Saturday, 28 March 2015

Housing boss attacks sector’s stance on migration

A housing association chief has hit out at the sector for failing to get to grips with the link between housing and migration.

Jon Lord, chief executive of Bolton at Home, told delegates at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s south east conference today (Tuesday) that the housing sector fails to see the link between housing and migration or fails to tackle the subject because it is too ‘difficult’.

Mr Lord, who is also chair of the Greater Manchester consortium for refugees and asylum seekers, said: ‘It’s absolutely dismaying the number of chief executives who don’t see the link [between housing and migration].

‘If you go and talk to many of their tenants it would be one the biggest issues tenants are worried about, in terms of the churn in communities, in terms of perceived impact on communities.

‘It does not hit the radar in at least two thirds of housing organisations.’

He said tackling migration requires people to be targets for far-right organisations like the British National Party and English Defence League, but this would in future make it less dangerous and difficult for others to tackle the issue.

Mr Lord called for social landlords to work more closely with the private rented sector to tackle houses in multiple occupation where people live in poor conditions.

He suggested working with good private sector landlords to try to force bad landlords out of business, possibly involving removing their properties from the housing benefit system.

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