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The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has launched an open consultation on social housing in a move to make the system fairer.
It seeks to target those who abuse the social housing setup in the UK, for example banning those who exhibit antisocial behaviour, submit false information to meet the social housing eligibility criteria; as well as prioritise those who have the ‘closest connection’ to the UK.
The government is calling on local authorities, public housing tenants and the general public for their views on the reforms.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association responded:
“The vast majority of social housing lettings go to UK nationals and many councils already have policies relating to anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour, rent arrears and income thresholds in their allocation policies. The LGA has raised concerns that restricting eligibility criteria for social housing and extending qualification periods could result in a rise in homelessness.
“With almost 1.3 million households on council housing waiting lists and record numbers in temporary accommodation, this is symptomatic of our wider housing shortage. We are calling on the Government to use the Budget to grant councils the flexibilities needed to resume their historic role as a major builder of affordable homes.
“This can be done by implementing our six-point plan for social housing, including further reform of Right to Buy by allowing councils to permanently retain 100 per cent of receipts.”