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Published: Tuesday, 31st December 2019

The search is on for Live Well community champions from within the Nepalese community, to volunteer for a new project that raises awareness of private sector housing issues.

The project, which has received funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, aims to support the diverse existing and new migrant communities in the borough and challenge rogue landlords.

The community champions will be a key part of the project, as they will help engage with the Nepalese community, raise awareness of housing issues and help the community to recognise and report unsafe housing conditions.

Champions will receive comprehensive training from Royal Greenwich and ongoing support, as well as gain the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

Become a Live Well champion

An asset to the community

Cllr Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Adult’s Social Care and Health said: “Live Well champions are a strong network of local, knowledgeable volunteers who have been trained to offer signposting and support to promote good health in their communities. They are an asset in the community and use their experience, knowledge and skills to signpost the way to help people get the support they need to live well.”

Working with private renters and landlords 

Houses in multiple occupation are properties where the occupants do not form a single family and are typically separate households with shared facilities. Some of these HMOs are unlicensed and lack adequate facilities.

Cllr Chris Kirby, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “The private rented sector in Royal Greenwich continues to grow significantly and now accounts for 29% of housing tenures compared to 20% nationally. The Council has a statutory duty to ensure HMO properties and other types of private accommodation in the borough are safe and compliant with regulations. To address this, we are committed to engaging and working with private renters and landlords alike.”

Supporting the Nepalese community

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Community Safety said: “It’s really important that we continue to engage with the community, especially vulnerable tenants who can be exploited by rogue landlords. Though the majority of landlords in the borough are responsible, we want to make it explicitly clear that substandard and unsafe accommodation will not be tolerated and private renters shouldn’t have to put up with these conditions. This project is a great opportunity for us to really engage and support the Nepalese community with any private sector housing issues, and I look forward to seeing many community champions come forward.”

If you would like to get involved or need more information, please call 020 892 15496 or email residentialservices@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

Live Well Greenwich offers signposting and support to improve health and wellbeing, for more information visit www.livewellgreenwich.org.uk or call 0800 470 4831.