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Housing Issues and Housing Solutions

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Introduction

The primary purpose of the report provided by Silver View Senior Housing Association is to shed light on three housing targets, including effective solutions to the current problems associated with repairs and maintenance, efficient strategies to combat anti-social behavior, and, finally, good practices associated with reducing the amount of empty property.

Housing Problem # 1:

The Processes of Repairing and Maintenance Exceed Time Limits

Because a building contractor does not meet the initial repair appointments, residents of the city make complaints against not meeting the deadlines. Meeting project deadlines should be the priority for every building contractor because construction delays cost time and money not only for the building contractor but for the residents of the city as well. In order not to discourage residents from purchasing new apartment buildings, the Department of Housing should bear the responsibility for assisting property contractors in meeting the deadlines. In other words, the Department of Housing should approve portfolio of properties for the building contractor. It is important to stress that building contractors should employ only experienced, skillful, and responsible construction managers who will plan, coordinate, control, budget, and, finally, supervise different construction projects and processes from start to finish (Helm 2013). Therefore, construction managers employed by the building contractor should spend time working at a specific construction site with the primary purpose to monitor and control construction activities and check how the daily decision of the workforce influence the building processes (Helm 2013). In addition, the urgent need to meet the deadlines and respond effectively to numerous emergency situations that occur in the processes of construction often requires professionals in the sphere of construction management to work above the norms (Helm 2013). Thus, employment of professional construction managers is the first and, at the same time, most effective practice that will give the chance to find an effective solution to the issue associated with slow repairing and maintenance processes. Partnership of the Department of Housing with a reputable and famous construction agency as well as employment of skilled and responsible workforce will ensure an opportunity to the Housing Department to avoid late deadlines and meet the needs and expectations of residents (Helm 2013). Effective labor staffing strategy and skilled laborers are two critical powers that will enhance the effectiveness of commercial construction. Experience proves the significant percentage of failures of the building contractor to meet the needs of residents is caused not by tight deadlines, but by lack of professional and responsible workers willing and capable to complete the assigned job on time (Griffith & Jefferys 2013). As a result, a quick influence of experienced and talented labor is definitely the best way to complete a certain work not only efficiently, but also safely. In addition, in order not to frustrate residents with not meeting the deadlines of repair appointments and not to violate the rules and principles of the construction law caused by unreasonable delays, accurate definition of substantial completion data and adequate setting of realistic deadlines is the second practice that is no less significant and influential than employment of the skilled and responsible labor because often delays occur even when no person is at fault (Griffith & Jefferys 2013). Thus, definition of substantial completion will motivate the contractor to meet the deadlines, but it ensures that in case something unexpected and unpleasant happens, the builder will have an opportunity to confer with the owner regarding how to cope with certain challenges. Moreover, accurate definition and specification of substantial completion will not make the builder feel pressured to complete the construction processes if it is impossible (Griffith & Jefferys 2013). Finally, a building contractor should pay special attention to the quality of building contract in order not to put at risk safety and security of residents, to optimize performance to meet the deadlines, and avoid unnecessary and unreasonable delays that cannot be justified by the court.

Housing Problem # 2:

Anti-Social Behavior Problems

            Since one of the main constraints associated with housing is directly linked to anti-social behavior, effective addressing and management of this housing constraint is essential because it will drastically increase safety, security, and satisfaction of residents. Because official statistics proves that community members often become the victims of anti-social behavior, the primary responsibility of te Housing Association is to enhance community safety and tackle anti-social behavior (Anti-Social Behavior 2010). Because anti-social behavior consists of numerous types that cause alarm as well as distress among the public, including alcohol and drug abuse, threatening criminal behavior, noise, damages of property, verbal abuse, many other illegal behaviors, the Housing Association should tighten its relationships and cooperation with the Community Safety Partnerships and other legal organs that will assist the Housing Association in reducing crimes and disorder with the unique purpose to make a community better, safer, and more peaceful place to live (Coaker 2010). Generally speaking, education and increased awareness of the public about types and consequences of anti-social behavior, provision of effective support and assistance to local communities, close cooperation with the police, various probation and social services, and, finally, community mental health workers will give the chance to decrease anti-social behavior that involves the youth (Ross, Duckworth, Smith, Wyness, Schoon 2010). Development of effective anti-social behavior teams is a critical step because professionals will provide assistance to people in case they fail to cope with the problem themselves. Depending on the seriousness of the complaint concerning anti-social behavior, anti-social behavior teams will provide different types and categories of responses, including high level, medium, low level responses, and, finally, early interventions in cases of parking disputes, littering, dog fouling, and many other illegal and unethical cases (Coaker 2010). In order to provide immediate response to the concerns of residents and entire communities, the Housing Association should actively cooperate with local neighborhoods, partners, and communities in order to detect, prevent, and punish incidences associated with anti-social behavior. In addition, to order to promote the development of peaceful and secure neighborhoods, all complaints that involve anti-social behavior should be investigated and addressed in a prompt, impartial, and, finally, professional manner as this behavior will assist the Housing Association not only in promoting peace and security, but in providing professional support to victims, witnesses of anti-social behavior, and providing rehabilitative services to perpetrators in order to avoid similar offensive cases in the future. According to the estimations of Silver View Housing Association, effective approach to combating anti-social behavior should incorporate several measures. In general, good neighborhood agreements and community cohesion are two simple and efficient tactics that will give the chance to tackle anti-social behavior. First, development of good neighborhood agreements is a good example of a reliable anti-social behavior practice because this strategy will give the chance to the community members to establish effective preventive strategies against anti-social behavior. According to the main idea of good neighborhood agreements, all new tenants and community members will be given a chance to sign an effective neighbor agreement proving that they adequately understand what anti-social behavior is and accepting their critical role in preventive strategies (Coaker 2010). Second, community cohesion and mediation are no less effective because these prevention methods will encourage service teams to work and cooperate closely with representatives of local communities in order to tackle the main causes of anti-social behavior and contribute to inclusion with all neighborhoods (Rubin, Rabinovich, Hallsworth, Nason 2006). Local councils and housing associations are responsible for identification and adequate assessment of the anti-social behavior before taking measures and requesting a reasonable fee for breaching the law. Moreover, it is crucially important for the Housing Association to motivate local residents to tackle anti-social behavior issues and challenges themselves where possible as well as to be prepared to participate actively in cooperating with legal authorities in tackling anti-social behavior (Anti-social behavior strategy 2016). Development of effective organized multi-agency groups, especially youth offending teams, environmental protection groups, crime reduction teams, and, finally, drug and alcohol action groups is essential because it increases the level of protection and safety of the entire community. Thus, despite efficient and timely response to the cases that involve anti-social behavior is often time-consuming and expensive, legal actions should always be taken (Anti-social behavior strategy 2016). Generally speaking, efficient preventive work, active participation of community members in tackling anti-social behavior, and, finally, early actions and interventions of legal authorities are efficient tactics and strategies. Prevention, intervention, and, finally, enforcement are three critical components that should be used to combat anti-social behavior (More Effective Responses to Anti-Social Behavior 2011). Finally, raising awareness and education of the youth in schools, ensuring a vast scope of personal as well as social development opportunities, maintenance of green public spaces, increased poppularity of written and verbal warnings, and development of effective parenting contracts are essential and influential tactics that will improve behavior of people and decrease anti-social behavior cases.

Housing Problem # 3:

Empty Homes: Housing Solutions

Taking into consideration the estimations of the researchers, empty property should be viewed as an expensive option because it not only spoils the overall appearance of the city but also serves as a target for graffiti, vandalism, and many other threatening anti-social activities. Moreover, empty properties negatively impact the safety and welfare of society because empty buildings usually attract crime as well as arson, contribute to the damages of neighboring properties, drastically decrease the prices of neighboring properties, make entire communities seem unsafe, uncared, and untidy, demotivate people from purchasing houses in these areas, and, finally, become the main sources of worry and hassle not only for owners, but also for neighbors (Bringing Empty Homes into Use 2013).

Therefore, according to the results of statistical evidence, the percentage of empty property has increased exponentially (Bringing Empty Homes into Use 2013). Regardless of the fact that there are many convincing reasons that explain why owners usually leave their houses empty, there are many alternative options that are far more effective. For instance, statistical data proves that many residents leave empty homes because they believe that an empty house is a wasted resource (Bringing Empty Homes into Use 2013). In addition, significant delays in the processes of probate following the death of people, especially family members, is the main cause that explains why properties are usually lying empty for relatively long periods of time. Therefore, failure of owners to sell their property because of negative economic climate as well as nervousness are another convincing reasons that justify the existence of empty properties. Finally, loss of potential income, unpleasant quarrels and disputes with the public, and numerous alternative actions by local authorities are the most significant costs to owners that discourage them from bringing empty houses back into use. However, instead of leaving the empty property to fall into despair and become the object of vandalism, there are more effective housing solutions that can provide substantial benefits to the owners of empty homes as well as the society in general (Bringing Empty Homes into Use 2013). To begin with, lease is considered to be the most common and effective model that is extensively used by significant percentage of property owners. This housing solution is critically important nowadays. Many owners of empty property who refurbish their homes make it suitable for renting get a chance to find a suitable tenant who can guarantee a timely monthly rent (Bringing Empty Homes into Use 2013). The second effective option that is purposed to bring huge amounts of empty properties back to use is directly linked to shared ownership. This method is no less effective than the first one because it ensures an opportunity to empty property owners to sell a certain share in property in order to exchange it for refurbishment. The amount of money depends on specific works required for the processes of refurbishment (About Empty Home Solutions 2016). Thus, renovating an empty property should be viewed as a winning decision because it not only ensures an opportunity to unlock enormous housing potential, but also gives the chance to guarantee a regular income for owners, retains full control as well as ownership of property, and, finally, contributes to safety and security of the community.

Conclusions

Thus, after having identified and described the main challenges faced by the Silver View Housing Association, and evaluated the most significant strategies that will provide an opportunity to combat these hindrances, it is possible to infer that there is a vast scope of efficient housing solutions to the problems associated with repairs and maintenance problems, anti-social behavior, and, finally, empty properties. To begin with, good labor staffing strategy and employment of experienced and responsible laborers are two critical strategies that will contribute to commercial construction and will give the chance to the contractor to avoid deadline delays. Second, in order to decrease anti-social behavior, the Housing Association should increase the awareness of the public and pay attention to education of the public. In general, intervention, prevention, and enforcement are crucial processes that will ensure a unique opportunity to address anti-social behavior and enhance safety and security of the community. Finally, because empty property is the subject of vandalism, arson, and other crimes, bringing the property back to use through lease and shared ownership are the best options to avoid threatening impacts of empty property on local communities.

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