Vow to fight ‘frightening’ housing conditions in Boston


The fight to rid Boston of ‘frightening’ housing conditions will carry on until 2017 after councillors agreed to fund a crackdown on rogue landlords.

The borough council and Gangmasters Licensing Authority received £109,000 from the Government to tackle people who rent out unsafe homes in Boston.

The project has already found extreme damp, dangerous fire escapes, leaking walls and people living in sheds in the town centre through a series of raids and inspections.

The cash runs until March 2015 but at the council’s recent cabinet meeting members agreed to find £97,000 to ensure the work will go on until March 2017.

The cash will come from a pot handed down from the Government for new homes built in the borough.

Coun Mike Gilbert, the authority’s housing portfolio holder, said the issue had developed into a big problem for Boston and that this project is key to tackling it.

He said: “It is absolutely vital work. We have taken our eye off the ball for far too long and allowed the standard to deteriorate and deplete to quite frightening standards.”

He added: “You wouldn’t put an unsafe car on the roads and you shouldn’t put unsafe houses on the market.”

The council hopes the Government may eventually fund the project, meaning the cash earmarked will not be needed.

Coun Derek Richmond said the council needs to ‘send a message’ to rogue landlords so they do not think they can ‘get away with it’.

Coun Stephen Woodliffe said the issues impact on the image of the town and vowed: “We can set a standard here and push out of business those that won’t provide adequate housing.”