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Social Rented Housing

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the policy of (a) her Department and (b) the Tenants Services Authority is on the use of cash incentive payments to social tenants to vacate their properties and move to private sector accommodation. (262320)

The Department for Communities and Local Government expects local authorities to achieve the best use of their social housing stock in seeking to meet local housing needs. Cash incentive schemes can often be an effective measure, especially where family sized accommodation is in high demand, to encourage social tenants to move to smaller social rented properties, or to move into private accommodation. A regulatory reform order which allows local authorities to run schemes without the Secretary of State’s consent, came into force on 1 April 2003. The regulatory reform order allows local authorities to set the size of grant payable to take into account the local housing market.

The Government funded HomeBuy scheme helps social tenants to vacate their social home and purchase a home.

The Tenant Services Authority (TSA) expects the housing providers it regulates to provide good quality housing services that are responsive to tenants’ characteristics and circumstances. This includes being responsive to local authority housing duties and to national, regional, and local mobility and exchange schemes. Housing providers should promote choice and opportunity and must help to meet need.