Friday, March 24, 2023

Tenancy policy ‘good but not great’ for residents say Tories

LABOU’S tenancy policy is “good but not great” for Thurrock residents, according to Conservative Leader Cllr Phil Anderson.

The tenancy policy, agreed at last week’s cabinet, includes new incentives for people to downsize their properties if they can, with the aim of freeing up larger homes for families. It also introduces a probationary period for new tenants, giving the council the opportunity to deal more effectively with anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Anderson said “There is much to be welcomed in this new tenancy policy, particularly areas where this means more flexibility for residents. For example, there will be an increased range of Housing Association options, and extra opportunities to get a first foot on the property ladder, through part ownership.

“However, I am disappointed that Labour has rejected the opportunity to introduce fixed term tenancies. Fixed term tenancies aren’t right for everyone, there are lots of groups of people who absolutely need and deserve the security that comes from a permanent home – elderly people in sheltered housing, for example.

“But Labour’s ideologically driven policy of permanent tenancies for every single council property is just basically unfair. There are lots of cases of people whose circumstances have changed dramatically since they were first given a council house. At its most extreme, it leads to someone like union leader Bob Crow blocking a subsidised council home despite earning a six figure salary.

“Family and work circumstances can change a lot in as little as 5 years, and residents have real concerns that some people get to the front of the queue based on a particular need, but then get to keep the house long after the need has gone. We need tenancies that reflect the changing nature of modern life, that offer security and certainty at times of difficulty but that equally are fair on the next generation of people needing homes.

“There is much good news in this new policy, it’s just a shame the news is good but not great.”


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