Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

02/02/10 MP welcomes announcement to control ‘studentification’

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has welcomed the announcement made by Housing and Planning Minister John Healey MP giving new powers for local councils to manage the unplanned spread of Houses in Multiple Occupation (or an HMO) in towns and cities.

Rosie has been working closely with Ormskirk residents, where many of the HMOs are student properties, campaigning to get a solution to this problem. In December Rosie met with John Healey to specifically discuss the issues surrounding the effect of HMOs on communities in towns and to share some of the experiences of local people.

In July of last year, Rosie and Ormskirk residents were among over 900 voices that participated in a Government consultation on student housing issues. The results of that consultation were published last week along with new rules to control the unplanned spread of HMOs in cities and towns with a high student population.

Rosie Cooper MP said: "This is fantastic news for many residents in Ormskirk and across West Lancashire. If the Council use these powers properly and effectively then it will make a real difference to lives of all residents.

"The Council can now decide if and where they will allow student housing, bearing in mind the impact it will have on other residents and each particular area.

"For students it means they no longer need to rent from irresponsible landlords who seek to make easy money with little responsibility to either the student or the community. Students can now be assured of rights to a safe and clean living space.

"I am delighted that my lobbying and the voices of people in Ormskirk have been heard by the Government.

"I have written the Borough Council asking how they how they plan to use the new powers for the benefit of every resident in Ormskirk and across West Lancashire."Housing Minister, John Healey MP, said:

"Today I am giving councils more local powers to crack down on the worst landlords and stop the spread of high concentrations of shared homes where it causes problems for other residents or changes the character of a neighbourhood.

"Private landlords play a big part in meeting the housing needs of millions so I want to raise the standards and stamp out the worst landlords that drag down the reputation of the rest. Councils know their communities and are best placed to help tenants facing landlords who rent unsafe or substandard accommodation and take little responsibility for the problems caused for neighbours.  

"It’s also right that tenants have the information they need about potential landlords, and know what to do when things go wrong. The new National Landlords Register I will set up will give them access to this important advice.

"Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live and these measures aim to improve standards of the private rented sector at a time when more people look to rent as their first option in the housing market."

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