Council unveils plans to limit HMOs in city

Council unveils plans to limit HMOs in city

8:55 AM, 23rd August 2022, About a month ago 1

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A council has revealed that its plan to restrict the number of residential properties that are turned into houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) is now a step closer.

The move has been revealed by Coventry City Council in a report that outlines the council’s intentions.

And one councillor says the council is: “Supporting residents and accommodating the housing needs of the many, not the few.”

The council will now hold a public consultation to get feedback on changes to rules that would prevent landlords and property developers from turning some residential homes into HMOs without full planning permission.

The proposal, called an Article 4 Direction, would place restrictions on residential property conversions in 11 out of 18 wards in the city – and which already have the highest concentration of HMOs.

New HMO conversions would need full planning approval

The restrictions are designed to ensure that all new HMO conversions would need full planning approval if an Article 4 is implemented.

In doing so, the legislation will:

  • Prevents any unnecessary and avoidable displacement of families searching for properties
  • Provides opportunities for those looking to get onto the property ladder
  • Limiting the number of HMOs so they are not located so closely together.

Manage the development of HMOs across Coventry

The council’s cabinet member for housing and communities, Councillor David Welsh, said: “We want to manage the development of HMOs across Coventry and especially in areas of the city where we need to have the ability to control their numbers.

“Housing developments must meet housing need in the city.

“We need good quality affordable homes for families, we believe this will help improve neighbourhoods.”

The deputy cabinet member for city services, Councillor Gavin Lloyd, is highlighting the impact that limiting HMOs will have on the residents of Coventry.

He said: “By implementing an Article 4 direction, we’re providing an opportunity for families to place their roots down here in the city and make the most out of the exciting job opportunities that we have.

“It also provides an opportunity for first-time homeowners to get onto the property ladder.”

‘The housing needs of the many, not the few’

He added: “Whilst HMOs are an integral part of the community, as they provide housing to students and young professionals who house share, by controlling the number of them throughout the city – and particularly those in the most saturated areas – we’re supporting residents and accommodating the housing needs of the many, not the few.

“I hope people support the Article 4 Direction because in this area it causes displacement and breaks up communities.

“It also has an impact on managing streets services like disposing of rubbish and other environmental issues.”

However, research from Octane Capital in May, revealed that a stream of regulations, responsibilities, restrictions and Selective Licencing has led to a 3% drop in supply in England’s HMO sector.

Their research shows that in 2019/2020, there were 511,278 properties, but in 2020/21, they fell to 497,884.



Comments

Ian Narbeth View Profile

10:49 AM, 23rd August 2022, About a month ago

"[W]e’re supporting residents and accommodating the housing needs of the many, not the few."

What a fatuous statement! Who are the few? Who are the many? HMOs provided a denser use of property thereby accommodating more people not fewer. Coventry's policy will reduce the number of people living in rented accommodation so unless more people live at home or sofa surf with friends the overall number of people who can enjoy the "exciting job opportunities" in Coventry will go down.

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