Barnet Council has announced new housing strategies based partly on its experience of a shrinking private rented sector.
The London borough’s new Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy proposes increasing the supply of affordable housing for rent and home ownership with the aim of delivering 1,000 new council homes at 50% of market rental rates and improving the council’s housing stock so it reaches Net Zero by 2030.
It also wants to improve the quality of private sector rental properties and promote private tenants’ rights.
In its strategy report, the council cites ongoing contraction of the private rented sector due to challenges of affordability as well as increasing demands on private landlords impacting viability.
It says: “Barnet has historically had strong access to the private rented sector, which has helped to lower the numbers in temporary accommodation. The private rented sector is contracting, and fewer private rented sector lettings are now being made.”
When considering how to prevent homelessness it says that in the past, many people have been supported to stay in their households as part of Barnet Homes’ homelessness prevention work, including through use of financial interventions such as Discretionary Housing Payments.
The report adds: “It is becoming increasingly challenging to sustain people in their existing tenancies due to affordability constraints, and an increase in private sector landlords exiting the market.”
Housing and growth committee chair, Labour councillor Ross Houston, says: “We will be consulting on the four new proposed housing-related strategies and policies, and I encourage all residents to get involved in building the future of the borough.”
Read more about landlords leaving the sector.