Shapps backs eviction for rioting tenants
Grant Shapps has pledged to support landlords who evict tenants found to have been rioting.
The housing minister, writing on the social networking website Twitter, stated: ‘I will back social landlords who evict tenants involved in any rioting.’
Mr Shapps’ comments follow a statement yesterday from Greenwich Council saying the authority would seek to evict council tenants found guilty of criminal acts.
Chris Roberts, leader of Greenwich Council, said: ’The destruction and looting which I witnessed first-hand in Woolwich town centre last night are criminal acts, no more and no less.’
Other councils have now followed Greenwich’s lead.
Barking and Dagenham was also hit by rioting on Monday night. Council leader Liam Smith said: ‘Attacking our community in this way is shocking and stupid.
‘We will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action against these people including seeking anti-social behaviour orders for any local person convicted of offences relating to these disturbances and will seek to evict any of our tenants who are found guilty of such crimes.’
Salford experienced rioting last night, as the violence spread beyond London.
Council leader John Merry said any tenants caught taking part in rioting could be evicted, and called on housing associations to back the move.
He said he would be pushing to ensure any tenants of Salix Homes, the council’s arm’s-length management organisation, lose their tenancy if found guilty of violence during the four days of rioting which gripped England.
He said: ’The real victims of this are the people of Salford. They use those shops and work in them.
‘People’s houses which were directly above the precinct [which was attacked] were threatened as a result of the violence.
‘If they are our tenants or if any of their parents were involved in the activity we will want to take the most serious action against them and that may involve eviction.
‘We don’t want these people living in the middle of our communities if they are not prepared to be part of the community we are trying to serve.
‘We will take the view that they have deliberately put themselves in that position. They [housing associations] have a responsibility with their tenants. I just think they need to be acting with us on this.’