Horden housing problems raised in Parliament as Easington MP calls for more help

Plans to tackle absentee landlords and poor quality housing in Horden and elsewhere in County Durham could be taken up at the highest levels of government.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:45 am
Picture c/o Google Streetview
Picture c/o Google Streetview

Easington MP Grahame Morris raised the issue in the House of Commons this week, praising the work already done by Durham County Council, but calling for more help from Westminster.

And the problem, which affects towns across the North East and the rest of the country, was acknowledged by Chancellor Sajid Javid, who promised to assign a minister to take a closer look.

Morris said: “Durham County Council has developed a housing regeneration masterplan to tackle issues relating to absentee landlords, poor quality and low housing demand, but the scale of the investment requires a commitment from central Government.

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“Will the Chancellor meet me and representatives of Durham County Council to discuss how the housing masterplan can be financed to deliver much needed regeneration in Horden?”

Javid called the problem an ‘important issue’, adding there was ‘always room for new ideas’ to tackle it.

Morris has been the Labour MP for the Easington constituency since 2010 and held it again in December’s general election, but with a reduced majority.

Following the question to the Chancellor, his intervention was praised by bosses at Durham County Council, who have been working on schemes such as a landlord licensing programme in an attempt to overhaul housing standards.

Stuart Timmiss, the county council’s head of development and housing, said: “Grahame Morris has been significantly involved in the development of our masterplan for the Horden area, working alongside local county councillors, and we are pleased he has raised this work in parliament.

“We know that there are issues relating to the quality of housing, general environment and anti-social behaviour in parts of Horden, especially in the area known locally as the numbered streets.

“We have consulted with residents who have made it clear that significant change is required.

“Our masterplan sets out how this can be achieved but we need funding.

“We welcome the opportunity to meet with Grahame and Government ministers to discuss our ideas and any financial support that could be provided.”