Headlines: March 30th, 2010

Investment in council housing stock can bring substantial savings beyond local government. The Decent Homes programme has brought up to standard some 250,000 council properties managed by arms length oraganisations with widespread benefits to the NHS and police as well as to residents.

Improving some 50,00 properties owned by Sheffield City Council Sheffield showed the benefits of linking housing and health policies at a local level. This is the message from Total Place which seeks to bring together public bodies in the local area.

A survey by National Federation of ALMOs revealed that the benefits from the investment Sheffield included 300 fewer accidents each year and improved mental health saving the NHS £1m in hospital care.

Anti social behaviour problems were tackled by the Brent Housing Partnership and local groups and organisations in a partnership approach. By bringing organizations together and agreeing Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with youths who were causing problems, dramatic results were achieved. There was a 47 per cent reduction in the issue of ASBs, a 49 per cent reduction in phone calls from residents to the ASB hotline and a 52 per cent reduction in calls resulting in call-outs. Additionally, reported environmental crimes dropped by 52 per cent. This made a considerable reduction tin the police workload.

Other similar benefits were found in Nottingham, Leeds, and Gateshead.