IN JANUARY 2018, DCHU brought together a set of proposals for safeguarding council homes and reported to the council’s cabinet. You can read the report on the council’s website or at this link [PDF]. It was agreed that the proposals should be worked up in detail and taken to consultation with residents.
Since then, DCHU has been working with council officers, legal advisers, and residents to draft a Defend Council Homes policy (DCH policy) that will fulfil the administration’s commitment to ‘protect council homes now and in the future’. This has involved developing a number of important legal protections to make sure the DCH policy is enforceable and effective.
The DCH policy has three main aims:
- To make sure residents are fully involved from the outset in any redevelopment proposals that are likely to affect their homes.
- To commit the council to meet the most up-to-date standards of Good Practice when consulting residents about any redevelopment proposals and when carrying out any redevelopment that affects residents.
- To give residents effective protection against the council failing to meet its commitments and obligations.
The council’s obligations under the policy will be to:
- Fully involve residents in any Redevelopment Proposal using the most up-to date standards of Good Practice.
- Ensure that a Residents’ Steering Group is set up for each Redevelopment Proposal.
- Provide each resident affected with full information at every stage if a Redevelopment Proposal goes ahead, explaining what they can expect from the council.
- Provide residents with a formal procedure for complaining to the council if they believe that the policy is not being or has not been complied with; or that the policy should be brought into operation with respect to a Redevelopment Proposal significantly affecting their home.
You can find more details on the proposed DCH policy here.
The council is required to consult residents of council homes about the proposed policy and this consultation will happen in the autumn of 2020. Subject to the outcome of that consultation, the DCH policy will be implemented early in 2021.