Government seeks to stop London exodus
Government plans to stop local authorities housing vulnerable people hundreds of miles from their home area could prove ‘impossible’, councils have warned.
Housing minister Grant Shapps this week said the Communities and Local Government department would issue regulations making ‘locality a principle linkage’ for councils seeking to house people in the private sector.
The government is understood to have amended guidance to the Localism Act, due out on Monday, adding clauses which obligate councils to house people in a ‘reasonable’ location. This could mean not moving schoolchildren and keeping vulnerable people who receive local housing allowance close to their families.
The move followed Newham Council’s decision to ask 1,179 landlords to house 500 families it claimed could not be housed in the Olympic borough because of the impact of welfare reforms and soaring private rents. Several other London boroughs have revealed similar plans.
In response to the CLG’s plans one London council source said: ‘What are we supposed to do? This could make a very difficult situation impossible.’