HMO Campaign Update

RRA are delighted to pass on the good news:

We are pleased to be able to say that a proposal for an A4 Direction for the rest of the borough was approved by Lewisham Council on 6 July and the decision conveyed to us at a meeting on 7 July. Public consultation should start soon, followed by the required 12 months waiting time, with the A4 becoming effective in Oct/Nov 23.

A lot of the points we made during our campaign were used in the Evidence Report that officers prepared for Members and this really is testament to the work people put in, the power of community action and recognition of this by the Mayor and Council.

Cllr Brenda Dacres and Directors, Emma Talbot and Jennifer Daothong were at the meeting on 7July and Cllr Dacres thanked us for the work we undertook to highlight the HMO problems. Officers acknowledged that their recent work and our inputs had revealed a staggering 280% increase in HMOs in Lewisham over the last 4 years and that the evidence was “overwhelming”.

Councillors and senior officers expressed appreciation of our work.

We also discussed the lack of a co-ordinated council response in relation to reporting problem HMO landlords, antisocial behaviour and failures in the contracted provision of support to tenants in some HMOs. The Council accepted the need to improve reporting processes and that they were on a learning curve about how to achieve this.

We also learned that the recent consultation on landlord licensing went well and this will be implemented across the borough.

We were asked to urge local people to continue submitting reports of particular HMO issues and incidents via eMail to: HMOreport@lewisham.gov.uk

The campaign undoubtedly spurred the Council into action and they acknowledged this. We hope the experience prompts development of new thinking about listening to and involving local people earlier in issues & initiatives that impact our communities into the future

Thank you to everyone who supported the Campaign. We will keep an eye on the launch of the consultation and inform you all when it starts. We now plan to close the petition and quietly celebrate.

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