A new crackdown on slum housing used to accommodate vulnerable people is set to be rolled out across Hull.
Around 600 properties owned and run by a variety of landlords and organisations currently operate outside of existing contracts between Hull City Council and other housing providers.
They provide accommodation for roughly 1,400 people who have typically previously lived in hostels and have a history of long-standing drug and alcohol misuse and mental health issues.
Although the city council is responsible for the supported housing it contracts, the authority has little influence over this largely unregulated privately-run sector offering similar accommodation with non-commissioned private landlords funded directly by the government through housing benefits.
Poor management of some properties and a lack of support and supervision for the people living in them have triggered a series of complaints by neighbours in some parts of the city in recent years.
There have also been claims of deliberate over-crowding in some small terraced homes originally designed for families but now divided into flats.
At one address, in Ferndale off Newland Avenue, a private landlord was recently forced to shut a property being used for supported housing after complaints by neighbours were submitted to the police about noise, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping at the premises.
Now the council has been awarded nearly £800,000 by the government to review the quality and value-for-money of non-commissioned supported housing in the city.
The grant is one of five awarded to local councils across England amid continuing worries over poor living conditions, the way some properties are managed and whether legislation over the issue needs tightening.
It is expected to fund an increase in property inspections and more in-depth reviews on how people are actually being supported.
Councillor Roise Nicola, who chairs the council’s finance scrutiny committee, said: “I have always had great concerns about housing providers just taking the money and not doing any providing so it’s good to see something positive happening on this.”