Social housing residents in East Lindsey face being ‘uprooted’ whenever their circumstances change, due to a new, government required tenancy strategy.
East Lindsey District Council’s draft document introduces ‘fixed term tenancies,’ which may force newly registered social housing tenants to move home if their household decreases in size.
Several councillors expressed fears this will bring disruption and uncertainty to the lives of vulnerable, low-wage earners and have criticised the government for foisting it upon local authorities.
Speaking at Tedder Hall on Wednesday Coun Tony Howard said: “People don’t want to be shoved around willy-nilly just because their circumstances change, they want to have roots and homes, not just houses.”
And with many social housing tenants already facing reductions to their council tax benefits, Coun Philip Sturman fears the impact on tenants could be severe and called for central government to create more affordable housing.
Coun Larua Stephenson also expressed concerns about the strategy’s affect on separated families as parents without full-time child custody could be forced to move to a smaller property, unsuitable for their children to visit.
She said: “How many parents could lose out?
“How many children could lose out?”
The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson added further concerns about the council’s plans to restrict housing development along the coast, where there is more deprivation and a greater demand for social housing.
He fears that by limiting new coastal housing and prioritising developments inland it will decamp the district’s poorest people towards inland towns such, which are ill-equipped to cope with the population influx.
Portfolio holder for the built environment Coun William Gray, who is responsible for the report, said the tenancy strategy would ‘ensure that the best use is made of the housing stock in the district.’
The elderly, long term sick and residents moving into sheltered accommodation would retain a higher degree of security to retain their homes despite changes to circumstances through ‘assured tenancies’.