Coalition government can look to Hartlepool to see policy in action
NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF HOUSING HARTLEPOOL
COALITON GOVERNMENT CAN LOOK TO HARTLEPOOL TO SEE POLICY IN ACTION
Housing Hartlepool has highlighted success dealing with anti-social behaviour and suggests the Government’s new approach could be adapted to use the techniques it has employed.
Home Secretary Theresa May has signalled anti-social behaviour orders may be scrapped and replaced with simpler sanctions that are rehabilitating and restorative rather than criminalising and coercive”.
The Government is also considering a new system involving warning letters and appropriate behaviour contracts to deal with minor offences.
Housing Hartlepool is already embracing this approach with notable success.
Tenants whose actions adversely affect residents’ lives primarily are dealt with using early intervention measures with more draconian tactics are only employed as a last resort.
Believing that all landlords, including those in the private sector, need to work together when it comes to anti-social behaviour, Housing Hartlepool has also forged local agreements on the town’s Central and Burbank Estates.
Libby Griffiths, Housing Hartlepool’s Tenancy Relations and Enforcement Manager, said: “Housing Hartlepool has, in partnership with a wide range of other agencies, successfully used a variety of early intervention strategies to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour, which can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and well-being.
“We are also working with private landlords in the town as it dilutes what social landlords are achieving if people quit their tenancy and get re-housed by another landlord who does not take action against anti-social activities.”
Housing Hartlepool’s early intervention strategies already mirror the Government’s proposed new approach and include warning letters, referrals to agencies that help those addicted to drink or drugs, access to mediation services, and acceptable behaviour agreements.
Libby Griffiths added: “Early intervention measures are proving a success and our anti-social behaviour service has been assessed as a key strength by the Audit Commission.
“Eviction is a last resort and thanks to our approach, in the 12 months to the end of March, this has only needed to happen once.”
Court action to impose anti-social behaviour injunctions to manage unacceptable behaviour or moves to seek possession notices or obtain a demoted tenancy order, where people have to improve their behaviour or run the risk of losing their tenancy, have been successfully used to deter persistent offenders.
CONTACT: Helen Logan on 01325 363436
Notes to editors: Housing Hartlepool is the largest housing association in Hartlepool.
It was set up in March 2004 to take over the ownership and management of the Council's rented housing stock following a positive ballot by tenants. It is a not for profit charitable organisation.
Housing Hartlepool is run by a voluntary board that consists of four tenant members, four council nominees and four independent people.
The company manages 7,000 properties throughout the Hartlepool area and surrounding villages. These range from five-bedroom family houses to flats for single people. In addition there is a wide range of bungalows and sheltered housing complexes for the elderly.
In addition to its core landlord role Housing Hartlepool is also the main housing regeneration agent in the town and is developing much needed affordable homes in the area.
For more information, go to: www.housinghartlepool.org.uk
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