William Eichler 30 January 2024

‘Three strikes and you’re out’ social housing plans announced

‘Three strikes and you’re out’ social housing plans announced image
Image: Peter Rhys Williams / Shutterstock.com.

Social landlords could soon be empowered to evict anti-social tenants and ban them from applying for council housing under the Government’s new plans.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove today launched a consultation on plans to reform how social housing is allocated.

The plans could see tenants evicted after three warnings for disruptive behaviour and then banned for two years from reapplying for social housing. People with unspent convictions and anti-social behaviour orders could be disqualified for up to five years.

Housing Minister Lee Rowley said: ‘Today we are proposing further steps to make the allocation of social housing fairer for people. If you abuse the system, making peoples’ lives a misery or actively work against our British values, you are making a choice – such choices will have consequences and our proposals seek to stop such people getting a social home.’

The proposed reforms also include new UK and local connection eligibility tests, often described as prioritising ‘British homes for British workers’. Applicants would be required to demonstrate a connection to the UK for at least 10 years and their local area for at least two.

Ninety percent of the lead tenants in social housing are British, according to Government figures. However, in the London borough of Brent, 40% of new social homes were let to foreign nationals in 2021-22.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: 'The vast majority of social housing lettings go to UK nationals and many councils already have policies relating to anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour, rent arrears and income thresholds in their allocation policies. The LGA has raised concerns that restricting eligibility criteria for social housing and extending qualification periods could result in a rise in homelessness.'

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