Northampton Labour Group is urging the newly formed West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) HiMO working group to “act swiftly” to curb the increasing number of illegal properties being found throughout the town.
WNC has recently been a part of multi-agency days of action, which seek to tackle the blights of fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and illegal rental properties that are plaguing communities throughout the town.
In a recent campaign in Semilong, officers uncovered 50 properties that were operating as illegal houses of multiple occupancy, according to the Labour Group.
Although WNC has recently set up a working group that is aiming to review the problem of illegal HiMOs, Labour councillors are urging for “swifter action” and “concrete steps” to tackle the growing problem.
Councillor Wendy Randall, leader of the Labour Group in West Northamptonshire, said: “We called for a review of HiMO policy back in September. This is an urgent issue.
"It is shocking that recent multi-agency days of action have uncovered dangerous living conditions, illegal HiMOS and criminal activity. We pay our taxes, and we all deserve to feel safe where we live,” she said.
"The council has recently formed a working group to look at this issue. I am calling on them to complete the review with all due speed.
"West Northants Council needs to put in measures to limit the number of houses in multiple occupation and ensure better standards.”
Councillor Danielle Stone, of the Castle ward, added: “This is an urgent issue. I hope the working group listen to the views of good landlords and of the local community, whose lives are blighted by the presence of unregulated HiMOS.”
Councillor Stone also called for a full review of the ownership of HiMOs in the town.
West Northamptonshire Council has not responded to this newspaper’s request for comment earlier this week.
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