Housing has an important impact on health and well-being: good quality, appropriate housing in places where people want to live has a positive influence on reducing deprivation and health inequalities by facilitating stable/secure family lives.  This in turn helps to improve social, environmental, personal and economic well-being.  Conversely, living in housing which is in poor condition, overcrowded or unsuitable will adversely affect the health and well-being of individuals and families.

The value of good housing needs to been seen as more than ‘bricks and mortar’. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2006) define a decent home as ‘a home that is warm, weatherproof and has reasonably modern facilities’. Failure to address the investment needs of poor housing conditions will have a detrimental impact on the occupiers’ health and well-being.

A decent, affordable home is an essential requirement for tackling health inequalities and reducing the burden on health and social care services and cost to the public purse.

This topic includes homelessness and fuel poverty.

This topic is most closely linked with:


Last updated: 2015-12-14 10:02:13
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1. What are the key issues?

Key issues for housing in Hartlepool have been identified through the development of the Housing Strategy 2011-2015.

  • The proportion of residents aged 75 and over will increase by 50.7%, from 7.5% of the population in 2007 to 11.3% by 2028 and the proportion of residents aged 60-74 will increase by 28.8%.  This will put increasing strain on resources directed at the housing and support needs of older people.
  • Within Hartlepool, the percentage of empty properties in the private sector exceed the national average and also the Tees Valley average.
  • An estimated 11,300 dwellings in Hartlepool (34.8% of the stock) are classed as non-decent. The majority of dwellings are non-decent because of Category 1 Hazards (6,000 dwellings, 18.5%) and thermal comfort failure (15.4%).
  • There are estimated to be 6,900 (21.2%) households in fuel poverty within Hartlepool.
  • In 2009/10 homelessness acceptance figures reduced to 18 from 28 the previous year.  Homelessness acceptances are highest among young people.


Last updated: 04/04/13

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

Update the Private Sector Stock Condition Survey
in order to understand the housing conditions of all residents in the private sector and especially to understand the housing needs of older residents who are asset rich but cash poor.

Carry out a housing needs assessment for people with mental health problems a dementia
to fill a gap in local knoledge about the housing requirements of these population groups.

Reinvigorate priority neighbourhoods with high quality new homes
, to give access to vulnerable groups.

Reduce the number of long-term empty properties
by bringing them back into use and making their standards higher than ‘fit for purpose’ (that is investment is higher than the value of the property).

Fund adaptations
thereby enabling people in need to stay in their homes longer and reduce stays in hospitals and care facilities.

Previous commissioning priorities:

Reinvigorate priority neighbourhood
s with high quality new homes, to give access to vulnerable groups. Partially met: the Council has continued with the Housing Market Renewal programme to reinvigorate priority neighbourhoods with over 100 new build properties built on regeneration sites since 2012. In addition the Council has implemented an empty homes programme across our priority neighbourhoods which include the purchase and refurbishment of 100 long-term empty homes which provide much needed affordable good quality accommodation for local residents.

Drive up standards for existing homes
where a priority will be improving energy efficiency and providing affordable warmth products.  Invest in property to enhance fuel efficiency to generate further funding for investment. Partially Met: the ‘Warm up North’ scheme was launched in September 2013, a partnership including Hartlepool Borough Council, British Gas and eight other Local Authorities in the region. The purpose of this scheme is to deliver a scheme to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the North East. The scheme is divided into two key parts – the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal (GD). The initial emphasis following the launch of the scheme was around the ECO delivery, which focussed on the provision of free boilers, cavity and loft insulation to homes of eligible households who were in receipt of one or more qualifying benefits. A wide range of products is available to enable householders to benefit from energy efficiency measures and reduce their fuel costs. Regular promotional work through the partnership is undertaken to publicise the scheme. Since the launch of the scheme to the end of March 2014, 167 enquiries had been made to Warm up North from Hartlepool. Of those, there had been 67 jobs completed (the majority of which were new boilers) and there were 18 further jobs in progress.

Reduce the number of long-term empty properties
by bringing them back into use and making their standards higher than ‘fit for purpose’ (that is investment is higher than the value of the property). Partially met: the Council’s Empty Homes Strategy has been used to reduce the number of long-term empty homes in Hartlepool with an average of 60 long-term empty homes being brought back into use each year through the Councils assistance. The Council with partners has implemented a number of incentive schemes including the acquisition of 100 units through the Clusters of Empty Homes Project and a lease and repair programme in partnership with Thirteen group. This has resulted in a significant improvement of the quality and standard of properties in the town and provided affordable accommodation for local people. Enforcement action has been taken where necessary to ensure long-term empty homes are brought back into use including the use of CPO and Enforced Sale.

Fund adaptations
thereby enabling people in need to stay in their homes longer and reduce stays in hospitals and care facilities. Partially met: during 2012-2013 the Council received £540,000 from Central Government for Disabled Facilities Grants (this includes an extra allocation received in January 2013). The Council also received £167,000 from the PCT in January 2013 to fund adaptations. During 2012-2013 148 DFGs were carried out to enable people to remain or return to their homes and to live independently. At the end of 2012-2013 there were 76 people on the waiting list for an adaptation. During 2013-2014 the Council received £434,717 from Central Government for Disabled Facilities Grants and with this funding 116 DFGs were carried out to enable people to remain or return to their homes and to live independently. At the end of 2013-2014 the waiting list for an adaptation nearly doubled to 144 applicants illustrating an increasing demand on a limited budget. Funding for 2014-2015 is made up from £451,155 from Central Government, £200,000 from the Clinical Commissioning Group Better Care Fund (to support over 65’s preferably with long-term conditions) and £91,000 from Child and Adult Services to fund applicants with care needs. During the first two quarters of 2014-2015 48 DFGs have been carried out and there remain 105 applicants on the waiting list.

Invest in appropriate ‘housing-related’ support services
(for care leavers, those with learning disabilities, those with complex needs, families with a history of tenancy failure etc.) to ensure individuals/households can live independently. Partially met: Gainford House managed by Stonham HA, providing supported accommodation for 16 to 25 year olds with complex needs, has recently been successful in achieving funding to expand the current scheme to provide an additional 6 units and is due to be completed in Spring 2015.


Last updated: 14/12/15

3. Who is at risk and why?

An ageing society poses great challenges for appropriate housing. Most homes and communities have not been designed to meet people’s changing needs as they get older. Inclusive housing and wider environmental design is key to people’s health and well-being, and the suitability of the built environment plays a critical role in the provision of social care and health services. This demographic change needs to be considered when planning homes and neighbourhoods.

Although overall life expectancy has been increasing for both men and women, the number of years spent with a limiting illness or disability has also been increasing. According to the ONS, in 1981 men could expect to spend 12.8 years of their life with a limiting illness or disability and women 16 years.  By 2007, these figures had risen to almost 14 and 17 years respectively. Such changes in life expectancy are anticipated to have an impact on the demand for care in later life (Measuring unmet needs for social care amongst older people, September 2011).

Approximately 30% of people over 65 fall each year, and for those over 75, the rates are higher. Between 20% and 30% of those who fall suffer injuries that reduce mobility and independence and increase the risk of premature death (World Health Organisation Health Evidence Network, 2004).

The greatest burden of excess winter mortality is among older people (County Durham and Tees Valley Public Health Network, 2006, Institute for Health Equity, 2011).

There are over 1.6 million children in the UK living in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, run down, damp or dangerous.  Children living in overcrowded housing are up to 10 times more likely to contract meningitis.  Children in unfit and overcrowded homes miss school more frequently due to illness and infections. Poor housing conditions increase the risk of severe ill health or disability up to 25% during childhood and early adulthood. Children living in bad housing are significantly more likely to suffer respiratory problems. Living in bad housing as a child leads to a higher risk of low educational achievement. This in turn has long term implications for economic well-being in adulthood due to an increased likelihood of unemployment or working in low paid and insecure jobs (Shelter, 2006a).

Homeless children are more likely to show signs of behavioural problems such as aggression, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Nearly half of young male offenders on remand and 42% of young female offenders sentenced have experienced homelessness (Shelter, 2006a).

An increased duration of living in overcrowded accommodation is significantly associated with children feeling unhappy about their own health.  An increased duration of living in accommodation in poor condition is significantly associated with being bullied in or out of school, getting into trouble with the police and having long-standing illness, disability or infirmity (Shelter, 2011).

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (2011) predict significant increases in poverty among children and working-age adults by 2013/14 as a result of the government’s tax and benefit reforms, including cuts in Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

There are no gender-specific housing issues.  However, women have greater life expectancy than men and it is likely that any deficits in appropriate housing suitable for older single occupancy will affect more women than men.

Socioeconomic status
Households in poverty live in dwellings with damp problems more often than the general population (12% and 8% respectively).

Damp problems occur in 8% of all households but in 15% of ethnic minority households.

Nationally, homelessness in April to June 2011 was 17% higher than the same quarter of 2010.  There were 48,330 households in temporary accommodation on 30 June 2011.

There is a strong overlap between experiences of more extreme forms of homelessness and other support needs, with nearly half of service users reporting experience of institutional care, substance misuse, and street activities (such as begging) , as well as homelessness. Traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and homelessness are part of most street homeless people’s life histories.  Most complex needs were experienced by homeless men aged 20-49, and especially by those in their 30s (Joseph Rowntree Trust, 2011).

The life expectancy of homeless people is 30 years less than the rest of the population.  On average, homeless people live until the age of 47, and for homeless women, it is further reduced to just age 43. They are consistently less likely to take up routine screening, health checks, and vaccinations and it is essential to engage this group with existing public health programmes.  Ill health is more likely within homeless households, including those in temporary accommodation.  School absenteeism is more prevalent amongst children in homeless households; and they are more prone to delayed development of communication skills (Shelter, 2006b).

Homelessness is linked to nutritional deficiencies, and obesity is increasingly common (Food Standards Agency, 2007).  Rough sleeping is accepted to be inherently harmful to good health, and either contributes to, or exacerbates, health problems such as physical and mental health issues, and drug and alcohol misuse (Crisis, 2011; Department of Health, 2010).

Housing conditions and types
Almost 5 million UK dwellings (21%) had one or more Category 1 hazards in 2009. The most common types of Category 1 hazards were related to falls affecting  about 1 in 8 (12%) of dwellings, followed by excess cold (8%).

In 2009, 20% of UK households lived in homes with substantial disrepair. Privately rented households were much more likely to live in such homes (32% compared to 17% for owner occupiers and 19% for social renters).  The likelihood of private renters living in dwellings in substantial disrepair increased markedly the longer they had been resident in their current home, from 27% for those resident for less than one year to 54% of those resident for 20 years or more.

Around 8% of dwellings had damp problems in 2009. This problem is less common in owner occupied stock (6%) but higher for private rented dwellings and local authority dwellings (15% and 12% respectively).

Less than half of households (44%) lived in homes with fully modern electrical wiring in 2009.

Terraced houses, converted flats and dwellings built before 1919 are far more likely to have any Category 1 hazards relating to falls than other dwellings.

While 8% of households live in dwellings with damp problems this was notably higher for households containing five or more people (11%).

Welfare reform
A study for Shelter, carried out by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (2010), estimates that private sector tenants who claim Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will lose an average of £12 per week and that between 136,000 and 269,000 households will be unable to afford their rent, with about half of these likely to be evicted or move on voluntarily.

Housing Benefit claimants, including those renting from councils and housing associations, and private rented sector tenants who receive traditional Housing Benefit rather than LHA, will be hit by increases in non-dependant deductions from April 2012.

Working-age families deemed to be living in ‘under-occupied’ social rented housing will have their Housing Benefit cut, while there will also be a cap on the benefits that may be claimed by any individual working-age household.

According to the National Housing Federation (news article 9th November 2011) the Housing Benefit changes alone will leave 642,160 households worse off by an average of £39 per month.

Fuel poverty
It is estimated that 3.5 million households in England were living in fuel poverty in 2010, with a projected rise to 3.9 million in 2012 (DECC, 2012a).

Living in cold homes has effects on both physical and mental health. But the most serious is its contribution to Britain’s unusually high rates of ‘excess winter deaths’.  Many of these excess winter deaths could be prevented through warmer housing (Institute of Health Equity, 2011).


Last updated: 04/04/13

4. What is the level of need in the population?

Housing Need

The current housing stock in Hartlepool is :

Property type and size of occupied dwellings: Hartlepool

Property type

No. Bedrooms (Table %)










Five or more


Base (No.)

Detached house








Semi-detached house








Terraced house
































Caravan/Park Home
































Source: 2011 Household Survey


The Census 2011 tenure information for Hartlepool is:
Owner Occupation 60%
Private Rented  15%
Affordable*  24%
Other   1%
* This include social rent / intermediate / affordable rent
The private rented market in Hartlepool has doubled since the 2001 Census from 7% to 15%

Hartlepool has a self-contained functional housing market, with most people tending to remain in the Borough, with small inward migration to new housing areas. 
Analysis of general market supply and demand suggests that the open market is generally balanced. However, in Hartlepool there is a notable shortfall of detached houses in the inner suburbs and town centre and across the district generally; shortfall of terraced properties in the outer suburbs; and bungalows across most of the district; market in rural area most balanced in terms of supply meeting demand. Supply of terraced dwellings rural areas, flats in Inner and Outer Suburbs; and one bedroom properties in the Town Centre and Outer Suburbs considerably greater than demand.

House prices in Hartlepool have tended to lag behind the regional median figure and have increased from £49,000 in Q1 2000 to £106,133 in Q1 2011, an increase of 116.6%. Prices peaked in Q2 2008 at £115,000.

During 2010, lower quartile prices across the Tees Valley area were around £81,000 (Darlington £87,735, Hartlepool £73,000, Middlesbrough £68,000, Redcar and Cleveland £82,500 and Stockton on Tees £95,000).

House prices in Hartlepool, 2008-2011











Lower Quartile (25%)






Median (50%)






Upper Quartile (75%)






Key market drivers

There are three key primary drivers influencing the current (and future) housing market: demographic, economic and dwelling stock characteristics.

The following demographic drivers will continue to underpin the operation of Hartlepool’s housing market and the Tees Valley market area:

  • An increasing population in Tees Valley, with 2008-based ONS population projections predicting a population in 2033 of 601,700 compared with 563,300 in 2010, an increase of 38,400 (6.8%);
  • Over the next few decades, there will be a ‘demographic shift’ with the number (and proportion) of older people increasing. In 2010, ONS projections suggested for Tees Valley that there were 94,000 people aged 65 and over, 44,000 aged 75 and over and 12,000 aged 85 and over. 2008-based ONS projections suggest an increase of 50,000 people aged 65 and over, and 31,000 aged 75+ and 15,000 aged 85 and over by 2033;
  • ONS trend-based projections  indicate that the number of households in Tees Valley is expected to increase 234,000 in 2008 to 262,000 in 2026 and to 272,000 in 2033. This represents an annual increase to 2033 of around 1,520 households. The rate of increase is predicted to be 17.9% for Hartlepool. Although the total number of households is predicted to grow, the aging population means that most of the growth will be in older person households. Over the period 2008-2026, the total number of households is expected to increase by 24,000. Of this increase, 20,000 will be from households headed by someone aged 65 or over; 9,000 will be attributed to households with a household reference person aged 15-44 and there will be a decline of 5000 households with a household reference person aged 45-64;
  • The 2011 household survey indicates that the largest household groups are couples with children (28%), single adults (under 60) 19.1%, couples (under 60 with no children) (16.4%), lone parents (11.2%), singles over 60 (10.9%), couples over 60 (10.4%) and 3.8% are other household types; and
  • Regional household projections suggest that the proportion of singles and other household types is likely to increase in the future.

The Tees Valley 2012 Strategic Housing Market Assessment identified that following economic drivers underpin the operation of the Tees Valley market area:

  • 58.4% of household reference people are economically active and are in employment according to the 2011 household survey; a further 19.8% are retired; 8.9% are permanently sick/disabled; 6.1% are either looking after the home, in training or provide full-time care; 6% are unemployed and available for work; and  0.7% are in full-time education/training;
  • 87.9% of people in employment work within the Tees Valley area. Of those working outside, 2.6% worked in North Yorkshire, 3.1% in County Durham, 5.4% elsewhere in the UK and 1.0% outside the UK;
  • According to the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, lower quartile earnings in 2011 across the Tees Valley area were £17,581 which compares with £17,316 for the North East region and £18,720 for England. Median incomes were £23,722, compared with a regional median of £23,447 and a national median of £26,395.

In June 2014 there were 2,620 active applicants on the Tees Valley housing register in Hartlepool.  35% of these (927) were in priority bands 1-3 (those identified as in the greatest housing need). This has increased since 2011 when 25% of the housing register was comprised of applicants in housing need.

Across the Tees Valley sub-region, the proportion of active housing register applicants is above average in the 25-59 age group.  The proportion of applicants from minority ethnic groups is reflective of the national picture.

Profile of housing register applicants, Tees Valley, 2014


Housing register applicants

Population (Census 2011)

Under 25









White British



Source: Compass Housing Register October 2014


Older people
The population in Hartlepool is projected to rise with both the number and proportion of older people increasing. In 2010 the population was estimated at 91,300 and is projected to increase to 95,600 by 2025. In 2010 16.6% of the population were over 65 and this is projected to increase to 20.7% by 2025 equating to an extra 4,700 over 65s (Tees Valley Unlimited May 2012).

457 units of extra care accommodation have been developed in Hartlepool to improve the housing options available to older residents. In addition, over 105 units of bedsit accommodation have been decommissioned by Housing Hartlepool and Anchor Trust.

Other vulnerable people

In Hartlepool, 39% of households contain someone with an illness/disability.  However, this increases to 58% amongst social renters.  Of those people with an illness or disability, 43% have a physical disability and 24% have an age-related illness/disability (Hartlepool Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2007).

In May 2013 there were 439 applicants to Compass needing a certain property type due to their disability. This has increased from 320 applicants in July 2010.  Since 2005/06 the numbers of people re-housed into adapted accommodation has doubled.

Re-housing applications, Hartlepool, 2005/06 to 2013/14


No. re-housed




















Funding for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) continues to be inadequate to cover the referrals from Occupational Therapy.

Funding for disabled facilities, Hartlepool, 2004/05 to 2014/15


Total funding (£)

Number of DFGs completed*

Number on Waiting List at end of Year**











































48 (during Q1 and Q2)

105 on the waiting list (Oct 2014)

*Monitoring commenced during 2010

** Monitoring commenced during 2012


About 1.5% of the population in Hartlepool has a learning disability.  In Hartlepool, 72% of people with a learning disability live in settled accommodation (for example, the family home or own tenancy). The aim is to improve this figure to 75% over the next three years. In Hartlepool there has been a reduction in residential care as the housing model of choice.

In Hartlepool 1% of the population has an autistic spectrum disorder. Adults with autism should expect to live in accommodation that meets their needs.  For people in this client group the design of the environment in the property is an important issue.

In 2014 it is estimated that there are around 9,000 people aged 18-64 years in Hartlepool with a common mental health disorder.

Supported housing providers support over 2,000 people within Hartlepool, including older people with support needs, offenders, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems, people with alcohol problems, single homeless people, teenage parents, women at risk of domestic violence and young people at risk.


Homelessness data for 2009/10 to 2013/14 shows that the households Hartlepool Council had a statutory duty to accept as homeless and find housing for increased significantly during 2013/14.

Homelessness presentations and advice, Hartlepool, 2009/10 to 2013/14

Homeless Presentations






Eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need






Eligible, homeless and in priority need but intentionally so






Eligible, homeless but not in priority need






Eligible but not homeless






Ineligible households






Total Homeless Presentations






Housing Advice Cases that would have been homeless without our intervention

Prevented – client assisted to resolve situation and remain in their home






Relieved – client assisted into alternative accommodation before becoming homeless






Total households prevented from being homeless







The priority need reasons of these households are shown below.

Reason for priority housing need, Hartlepool, 2011/12 to 2013/14


Dependent Children

16/17 year old

Leaving Care

Mental Illness

























Housing conditions

The 2009 Private Sector Housing Condition Survey found:

Private sector housing condition, Hartlepool, 2009



Non-decent dwellings


Non-decent dwellings with category 1 hazard

18.5% (53% of non-decent dwellings)

Non-decent dwellings in private rented sector


Non-decent dwellings in owner occupied sector


Non-decent dwellings with income <£15,000


Households in fuel poverty



The 2011 Household Survey reviewed the extent to which households were satisfied with the state of repair of their dwellings with 8.8% of households in Hartlepool expressing dissatisfaction. Proportionately private and social renters were more likely to express dissatisfaction.

Fuel poverty

It is estimated that 18.5% of households in Hartlepool are in fuel poverty (National, 14.6%).   A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime. Although the emphasis in the definition is on heating the home, fuel costs in the definition of fuel poverty also include spending on heating water, lights and appliance usage and cooking costs. Source: Deptartment of Energy & Climate Change.

Gypsies and Travellers

In 2014, Hartlepool commissioned a revised GTAA for the borough and the final report is awaiting publication (November 2014). The study recommends the following:
There is a need for 5 additional pitches in the Borough over the next 15 years.
However the demand for said pitches is relating to young adults and elderly persons.
Due to their circumstances they are unlikely to ever move to a pitch as they are currently in bricks and mortar housing. So the need is highly unlikely to be manifested in demand. Therefore there is no need to provide a dedicated site in the Local Plan; just a criteria based policy in case the demand is manifested.


Last updated: 14/12/15

5. What services are currently provided?

Disabled Adaptations – Within Housing Services the Special Needs Housing Team administers the Disabled Facilities Grant funding for major adaptations to clients own homes which enable older people and disabled adults and children to maintain their independence, health and well-being in the home of their choice

Handyperson Service - Within Housing Services the Special Needs Housing Team operates a minor adaptations service (costing under £500) for people who fall below the threshold for making an application for a Disabled Facilities Grant. This is aimed to prevent falls, reduce risk or prevent deterioration.

Rehousing Service – Within Housing Services the Special Needs Housing Team administers applications to the Tees Valley Compass Choice Based Lettings Scheme from waiting list applicants with a medical priority who need adapted accommodation. Adapted social rented housing is advertised through Compass.

Financial Assistance through Regional Loans - This scheme assists owner-occupiers to undertake essential home improvements which help improve their long-term health and wellbeing and maintain their independence. The Council remains committed to the Regional Loans Scheme however funding levels are low and a waiting list is held for eligible home owners.

Financial Assistance for Empty Property Owners – This is a scheme delivered in partnership with Housing Hartlepool that assists landlords to bring long-term empty properties back into use through a lease and repair model

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Licensing Scheme – ensures HMOs are safe and properly managed. The Housing Act 2004 introduced mandatory licensing for certain HMOs.  Mandatory licensing applies to HMOs that comprise of three or more stories and are occupied by 5 or more people who form more than one household.  Some of the most vulnerable members of society are housed in this type of accommodation. 

Enforcement of Housing Conditions – The Housing Standards Officers undertake inspections following requests from residents with regards to their living accommodation and follow up action is taken depending on circumstances ranging from informal action to enforcement.

Area Based Interventions – The Housing Standards Officers undertake proactive area based surveys to identify any emerging issues with regards to property condition and take appropriate follow up action.

Selective Licensing - The final proposal to introduce a new selective licensing scheme in the town is currently being considered (November 2014).

Good Tenant Scheme – Within Housing Services the Landlord/Tenant Unit processes applications to this scheme. It is a service for prospective tenants to obtain references to enable them to access private rented accommodation in Hartlepool.

Housing Advice and Homelessness Prevention – Within Housing Services the Housing Advice Team offers a free and confidential service to residents covering a range of housing and related issues, as well as operating the Council’s statutory duties for homelessness. The team will try to resolve housing issues or help to find suitable alternative accommodation.

Floating support – Within Housing Services the Housing Advice Team operate a floating support scheme to help people successfully manage and sustain their tenancies.

Housing Management of Council owned Stock – the Council has 182 units of stock. 82 units were built in 2009/10 under the Local Authority New Build Scheme and a further 100 units have been acquired through the Empty Homes Programme. All properties which have been built or refurbished achieve high standards of energy efficiency, many of which have photo voltaic panels, double glazing and smart meters installed. Housing Services will take over management of these properties in April 2015.

Social Lettings Agency – the Council has approval to set up a social lettings agency to manage private rented properties on behalf of private landlords. It is anticipated that this service will commence in 2015/16 and its main aim is to assist with improving the quality and management of the private rented sector across the town.

Hartlepool Council Children and Adults Services provide Assistive Technology, Reablement Services, Supported Access to Independent Living Services (SAILS), and Housing Related Support Services.

Registered Providers - Registered providers provide minor and major adaptations services for their customers to help them maintain independent living.

Thirteen Care and Support – The Independent Living Team based within "Thirteen Group" will continue to provide a holistic re-housing and property adaptation service to its vulnerable and mobility restricted residents based within the borough of Hartlepool.

This may include major or minor adaptations being undertaken in their current home or the use of a specialist housing team to identify alternative accommodation to meet their long term independent needs as assessed by Social Care Occupational Therapy.

Assistance will also be offered to clients with age related conditions who wish to downsize from their current accommodation to a more manageable housing option.


Last updated: 14/12/15

6. What is the projected level of need?

The population in Hartlepool is projected to rise with both the number and proportion of older people increasing. In 2010 the population was estimated at 91,300 and is projected to increase to 95,600 by 2025. In 2010 16.6% of the population were over 65 and this is projected to increase to 20.7% by 2025 equating to an extra 4,700 over 65s. (Tees Valley Unlimited, May 2012)

In 2014 Hartlepool commissioned a revised Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the borough and the final report is awaiting publication (November 2014).  The 2007 Strategic Housing Market Assessment provided the following information:

  • The proportion of the population aged 60 and over will increase and the rate of increase will be highest amongst people aged 75 and over.
  • Future requirements from older people suggest 81% would want to stay in their own home with support when needed. Nearly one-quarter stated a preference for sheltered accommodation.
  • About 39% of households contain someone with an illness/disability, with the highest proportions amongst social renters (58% of social renters – this in part reflects the age profile of social renters).
  • The need for property adaptations (see table):

Properties requiring adaptaion in the next five years, Hartlepool

Adaptation to property

Households requiring adaptation in next 5 years (%)



Better heating


Double glazing


Adaptations to bathroom


Security alarm


Adaptations to kitchen


Increase the size of property (e.g. extension)


Internal handrails


Downstairs WC




External handrails


Community alarm service


Improvements to access


Wheelchair adaptations


Lever door handles


Room for a carer


Total Households



Limiting long-term illness

  • Hartlepool has a larger proportion of people with poor health than the average for Tees Valley and England as a whole.
  • Currently, it is estimated that around 8,600 pensioners, out of a total population of 15,200 people aged over 65, have one or more health problems or illnesses that limit their ability to lead a full life.
  • By 2025 this figure is projected to grow from 8,600 to be around 11,500 people (out of a total population of 20,200).
  • By 2025 it is projected that 6,600 people aged over 65 will need help with self-care and 7,200 will need help with domestic tasks, but only 3,800 are projected to be supported by the local authority.
  • There is a projected growth in the number of unpaid carers, from 2,700 in 2008 to 3,500 in 2025. There will also be an increase in the proportion of carers who will be aged over 75, providing over 50 hours of care and in poor health themselves.

Waiting list information
In June 2014 there were 2,620 active applicants on the Tees Valley housing register in Hartlepool.  35% of these (927) were in priority bands 1-3 (those identified as in the greatest housing need). This has increased since 2011 when 25% of the housing register was comprised of applicants in housing need. In May 2013 there were 439 applicants to Compass needing a certain property type due to their disability. This has increased from 320 applicants in July 2010.  In the next few decades the older population in Hartlepool is expected to rise and this will present significant challenges in ensuring access to housing choice. The Council will seek to identify and deliver a range of alternative accommodation and support models to improve the housing options available to older residents.

It is estimated that approximately 320 additional newly forming households each year will need to be accommodated in the borough over the next 15 years.  It is expected that there will continue to be demand for dwellings of all types and tenures. However it is expected that there will be a greater need for family houses; bungalows; and accommodation for older people.


Last updated: 14/12/15

7. What needs might be unmet?

There are considerable pressures on the resources that are available to deliver the aims of the Housing Strategy and resources are likely to be further reduced as the Council has to achieve considerable savings. There is also continuing demand on budgets such as Disabled Facilities Grants.

Funding will be required to meet the following needs:

  • Disrepair in the private sector stock and Category 1 hazards.
  • The provision of disabled adaptations to meet waiting list demand.
  • Housing related support services.
  • Handyperson service.
  • Emergency Accommodation for homeless households.
  • Emergency accommodation and resettlement/move on accommodation for persons with chaotic lifestyles.
  • Appropriate housing for vulnerable and older people which would allow them to stay independent for longer.
  • Affordable housing to address the identified shortfall for both general needs and specialist accommodation.Lack of suitable accommodation for people under the age of 55 with a disability.

As a result of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, a mismatch of family size and available accommodation has emerged resulting in low demand for family sized houses in certain locations for social landlords. There has also been an increase in tenants moving from the social rented to the private rented sector.


Last updated: 14/12/15

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

9. What do people say?

Consultation with BME communities in Hartlepool was undertaken in May 2011 and the key findings of this research include:

  • BME groups still desire to be homeowners.
  • Shared ownership schemes are an option for the younger, working community (aged 20-44).
  • There is a lack of understanding of eligibility for social housing and a negative image of the Choice Based Lettings system.
  • There is limited knowledge of available housing, eligibility and access.
  • The options for social housing are limited due to size and location of properties.
  • There are poor standards of accommodation for participants living in private rented accommodation.
  • Overcrowding among BME communities is evident in the private rented sector and in owner-occupation.
  • Neighbourhood problems exist in relation to anti-social behaviour and racial harassment.

Wide ranging consultation was undertaken during the development of Hartlepool’s Housing Strategy 2015-2020. The main themes emerging from consultation were:

  • Linking the economic regeneration strategy with new house building, training and apprenticeships
  • Understanding the type of housing people aspire to and how this fits with the local employment situation
  • Tackling low demand and social problems in declining neighbourhoods
  • Building new affordable housing
  • Providing services and infrastructure to sustain development
  • Catering for the needs of an ageing population
  • Property condition
  • Oversupply of some property types
  • Impact of welfare reform on demand for social housing
  • Regulation of the private sector
  • Improving housing and health links and capturing information on fuel poverty
  • Promotion of retrofit
  • Making it easier for people to move by removing barriers and simplifying processes
  • Improving information sharing between agencies
  • Mental health and substance misuse issues for offenders
  • Improving understanding around referral pathways for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues
  • Lack of single person accommodation
  • Issues of digital inclusion and exclusion
  • Responding to the needs of asylum seeker families
  • Catering for the needs of gypsies and travellers
  • Sustaining investment in adaptations through DFG funding and housing provider funding
  • Dealing with the ageing population and responding to the needs of residents with dementia

Consultation also took place with residents at the Housing Partnership’s Face the Public event in August 2014. 80 residents were surveyed.

53% of respondents knew that Housing Services is now located in the Civic Centre. This is an improvement on the previous year where 48% knew where to access services/advice.
Housing concerns were much the same as the previous year – repairs, energy efficiency, and traffic. However less people had a concern about anti social behaviour (12 compared to 31) and less were concerned about affordability (2 compared to 10).

The answers to the questions on welfare reform were also much the same as the previous year. People who rent responded that 75% had not been affected and 95% of homeowners had not been affected (last year 89% of respondents had not been affected).

When asked if residents were happy where they live 88% of respondents said yes compared to 80% the previous year.

In reply to thinking about immediate future need in the next 2 years, respondents said:




Stay where you are



Move to a bigger house



Move to a smaller house



Move to a new area within the town



Move out of the area




10 responses



In reply to thinking about longer term housing needs in the next 3-10 years, respondents said:




Stay where you are



Move to a bigger house



Move to a smaller house



Move to a new area within the town



Move out of the area




13 responses



Residents were also asked about digital inclusion.  75% of respondents said that they have access to the internet. 79% have their own PC, laptop and tablet. When asked about using public internet services 76% replied no to this question.


Last updated: 14/12/15

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Tees Valley was updated in 2012. This provided an up-to-date assessment of the current housing market, the future housing market, housing need, and housing requirements for specific household groups.

However, a Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Hartlepool is currently being developed and should be published during December 2014.

Hartlepool Housing Strategy for 2015-2020 is currently being consulted on. The following issues have been raised and will be included in its development:

  • Mapping services for homeless people – identifying gaps in provision
  • Identify the particular housing needs for people with dementia, mental health issues, learning disabilities
  • Identify the particular housing needs for offenders
  • Looking at demand for social housing, especially family sized accommodation
  • Removing barriers to Choice Based Lettings and improving access to social housing
  • Looking at the impact of digital by default on vulnerable people
  • Examining the levels of fuel poverty in the town


Last updated: 14/12/15

Key Contact

Name: Karen Kelly
Job title: Principal Housing Strategy Officer
e-mail: karen.kelly@hartlepool.gov.uk
Phone number: 01429 284117




Local strategies and plans

University of Salford (2009). Tees Valley Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment


National strategies and plans

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2011). Planning Policy Statement 3.

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2010). Local decisions: a fairer future for social housing.

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2009) The English Housing Condition Survey – Housing Stock Report 2009

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2008) Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods – A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society

Department of Energy and Climate Change (2008). The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy: 6th annual progress report.

Department of Health (2011). Cold weather plan for England.

HM Government (2011). Localism Act 2011.

HM Government (2008). The Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

HM Government (2004). The Housing Act 2004

HM Government (2002). Homelessness Act 2002


Other references with dates

Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for Shelter, (2010) Housing benefit changes and their effects on the private rented sector.

Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP, 2008a). The Extra Care Housing Toolkit.

Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP, 2008b) Commissioning housing support for health and wellbeing.

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (2008) Good housing leads to good health.

County Durham and Tees Valley Public Health Network (2006). Cold kills.

Crisis (2011). The Hidden Truth About Homelessness.

Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC, 2012a). Annual report on fuel poverty statistics 2012.

Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC, 2012b). Fuel poverty sub-regional statistics 2010.

Department of Health (2010). Healthcare for Single Homeless People.

Food Standards Agency (2007). Homelessness and food poverty.

Housing Learning and Improvement Network (2011). Living Well and Home Inquiry.

Institute for Fiscal Studies (2011). Children and working age poverty from 2010-2020.

Institute for Health Equity (2011). The Health Impacts of Cold Homes and Fuel Poverty.

Joseph Rowntree Trust (2011) Tackling homelessness and exclusion: understanding complex lives.

National Centre for Social Research (2008). The Dynamics of Bad Housing: the impact of bad housing on the living standard of children.

National Housing Federation (2011). News article (login required)

Northern Housing Consortium (2011). A foot in the door: a guide to engaging housing and health.

Office for National Statistics (ONS, 2011). Measuring unmet needs for social care amongst older people. (in Population Trends, No. 145)

Shelter (2011). Improving outcomes for children and young people in housing need: A benchmarking guide for joint working between services.

Shelter (2006a). Chance of a Lifetime.

Shelter (2006b). Against the odds.

West Midlands Public Health Observatory (WMPHO, 2011). Excess Winter Deaths in England Atlas.

World Health Organisation Health Evidence Network (2004). What are the main risk factors for falls amongst older people and what are the most effective interventions to prevent these falls?