Two new documents regarding the type of tenancies that are granted by the council and its partner housing associations will come into force if adopted by Durham County Council’s Cabinet next week.
Firstly a Tenancy Strategy will come into force. This is a document for all social housing providers which sets out the framework within which providers should be granting tenancies.
Within this sits a second document, the Tenancy Policy, which specifically details the rules and regulations for the council’s own housing, explaining how Dale & Valley Homes, Durham City Homes and East Durham Homes grant tenancies on the council’s behalf.
Nationally, councils are being asked to look at whether social housing can be used and allocated more efficiently and officers have been looking at the two documents as a result.
It’s hoped any changes will make the allocation of homes fairer while making better use of the housing stock.
Durham’s proposed tenancy strategy gives housing providers room to be more flexible when issuing tenancies. So fixed term or ‘flexible’ tenancies can be used in limited circumstances if the provider thinks that is best.
The new strategy recognises, however, that it’s not always appropriate to issue fixed term tenancies, so the council’s own providers, Dale & Valley Homes, Durham City Homes and East Durham Homes will not be issuing this type of tenancy.
Sarah Robson, head of economic development and housing with Durham County Council, said: “Support will always be available to help people to keep their tenancies. But in some cases a balance needs to be struck between the requirements of the individual household, the wider community and ensuring an efficient use of the housing stock as a whole.”
All housing providers who manage houses in the county have been worked with the council to produce the draft strategy and been given the opportunity to comment. Both the Tenancy Strategy and the Tenancy Policy will be kept under regular review. Cabinet will be asked to approve both documents on October 10.