Dan Peters 26 July 2016

LGA to tackle moving of homeless families

LGA to tackle moving of homeless families image

The Local Government Association (LGA) has agreed to investigate how to tackle the issue of councils moving their homeless families to other areas.

It comes after lobbying from Canterbury City Council chief executive Colin Carmichael and leader, Cllr Simon Cook.

Canterbury was left furious after it lost out on the opportunity to lease 147 homes in the city to Redbridge LBC.

The city council wants the law changed to stop local authorities buying or leasing homes in other areas to use for temporary accommodation ‘without prior consent and agreement’.

It has argued that local authorities should be given first refusal where there are a significant number of homes available to buy or lease in their area.

In a letter to the council, seen by The MJ, LGA chairman Lord Porter said there were lessons to be learned from Canterbury’s experience, and stressed the movement of people needed to be effectively planned and managed.

He wrote: ‘The LGA will seek to lead this as part of our work on the future services for preventing homelessness and adapting to welfare reform, and will investigate how legislative change may help enable this.’

Cllr Cook said: ‘Local residents do not understand why such a large amount of housing is not available for our own people to live in and we share their concern.

‘A law change could address this and we’ll continue to push for this through the LGA.’

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