28th Jun, 2022

Buy-to-let campaigners to meet council over 'community damage'

Coventry Editorial 2nd Jun, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CAMPAIGNERS against buy-to-let housing are set to meet council chiefs this week.

Coventry Action for Neighbourhoods (CAN) wants more done over what they claim are damaging changes to communities across Coventry.

It comes after residents vented their anger over the amount of short-term lets in the city at a meeting back in April.

Last month the Observer reported the plight of a city family who said one in five homes in their street was now in multiple occupation. Another family said they had been forced to keep their daughter off school because of lack of sleep from noisy neighbours in a buy-to-let next door.

CAN is meeting council bosses again on Wednesday in the hope they will licence all landlords and use powers to ‘monitor and control’ buy-to-let hotspots.

But Coun Ed Ruane, who is set to chair the meeting, said the council needed to find the right balance of housing.

“We have to have a practical approach in this area,” he said.

“I am sure more people would like to own their own properties, but the reality is that house sharing is the only affordable option for many people.”

CAN is also calling on the council to make a clear statement on Article 4 Direction – a move to restrict the number of houses in multiple occupation in certain neighbourhoods – which they claim would help bring the issue under control.

And Coun Ruane added: “I can totally appreciate the residents’ concerns but we are doing as much as we can and continue to work with developers, especially in the area of building purpose-built accommodation for students in the city.

“We will continue with our programme of improving living conditions for residents in Coventry and also keep the dialogue going between landlords and developers in order to support the conversion of suitable buildings for student accommodation in the hope that it will free up houses in residential areas for families to live in.”

The public meeting takes place at the Council House on Wednesday, June 4 at 6.30pm.

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