View guides

Bath Councillor Critical of HMO Policy

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Bath councillor Bob Goodman has criticised the amount of shared housing in the city and has suggested both universities must do more to address the housing balance.

Mr Goodman said that the current balance between houses of multiple occupation, student accommodation and family housing is "absolutely wrong."

Currently the local authority allows 25% of houses in Bath to be used as HMOs, although the actual figure is much lower. Many these HMOs accommodate students from the city's two universities and councillor Bob Goodman has conducted a review of housing in Bath to work out how the city can address the balance.

Mr Goodman believes the current 25% allocation for HMOs is too high, suggesting Bath is not big enough for that percentage.

In particular, he added: "Some roads in Oldfield Park are 60 to 70 per cent HMOs. That cannot be right for the community as a whole."

He suggested one approach would be for universities to build as much as they can on their own land rather than impact the rest of the city, which can result in an overloading of students into small Bath communities.

Councillor Goodman also argues that HMOs can make it difficult for young professionals to afford to buy due to the high value some properties achieve because of their potential for HMO use and subsequent profits.

The next housing consultation will take place at the end of May 2017 and Mr Goodman hopes the council will "substantially reduce the percentage of HMOs" in the city.