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National HMO Lobby



The Trauma of Turnover
Dr Richard Tyler
Masterclass, Connecting Coastal Communities, BURA Seaside Network Conference
Scarborough, 7 March 2007

The Class begins with a case-study of the trauma caused by HMO-generated turnover in the largest concentration of HMOs in the country (in Headingley, in Leeds). A workshop phase then seeks to identify problems generated specifically by HMOs in seaside towns, especially in the social, environmental and economic spheres. Finally, possible solutions will be explored, especially in terms of housing and planning policy, drawing on experience from around the country.

Introduction: Autobiography – academic (Leeds Met), now retired
· founder member, now Co-ordinator, Leeds HMO Lobby, 2000: 24 local community associations, campaigning locally for management of concentrations of HMOs;
· founder member, now Co-ordinator, National HMO Lobby, formalised 2004: c50 groups in c30 towns, campaigning nationally for management of concentrations of HMOs.

PROLOGUE Headingley Case Study: the biggest HMO concentration in the country
· c5,000 HMOs in two square miles;
· especially, 72 streets in quarter square mile: c10,000 population, 2:1 ratio of tenants:residents.

Video: Anna Crossley, ‘Housing in Headingley’ Look North, BBC1 (Yorks) 4 April 2006

Trauma [literally, physical wound; figuratively, mental wound]
· marginalisation by population
· alienation by amenity (or lack of)
· disempowerment by market forces
Turnover: root cause [60% every year in Headingley Ward, 100% in many streets]
· demand for temporary accommodation
· impact on local amenity
· overwhelming numbers

1. THE PROBLEM: Seaside Towns
Exercise -
· preparation: form three groups – Social, Environmental, Economic Problems
· discussion - individually: note five key problems
- in group: list five top problems
· plenary: report-back by groups -

Social # HMOs persist in areas# DHSS lets bring ‘chaotic lifestyle’ issues# Child poverty perspectives# Crime problems# Service delivery efficiency impaired# No community

Environmental # Noise# Rubbish, discarded furnishings# Dilapidation of homes# Energy waste# Car parking# Sheer density

Economic # Lack of investment in properties# Lower house values# Less disposable income# Low skill base# Drain on local services

2. THE CAUSE: why HMOs especially?
· occupants: narrow demographic (young adults), specific lifestyle;
· occupancy: intensive (high impact);
· occupiers: un-managed;
· occupation: short-term.

· principles: co-ordination – stakeholders, cause/effect, local/national;
· agencies: local authority, local community, employers, tenants, landlords – and HMG;
· actions management: audit, forum, plan;
housing: licensing, additional licensing, housing strategy;
planning: restraint, thresholds, purpose-build,
- and especially, amendment of Use Classes Order.

[See National HMO Lobby, Ten Point Plan ]


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