Thursday, 11 August 2011

Task Force To Improve Social Housing

By Ben Aulakh

A TASK force is being launched in Leicester to improve the way tenants in sheltered housing are involved in decisions affecting them.

Leicester City Council is launching the scheme to develop a voluntary standard of practice for providers of sheltered housing and Extra Care schemes.

The new standard will outline what is expected of providers in terms of communicating and consulting with residents, to ensure their views and needs are taken into account.

The launch of the task group is part of City Mayor Peter Soulsby's 100-day programme to improve life for people in Leicester.

Eyres Monsell ward councillor, Virginia Cleaver, who is part of the group said, “Whenever changes are proposed by landlords it is essential tenants are involved at the earliest opportunity, and can take part in real consultation.

“We aim to develop a clear set of standards that good landlords will sign up to and embrace, ensuring that people get treated as individuals and that their needs and opinions are fully taken in to account.”

“We want tenants, residents and those with friends or family in sheltered and Extra Care accommodation to give us their thoughts and opinions on what should be included.”

All sheltered housing providers are being contacted to establish their current consultation arrangements, and to invite them to work with the task force to develop the voluntary standards.

A consultation with everyone in sheltered housing be carried out during September and October, while anyone else wanting to share their views can do so through local ward meetings and a forthcoming online questionnaire.

Local ward councillors, housing associations and other private sheltered housing providers will also be invited to take part.

Councillor Mohammed Dawood, Assistant City Mayor with responsibility for adult social care and housing said, “This is an important piece of work that will set clear communication standards for landlords providing this type of accommodation.

“It is particularly important because these tenants are vulnerable and so changes can often have a big impact upon them.”

For more information about sheltered housing or Extra Care schemes contact Leicester City Council's Housing Options on 0116 252 7008.

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