Blackpool’s £1million raise to crack down on bad landlords

The money will be used for law enforcement to ensure people living in supported accommodation get the help they need.

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Minister’s pledge to improve housing during visit to Blackpool

Some landlords receive higher housing allowances intended to pay for care, without providing the expected assistance.

Minister Eddie Hughes during his visit to Blackpool

But in the future, they could face closure of their properties, or even be prosecuted if they do not meet the criteria.

Blackpool Council will receive £987,000 of a total of £6m shared between it and Birmingham, Blackburn-with-Darwin and Hull under the government’s £20m supported housing improvement scheme.

It follows a £700,000 pilot study at the resort where, in the poorest areas, 85% of residents depend on housing benefit to pay their rent.

Sleep and High Street Housing Minister Eddie Hughes, who visited Blackpool in June, said: ‘While there are many excellent supported accommodation providers on the market, we know there are a minority that shamelessly takes advantage of vulnerable residents, and we are committed to ending this practice.”

Supported housing provides accommodation as well as care, support or supervision to help people who have been homeless, or who have suffered from mental health issues or domestic violence to turn their lives around.

The funding will enable the council to use enforcement measures such as inspections, to improve quality and value for money in the provision of owner-supported housing.

Councils have the power to issue penalty notices, restraining orders which could prevent the use of part or all of the building and to take legal action where poor accommodation standards endanger the health and safety of residents.

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We have developed clear pathways for providers that allow them to understand what is needed in Blackpool and enable program development in the right place for the right people, delivering good value for money for the public purse.

‘We are not sorry to offer not only support but also a challenge to the market to ensure supported housing schemes in Blackpool deliver great results.’

During his visit to Blackpool, Mr Hughes visited housing projects including William Lyons House on Exchange Street, Elm House on Derby Road and properties on Springfield Road and Queen Street.

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