London Borough of Havering (June 2013 - Present) Fixed Term Contract
Housing Policy and Research Officer – Project managed service reviews and change management. Undertook qualitative research and clarified legal definitions to support the business.
Building upon the successes of SLFHA and Waltham Forest, my skills were deployed to support the councils new 'Property Shop' approach to meeting Havering's housing supply needs. This is the first time the council has procured properties as a managing agent for the letting of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. My remit was to analyse and identify the legal and practical elements of Havering's enterprising initiative and recommend any changes that will harmonise the with the Housing departments existing practices.
My tasks were to:
· Review of Council managed Houses of Multiple Occupations- produced a 10 page report identifying measures for reducing conflict such as introducing contract cleaners and gardeners and strengthening the vetting procedure. The council’s property standards requirement was also upgraded.
· Estate Agency Commercial Study- Gathered terms and conditions of local estate agents to determine the gap between current PHST operations and services available in the high street. Helped to developed new marketing strategy and enhanced terms for landlords.
· Proof read Housing Strategy- made recommendations as a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ making pre publication changes.
· Review of AST property acquisition and management process- Researched best practice and housing law through publications and direct meetings with the council’s legal team.
Subjects researched included:
· Research and submit DCLG Rogue Landlord £7M bid- While Havering does not have a rogue landlord problem, the bid enabled Havering to demonstrate that one should be anticipated.
· Researched tenancy matters and legal definitions for the management team.
· Examined the relationship between Havering’s’ Private Sector Housing Teams acceptance process and that of their Housing Advice and Homeless Section. My report considered the possible issues.
· Profiled AST tenants and identified future service need using census and Havering’s own data- Recommended that Havering's PHST increased its intake threshold to take account of working families in housing need.
· Designed, construct and evaluate a Semi Structured Qualitative Survey to determine to what extent the East London Housing Partnership is using the powers of the Localism Act 2011 to discharge duty to the privately rented sector- The report was concluded successfully and within deadline, however the results of this interview based research are confidential.
· Examined the scope for LA commercialism in context with the Localism Act- Recommended that the PHST could continue, but cautioned that State Aid is controlled and monitored by the EU. Made recommendations of possible future strategies that may avoid possible conflict.