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Remove the “Right to Life” Tenancy Agreements for ALL Current Social Housing Tenants NOW

Comment 2nd July 2010

I am very concerned about the lack of  Social Housing in this country and the continued blight of Homelessness and the increasing number people waiting on the Council's Social Housing Waiting Lits.

The facts are these:  TODAY there are a considerable number of people currently living in Social Housing and Council owned property who have had a considerable change in both their Personal and Financial Circumstances since they were first allocated their Social Housing Property/Council Home many years previously.  Indeed if these CURRENT tenants were to NOW apply for a Social Housing property their application would be automatically rejected as they cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be classified as being in real financial need due to the fact that they either have enough money to buy their own private property  (or at least apply for a Mortgage or apply under the Part Own/Part Rent scheme)  or – and for me this is the most sickening thing of all – after many years in their social housing propety they have now actually become Private Property Owners themselves, whether in the UK,  abroad or sometimes even both. This is simply SCANDALOUS and an insult to all the Homesless people in the UK and those people who have been waiting to be rehoused for a considerable number of years.

From my own investigations I have discovered that there are some social tenants who are living in Housing Association or Council-owned property WHILE acting as Landlords themselves for properties that they, rather than a private tenant, could be living in instead.  While others only use their Social Housing home as a "London Base", which means that it is empty most of the time, while the rest of the time they live in their second, privately owned home in the country or abroad. 

I think it is SCANDALOUS that Social Housing Tenants can also be Landlords for other properties that they own.  I also think it is SCANDALOUS that people can REMAIN Social Housing and Council House Tenants even though they have other privately ownded property both in the UK and Abroad.  Meanwhile Homeslessness among really Vulnerable people is on the increase and not enough new social housing projects are being built.

These people have slipped through the net because they are not being actually committing any fraud.  What they are doing isn't illegal under their current tenancy agreement.  However I believe that it is morally wrong that such people can continue to benefit from a system that was set up to help people in genuine need and also to address Homeslessness and also the Housing waiting list.

In order to ensure that Social Housing is allocated to those in REAL NEED NOW and to ensure that Current Tenant STILL fulfil the Needs and Points system criteria of today, I believe that there needs to be a Task Force set up.  This Task Force, jointly run by the Councils and the Housing Association,  should now REVIEW the Financial and Personal circumstances of all their  CURRENT Social Housing/Council Housing Tenantsay in order to check whether they would still be eligible to remain in Social Housing today. .

In future this Review should then be undertaken every 20 years for ,ALL e Social Housing and Local Council Tenant should be reinterviewed after at 20 years occupancy.  I also think that the "Right to Inherit" should also be removed UNLESS the person or persons hoping to inherit would actually be able to justify this because of a real Need, have qualified under the Points system AND, more importantly, they do not own other property or are not in a financial position to buy property. 

PLEASE NOTE: if it is revealed that the current Tenant/s of a Social Housing or Council Housing property does NOT actually own another private property themselves BUT their financial circumstances have changed quite considerably that they now are more financially secure and thus in a position to purchase a property, or at least apply for a mortgage, I think that the Government should consider giving these Tenants a choice: either apply for the Right to Buy their current social housing property (whether outright or under the Part Buy, Part Rent scheme) or RETURN THE KEYS and buy their own property.  The proceeds of any Sale, or part buy, of such Social Housing and Council properties could them be pumped back into Local Government so that New Social Housing Home can be built. 

Giving Current Tenants a Right to Buy would also boast the housing market by getting alot of First Time Buyers on the housing ladder.  However Tax Breaks and Incentives should be given to such Tenants so as to encourage them to lmake this step.

Sorry this is so long.  I feel so passionately about this subject.  I am myself a Social Housing Tenant and Homelessness, and the long waiting list for people waiting to be rehoused, troubles me deeply and I just want to do something about it. 

Why does this matter?

Homelessness,  and also the long waiting list to be rehoused,  troubles me deeply.  I0 years ago I became Homeless myself but was fortunate to be give a Social Housing Tenancy due to the fact that I was both homesless and vulnerable.  I have mental health problems.  I thank my Council every day for my home.  It is my Safe Haven.  Without it I would be more vulnerable than I already am. 

 

I just think it is morally wrong that people can remain Social tenants "For Life" even though they now own other private properties or they could now afford to buy their own property, thus releasing their current social housing property to someone in genuine need

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