Taking public sector housing forward

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Department for Social Care is pleased to announce the next stage of the fundamental review of public sector housing.

Following on from excellent levels of response to the recent consultation on the Housing Review findings, the Department, local housing authorities and other stakeholders will be getting involved in developing key areas of policy within the next month.

Minister for Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK commented:

'It is very clear from the recent Social Policy consultation that housing is one area of social policy that is close to people's hearts.

'Government has a responsibility to ensure public sector housing services are of an excellent quality, targeted at those in housing need and provide best value for the Isle of Man tax payer.

'The community has given their views on the challenges the Housing Review identified, and now is the time to work together on shaping a sustainable housing policy and service delivery, for both current and future generations.

'By identifying new ways of working, having clear rent charges, developing consistent services and reducing bureaucracy, we can achieve better value for money.

'This is also the opportunity to reduce the potential postcode lottery which exists in public sector housing delivered by 17 housing authorities; each with separate waiting lists, repairs services and estate management policies.

'Together we can make this happen and deliver real positive change, which harnesses the skills and experience of the housing authorities and other stakeholders, to make it work here in our communities. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues across the sector over the coming months.'

The next steps are for the Department to work up the detail behind 5 key policy areas:

Housing need - to identify future needs
Older persons housing - looking at provision of suitable accommodation for an aging population
Procurement - looking to reduce costs associated with construction and repairs and maintenance
Affordable housing options - helping first time buyers and those outside the public sector to access decent accommodation
Option appraisal for one public sector housing provider - developing a cost effective and consistent quality service across the Island to meet increasing need

The Department will be working with key stakeholders, including the local housing authorities, Third Sector partners, construction industry and tenants over the coming months, in order to take any proposals forward for Tynwald approval in due course. The local housing authorities are to meet the Department in November.


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