A motion at a recent Portsmouth City Council 'Full Council' meeting was raised to 'further limit the growth in the number of new Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's).'
The logic, in our view mistaken, is that Portsmouth has enough HMOs and allowing more will not be popular or beneficial. It is true that with 7,000-8,000 new student halls rooms being built, the mix of housing usage in the city will change - but to assume that properties will switch from student HMO usage to family ownership is misguided. For those that have HMO's, their property values will continue to be at a significant premium (currently 30%+) to comparable non-HMO properties due to the constraints imposed by the council - so measures such as this will ensure properties with an HMO designation retain that designation and landlords let to whichever alternative type of HMO tenant they can best cater for.
Some will move to 'serviced accommodation' and high end professional lets, others to the more vulnerable (moving the problem recently reported in Waverley Road across the rest of Southsea) and the vast majority will stay with students as we still expect to see a need for homes for around 10,000 students in the Private Rented Sector in Southsea even if all of the planned student halls are built.
The full statement, from Councillor Luke Stubbs blog, is below:
"I recently seconded a motion at Full Council that sought to further limit the growth in number of new Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Portsmouth City Council already has the tightest restrictions in England on new shared houses: extra HMOs are only allowed where the proportion of such uses within a 50m radius is less than 10%. In most of the country no restrictions apply, while some university towns have a similar approach to Portsmouth, but with percentage cap in the 20-30% range.
Over the next couple of years, the council will be reviewing its local plan with a view to adoption in 2019. It will now consider making changes to the HMO policy at that time, possibly by adding a street frontage rule, so that as well as a limit on the number in a given radius, a limit could apply to individual streets as well.
Across Britain as a whole, demand for shared housing is continuing to rise, largely because the growth in the housing stock is not keeping pace with the growth in the country"s population. However locally all the new student accommodation under construction means more shared accommodation may not be needed in Portsmouth."
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