Headlines: June 3rd, 2005

The first steps in a training programme designed to better equip local authorities to meet the requirements of the new Housing Act are being taken this month. The ‘Housing Act 2004: National Training Programme’ is being delivered by the IdeA with the aim of training more than 1000 council officers the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and licensing requirements of the Act in time for the government’s implementation date of October this year.The programme is being backed by 5 million pounds in Revenue Support Grant funding from the ODPM. The first module is being delivered from this month onwards, in partnership with Warwick University Law School. Further modules are in development, and will be delivered through a mixture of regional and sub-regional seminars, formal training, e-learning tools, and the IDeA Knowledge website. Some parts of the programme will be free but others will operate on a subsidised rate.

The IDeA has appointed John Mann from Oakleigh Consulting as project manager to oversee delivery of the programme to local authorities. He is a former assistant director of housing in a London borough and leads Oakleigh’s services to local government and housing.

IDeA Director of Services (North and Midlands) Martin Horton said the HHSRS and licensing provisions would have significant strategic and policy implications for councils and the training programme was being designed to meet the development and awareness needs of local authorities at all levels.

As well as offering training to local authority officers, the programme will provide some support to selected stakeholders in the housing agenda. These will be identified through discussions with the ODPM.