Trafford moves on housing services

The local authority has taken over the running of its housing services department for the first time in 16 years as it seeks to tackle homelessness in the borough.

From 1 April, Housing Options Services Trafford (HOST), which manages the housing waiting list, homelessness services and housing advice services, will be brought back under the direct control of Trafford Council.

The move by Trafford, which was claimed by Labour in the May 2019 local elections, follows other large authorities looking to take direct control of services and/or delivery in the social housing sector.

At the start of this year, Manchester took its arms length management organisation Northwards Housing in-house, claiming that delivering social housing itself would save the council £77m over 30 years.

In autumn 2020, Liverpool City Council undertook direct management of 74 homes within a 105-home Lovell development, following its establishment of a strategic housing delivery team in summer, relfecting the first council housing in the city in 30 years. Salford approved a raft of public housing in December.

The service has been run on an outsourced basis by Salix Homes since 2015. Staff from Salix will move over with HOST, which provides statutory homelessness support on behalf of the council and provides advice and support for local people with their housing needs, when it returns to the authority.

Cllr James Wright, Trafford’s executive member for housing and regeneration, thanked Salix for its work and added: “Tacking homelessness and providing affordable and social housing is a corporate priority for Trafford Council.

“We see HOST as a vital service which secures homes for people and prevents people from becoming homeless. We have made the decision to bring HOST back in house so we can ensure these functions are delivered in a better coordinated way with other associated council services and functions.”

In recent weeks, Trafford has won a ruling at public inquiry against Redrow over the delivery of affordable homes within major developments in the borough.

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