Skip to main content

Shorthold Tenancies

Volume 511: debated on Thursday 10 June 2010

7. What his policy is on the provision of shorthold tenancies by local authorities and housing associations. (1541)

As our draft manifesto makes clear, we will respect the tenures of social tenants. The vast majority of social tenants have a very secure degree of tenancy.

Why did the Conservative manifesto commit only to “respect” the rights of social tenants, not to protect them, as the Minister has previously stated?

I made it pretty clear that we intend to protect the rights of social tenants. [Interruption.] They are already protected, as Members well know. It is important to say that there are a record 1.8 million families languishing on the waiting list—a number that nearly doubled during the 13 years in which Labour was in power. It is important that we respect those rights to tenure as well.

Interviewed in Roof magazine last year, the Minister made it clear that he was open to change in security of tenure for new tenants. Will he confirm that new tenants—people in housing need coming off the housing waiting list, as he described—will enjoy the security enjoyed by existing tenants?

As I have said, security of tenure is incredibly important, particularly for people in social housing, and we are keen to protect that. There are 1.8 million families languishing on that social housing waiting list, and it is right and proper that we look at the way in which we can reduce that list. It may include looking at tenure for the future.