Housing provided at below market prices and allocated on the basis of need to people who live or work in the area or need to move to the local area to receive/provide support and who are unable to afford to purchase or rent houses generally available on the open market without financial assistance..
Empty residential properties are a target for squatters, vandals and burglars. They could be used to provide homes for the many people who need one. Councils will act on reports of empty properties and may provide grants for renovation and/or rental schemes to encourage owners to make use of empty properties.
A low demand or 'hard to let' property is a property where one or more of the following symptoms are exhibited: a small or non-existent waiting list for the property; tenancy offers on a property frequently refused for reasons other than personal reasons; higher than normal rates of tenancy turnover for a property in an area. Many initiatives used by councils and Registered Social Landlords to let low demand properties are based on making the property more attractive to the potential tenant. This includes offering incentives such as a rent-free period if the tenancy is accepted; offering a decoration, furniture or white goods allowance; or offering a garden tidy.
Where a property is unfit to live in the LA may decide to demolish it and redevelop the site (which may mean the clearance of neighbouring property). The council will usually offer the owners the market value of the property and repay expenses associated with moving plus possible compensation. Where the property is rented tenants will be given priority for re-housing in a council property.
Housing Associations are 'Registered Social Landlords' not private landlords. They provide housing in a very similar way to the Council and are non-profit making. People on the local authority transfer list or housing register may be offered a Housing Association property instead of a Council home.
Housing transfer is the voluntary transfer of ownership of all or some of a local authority's tenanted and leasehold homes to a private registered provider in return for a payment for the value of that stock. Authorities are encouraged to transfer where this represents good value for money and where it will lever in additional private investment that delivers growth through more affordable housing, local economic activity and providing a robust, long-term future for estates and neighbourhoods, including by compliance with the Decent Homes Standard.
A shared ownership allows the owner to own a percentage of their home, for which they will pay a mortgage. The remainder of the property is owned by the local authority to whom rent is paid.
The needs, resources, options and priorities for housing in the borough
The local authority deals with squatters and unauthorised occupants in council property and will take action against a person who is squatting or who has unauthorised occupants in empty properties.