Nine new housing officers have been recruited to help tackle rogue landlords and boost housing conditions in an ambitious new scheme for North Yorkshire.
Earlier this year North Yorkshire Council was awarded £1.4 million in funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities through the Pathfinder Programme to help improve housing conditions and increase enforcement activity.
The funding has resulted in the recruitment of the nine new officers. Each has been paired with a mentor experienced in working in enforcement and who will support them through a two-year training programme. The new recruits will come through the scheme with a degree qualification.
It is also being used to provide training to landlords on important issues such as how to deal with damp and mould, enhanced training for existing staff and for research into the quality of the private rented sector in the county.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “We had over 350 people applying for these nine jobs so it was a tough process to come through, and with the help of our mentors, I am confident we will train knowledgeable and experienced officers.
“This funding will help us tackle the key housing issues our private sector housing faces. The new officers will allow us to improve and increase the housing service through inspections and joint work with partners.
“The programme will also help us build relationships with landlords, estate agents and housing providers such as the National Residential Landlords Association to ensure that residents in North Yorkshire have suitable and safe housing.”
North Yorkshire Council is developing a centralised approach to housing, which will include developing a new enforcement policy.
The new strategy is aimed at allowing the council to investigate and tackle housing issues more effectively.