A borough is looking for members of its Nepalese community to come forward and help them raise issues about the private housing market.
Greenwich are looking for what they call Live Well community champions.
The project, which has received funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, aims to support the diverse existing and new migrant communities in Greenwich and challenge rogue landlords.
Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) are properties where the occupants do not form a single family and are typically separate households with shared facilities. Some of these HMOs are unlicensed and lack adequate facilities.
The champions will help the town hall talk to with the Nepalese community, raise awareness of housing issues and help the community to recognise and report unsafe housing conditions.
They will get training and gain the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.
Councillor Averil Lekau, cabinet member for adult’s social care and health said: “Live Well champions are a strong network of local, knowledgeable volunteers who have been trained to offer signposting and support to promote good health in their communities.
“They are an asset in the community and use their experience, knowledge and skills to signpost the way to help people get the support they need to live well.”
Cllr Chris Kirby, cabinet member for housing said: “The private rented sector in the borough continues to grow significantly and now accounts for 29 per cent of housing tenures compared to 20 per cent nationally.
“The council has a statutory duty to ensure HMO properties and other types of private accommodation in the borough are safe and compliant with regulations. To address this, we are committed to engaging and working with private renters and landlords alike.”
Cllr Jackie Smith, cabinet member for children’s services and community safety said: “It’s really important that we continue to engage with the community, especially vulnerable tenants who can be exploited by rogue landlords.
“Though the majority of landlords in the borough are responsible, we want to make it explicitly clear that substandard and unsafe accommodation will not be tolerated and private renters shouldn’t have to put up with these conditions.
“This project is a great opportunity for us to really engage and support the Nepalese community with any private sector housing issues, and I look forward to seeing many community champions come forward.”
To be involved, call 020 892 15496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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