- Planning for current and future housing need
- Providing more affordable homes
- Being a high quality landlord
- Improving housing quality in the borough
We agreed to the formation of a new Local Housing Company to help build many more affordable homes in the borough. Now Housing Limited will deliver up to 370 new homes over the next five years with an initial focus on providing one and two bedroom properties.
We completed the redevelopment of 16 one bedroom homes in Northdown Road, Hatfield and 7 new homes at Little Mead, Hatfield. Ten new homes in The Firs in Welwyn Garden City and at Birchwood Close, Hatfield were also completed using a grant from the council by Welwyn Garden City Housing Association as part of our Affordable Housing Programme. Planning approval was also gained for 6 three bed houses in Ludwick Way, Welwyn Garden City and for 4 two bed houses in The Commons, Welwyn Garden City.
More rough sleepers in Welwyn Hatfield are being helped off the streets and into safe accommodation thanks to new funding of £128,000 secured from the government's Rough Sleeping Initiative. The money will be used to continue with the council's Rough Sleeper navigator programme through our local partner,Resolve. We also provided Resolve with a lease and met some of its initial costs to enable a night shelter and café for homeless people to open in Hatfield In 2019-20.
Having discovered 17 people living in very unsuitable and potentially dangerous housing conditions at a factory site in the borough, the council served Prohibition Orders to prohibit the use of the units as living accommodation and issued financial penalty notices on the factory owner totaling £58,500 for breaches of the HMO management regulations - actions which both safeguarded the people who were living in this situation, and also ensured that a strong message was sent about how seriously the council takes these matters.
A new website to manage the advertising and letting of homes to applicants on the Housing Needs Register was launched. It is designed to be mobile friendly so that potential homes can be viewed online and interest in them registered from smart phones and tablet devices. Changes have also been made to the way we advertise properties and they are now advertised daily. This helps to reduce the time a property is empty between tenants.
The Neighbourhood, Housing Options and Property Maintenance teams all played a part in re-letting over 460 general needs properties. This enabled us to provide homes to people registered on the housing waiting list, help tenants move to a more suitable home and also house homeless families from our temporary accommodation.
We achieved Housing Quality Network (HQN) accreditation which demonstrates service excellence delivered by the Income and Home Ownership Team. This is a remarkable achievement for a new team, demonstrating remarkable service development success following business transformation across Housing Operations in 2018. Achieving HQN accreditation demonstrates that Welwyn Hatfield not only meets or exceeds good practice standards, but is also offers a best-in-class service to its tenants and residents.
Over 614 tenants participated in customer engagement activities across a range of different opportunities such as attending training courses, reviewing documents and scrutinizing services to help shape how services are delivered in future.