At a meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 17 January, members responded to the recommendations put forward in a scrutiny review of the borough’s private rented sector.
As part of its work programme for 2023/2024, the Inclusive Growth and Skills Committee identified the Private Rented Sector as an area which would benefit from a Task and Finish Review. The review was carried out in November last year and developed a series of recommendations to address issues and challenges in the sector, along with identifying any opportunities.
The Private Rented Sector plays an important role in borough, in both meeting housing needs and providing flexible housing options. In 2020, 10.8% of households in the borough (around 7,300) were private rented, with the majority in Kirkby and Huyton.
In the report, the committee noted that while the majority of the properties in the Private Rented Sector were good quality homes, there remained a number of challenges. The Council is working hard to respond to these issues and introduced a new Housing Enforcement Policy in 2022. The report recommends that this work be continued and expanded on.
The committee also made a recommendation that the Council looks to support more build to rent schemes in the borough to help tackle the shortage of one- and two-bedroom properties.
All nine recommendations can be read here.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:
“The Private Rented Sector plays a very important role in providing homes for our residents. However, it is important that we work hard to ensure these homes are good quality.
“I welcome the reports recommendations to expand on the positive housing enforcement work which is being done by Council offers to drive down the number of ‘non-decent’ properties in the borough.”
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“To ensure the continued development of the borough, it is important we have strong mix of properties. As pointed out in the scrutiny report, there is a shortage of one- and two-bedroom homes.
“The Private Rented Sector can play a vital role in expanding the borough’s offer and I welcome the recommendation for the Council to support more build to rent schemes in Knowsley.”