ACORN Cambridge's campaign to drive up standards in the city's rented homes took a step forward last month, as council leaders agreed to demands on licensing Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
On February 16th, ACORN Cambridge met with council leaders to discuss Homes of Multiple Occupancy Licensing, as part of their ‘Ban the Slumlords’ campaign.
Gerri Bird, the Executive Councillor for Housing, and Councillors Dinah Pounds and Richard Robertson met with a number of ACORN members who spoke on the issue, which potentially impacts 3000 people renting in the city.
Our members called for the council to speed up licensing, including a timeline and plan regarding licencing, as well as restoration of the licence database, which allows residents to check if their rental property is licensed or not.
The Councillors agreed to restore the licencing database, as well as more advertising of the database so that more people are aware of their rights.
Gerri Bird also promised greater action on the issue with a more proactive approach by licensing and enforcement teams, as well as returning with a timeline and plan of action.
ACORN members were pleased with the meeting, but disappointed that they were not given concrete assurances from the councillors on the issue.
ACORN Cambridge member, Renato Frisoni, said "Despite listening and agreeing with us on the issue of unlicensed HMOs, some of the the promises made by the councillors were very vague and didn't address the practicalities of the issue.”
“For example, when we proposed the council fund an advertising campaign around town regarding unlicensed HMOs, councillors suggested that ACORN should be the ones doing this. As the executive for housing, she has the power to fund these initiatives. That's why we organised this meeting!"
ACORN will be sure to follow up should there be no action taking place within the next month.