More control over multiple-occupancy housing

By on 05/09/2014 in Cabinet, Cllr Ali, News

A power aimed at ensuring more control over multi-occupancy housing areas of the city is to go before the city council's cabinet.

The 'article 4 direction' will mean residential property owners will have to get planning permission in order to change a property to a house of multiple-occupation (HMOs).

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: “There is a real concern about the over-concentration of houses in multiple occupancy in some areas of Birmingham. This can cause community imbalance so the council is taking steps to encourage new HMOs to locate in neighbourhoods where there is capacity. 

“Our public consultation found overwhelming support for this move, with 74 per cent of people in favour of our aims.

“If this report is approved we will be able to properly consider the effect of multi-occupancy housing in an area, rather than be directed by central government guidance.

“This is not about interfering with where people live; it is about managing the growth of HMOs in this area and still retaining a balanced community which serves the needs and interests of all those who live, work and visit the area.”

The article 4 direction will cover parts of Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston wards and will come into effect from 30 November this year.

There were some objections to the proposal, citing financial impact on homeowners and the potential to drive up rents for students and disadvantaged groups. However, there will be a review of the direction - probably 12 months into implementation - to allow the council to analyse its impact.

The report will go to the city council cabinet on 15 September.

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