Sunday, 26 April 2015

Spending review is 'assault' on tenants

Campaigners have accused the government of launching an assault on tenants’ rights in its comprehensive spending review.

Pressure group Defend Council Housing said plans to end security of tenure and increase rents will have a ‘devastating impact on council tenants’.

The spending review contained a series of changes to social housing, including increasing rents to 80 per cent of local housing allowance levels, introducing fixed-term tenancies for new tenants, and cutting the budget for building affordable homes from £8.4 billion to £4.5 billion.

DCH said the government had ‘spread confusion’ by not clarifying whether fixed-term tenancies would be issued by housing association or council landlords. It said it has now been told both will issue the new tenancies, but only housing associations will set their rents at the 80 per cent level.

It accused David Cameron of breaking his pre-election promise to ‘respect social tenants’ rights’, a phrase the prime minister used in an interview with Inside Housing in April.

Last week housing minister Grant Shapps denied the Conservative Party had broken its word.

‘We said we would respect the security of tenure of social tenants… nothing has changed,’ he said. ‘It can’t make sense to then say “right, we will never, ever change the way that we do social housing in this country forever”.’

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