting agents to increase the availability of accommodation to rent to the private sector and develop ways of helping people access this accommodation through schemes such as The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme (RDS).
The Team offers resettlement advice and assistance to Homeless Households living in temporary accommodation to help them move onto appropriate accommodation. Practical and emotional support including advice on welfare benefits is offered to help people adjust during the move and to help them maintain future new accommodation.
Our contact details can be found on our contact details page