Posted by: Tom Lloyd05/01/2012
How unusual is it to be under 25, single, and in need of social housing? Not particularly, you might think.
But in the London borough of Barnet it appears to be quite a rare occurrence, at least if the council’s reform of its housing allocations policy is anything to go by.
Barnet is proposing to limit all new tenancies given to single under 25s to two years from April this year, despite government directions to the Tenant Services Authority stating that two year tenancies should only be issued in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Housing policy watchers may remember this caused a bit of a fuss last year. Housing minister Grant Shapps resisted calls to add the ‘exceptional circumstances’ restriction to the Localism Bill during its passage through Parliament, but later promised MPs it would be set out in the directions to the regulator.
When the directions appeared, however, there was no sign of the two year clarification. Various people accused the minister of breaking his promises, and then, a few weeks later, an amendment to the directions appeared including the ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause.
All of which now appears a little pointless if councils are going to define being single and under 25 as exceptional.
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