Councillor Penny Baker

Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning


I hope that arriving at the St Paul’s Hotel you have had a chance to see some of the city centre landscaping, landscaping that truly makes Sheffield a nice place to be. We welcome the Network and its delegates here for the first time and hope that you have a good conference.

Sheffield Housing

180,000 private properties

27,000 are rented by private sector tenants

Private sector houses around 400,000 people – 75% of the population

So there are over 180,000 private properties in Sheffield, of which around 27,000 are rented by private sector tenants, compared to the 42,000 Council properties in the city. In total the private sector houses around 400,000 people, which is around 75% of Sheffield’s population.

Sheffield Housing


Disabled Grants - £2,300,000

Neighbourhood Investment - £562,000

Maintenance Grants £195,000

Minor Works Grants £169,000

Energy Grants £181,000

There has been a continued emphasis in reduction of Council spend on grants. The main form of assistance to tackle housing conditions is now through loans. However we have retained specific targeted assistance using external funding.


Disabled Grants - £2,300,000

A total of 339 households received a Disabled Facilities Grant during 2009/10. Of these, 77% were owner occupiers, 20% were housing association tenants and the remaining 3% were private sector tenants.

Neighbourhood Investment - £562,000

We carried out external works to blocks of properties in the Housing Market Renewal areas to complement the Decency programme being carried out by Sheffield Homes, Sheffield’s ALMO which was funded by HMR but that project has now come to an end, even though some work remains to be done.

Maintenance Grants £195,000

which is funded by the Housing Market Renewal.

Minor Works Grants £169,000

to help alleviate some of the conditions for the old and vulnerable owner-occupiers aged 75 or over to live safely in their own homes

Affordable Warmth - Energy grants £181,000

helping to reduce fuel poverty and the category1 housing health and safety hazard of excess cold. The energy scheme tackling fuel poverty is funded by the Regional Housing Board.

Sheffield Housing

The level of excess cold hazards is an issue given the numbers of older residents in Sheffield and the potential link with cold related illnesses.

The less energy efficient dwellings are older dwellings (pre 1919); converted flats, terraced and semi detached houses and privately rented dwellings. And this obviously has an impact upon Category 1 hazards,

Improving energy efficiency will contribute towards a range of Sheffield’s corporate priorities and indeed contribute to a wide range of issues e.g. reduced carbon emissions, tackling fuel poverty, elimination of Cat 1 hazards, improved health and well being – warmer, better homes

Sheffield Housing

The privately rented sector had the highest proportion of pre 1919 dwellings at almost 38.8% compared with 23.3% overall and it is in that age of property that we find the most hazards

Sheffield Housing

You will no doubt recognise that the top 4 hazards are typically worse in the pre 1919 housing stock, stock which has the highest proportion of private rented.

We recognise that many landlords have invested in our housing stock, particularly in our student areas, but there are still many areas that need our intervention.

In our recent House Condition survey the total cost just to rectify category 1 hazards was an estimated £187 million at an average cost per dwelling of £4,600. The total level of comprehensive repairs in dwellings with a Category 1 hazard in Sheffield was an estimated £800 million, an average of £20,000 per dwelling, with Registered housing providers’ dwellings having the highest average cost.

Houses in Multiple Occupation
– Mandatory Licensing

•1809 Licence applications received in total (included nearly 300 passported houses from registration)

•128 applications withdrawn before the licence issued

•1458 Current licences

•Currently 2 months – application to issue of the draft licence

•Priority to identify and take action against those not licensed.

HMO licensing was made mandatory in April 2006 for properties let out to 5 or more persons on 3 or more storeys, and also brought back shared accommodation into the definition.

In total, 1809 licence applications have been received including those passported through from our old registration scheme

Some properties changed hands and others reduced numbers out of mandatory licensing before we issued licences and we have issued 50% refunds to the 128 properties in this category.

Other properties that have transferred ownership, or where the passported licences have already expired, have been issued with new licences which currently total 148

Now we are dealing with new applications and looking forward to dealing with approximately 200 applications this year, mainly for those properties issued with registrations just before the introduction of licensing. It is currently 2 months from an application to issue of the draft licence

Our priority in 2010/11 is to identify and take action against landlords who have not applied for a licence.

Houses in Multiple Occupation –
Outside Mandatory Licensing

•8290 total number of HMOs with 1461 of these licensed

•Approx 6500 outside mandatory licensing

•Majority 4 bedroom student houses

•Some areas 75% student houses

•Other areas less dense but less well managed

In total we have 8290 HMOs in the City the majority of which do not require an HMO Licence. Whilst we know that some houses still require an application, and we are actively following these up, that leaves approximately 6500 not requiring a licence

Of these the vast majority are 4 bedroom houses occupied by students, mainly in the city centre and close by – within walking distance of the two universities. With a steady migration towards the city centre, some of the outlying HMOs have reduced in occupation to encourage use, and others have returned to owner occupation or single family lets.

Some streets in a small area of the city have student occupation running at up to 75%. Whilst many of the houses themselves are very good quality with excellent facilities and sound fire protection we also have houses in poorer condition in those areas and there problems with the concentration of so many students in the areas

Another area has less density of occupation but overall the house types are poorer and so are the management standards and we have just embarked upon an effort to drive up standards in this area.

Working with Landlords

Responsible landlord scheme

•Launched 2003

•Minimum standards for physical condition and management

•449 members at March 2010

•1090 private dwellings

•Benefits include discounted tipping.

• Trade fair

Working with landlords

The Responsible Landlord Scheme was launched in 2003 to support and encourage private landlords to improve standards in the private rented sector. The scheme includes a minimum standard for the physical condition of properties, and also the standard of management.

There are benefits to landlords as part of the scheme including free advertising on the Property Shop website. We also make sure that landlords who we work in partnership with are members, such as those who house clients through our Homelessness service.

By March 2010 the scheme had 449 members who together manage over 1090 privately rented dwellings.

The second Trade Fair for landlords was held at DonValley stadium and was attended by 250 visitors.

We also regularly arrange landlord forums and landlord training sessions at a community based advice centres.I would like to thank both Universities in Sheffield for their help and support with the scheme.

Working with Landlords

•3 E’s - Education, Encouragement, Enforcement

•Informal Action – 176 cases

•Formal Action – 32 cases

•Works on 14 notices

Working with Landlords

We always prefer to work with landlords through education and encouragement, and informal action that embraces these principals

In cases where owners of properties are unwilling to work with us, after education and encouragement, and to protect private renting tenants we have to take enforcement action.

During 2009/10 we served 176 informal notices requesting works to be carried out to properties. We only had to resort to formal action in 32 cases, the majority of which have been complied with.

Where necessary, we have carried out the ‘work in default’ and charged the owner with the costs of the work.


I’ve given you a brief look into Sheffield, its housing and in particular its HMOs

It only remains for me to wish you all a successful conference and say that I hope that now you have seen the beauty of Sheffield you will return in the future.