Shapps defends fixed-term tenancies against Shelter report
The housing minister has defended government plans to implement fixed-term tenancies after a homeless charity released a report which showed similar schemes were not working abroad.
Shelter commissioned a report, Security of tenure in Social Housing: An International Review, which looked at how fixed-term tenancies were faring in countries such as Australia and Canada.
One of the key findings of the report showed that less than 1 per cent of fixed-term social tenancies in New South Wales, Australia, had been terminated since the plan was implemented in 2006.
Current government proposals would remove security of tenure and give landlords the ability to offer fixed term renewable tenancies with a minimum of two years were faring.
Mr Shapps said: ‘With some 4.5 million people on social housing waiting lists, it’s clear that not only do we need more homes, but we also need a complete overhaul of the system, to one that offers much more flexibility than the current ‘one size fits all’ approach.
‘Our proposals – unlike Australia – are about flexibility, not prescription and social landlords will have the freedom to allocate more flexible tenancies based on local need, but of course retaining discretion to offer tenancies on a lifetime basis.
‘The new Affordable Rent scheme will also offer landlords the freedom they need to offer a range of solutions to people’s housing needs, while being able to raise extra rents to invest in house-building. It also ensures that as many people as possible benefit from this valuable resource.’
The DCLG said that feedback the department received showed that the vast majority of new tenancies will be provided on longer terms, particularly for vulnerable households or those with children.
The department also argued that the flexibility will enable landlords to create positive incentives for tenants by renewing tenancies or give longer tenancies for employed people or those who contribute positively to their neighbourhoods.