SFHA: Immigration Bill should focus on rogue landlords
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities
An Immigration Bill began its passage through Parliament yesterday (Thursday 10th October) which will have implications for social landlords. The Bill, introduced by the UK Government, contains provisions which require private landlords and social landlords to undertake a status check on prospective tenants and adult members of their households, in order to ensure that they are in the UK lawfully. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said that it does not feel it is appropriate to include social landlords in this Bill.
Andy Young, Policy and Membership Manager at the SFHA said:
“The Bill is overtly aimed at ‘rogue landlords’, not social landlords, and there is absolutely no available evidence, and certainly none presented in the consultation paper which preceded the Bill, to suggest that social landlords house significant numbers of illegal immigrants. We therefore feel that the proposals are disproportionate to the scale of the perceived ‘problem’ in the social rented sector. We also have concerns that the ‘light touch’ approach will not hit the intended targets, as rogue landlords by their very nature will not be deterred by what is being proposed here.”
Mr Young continued:
“That said we are pleased that the Government did at least recognise the concerns raised by the SFHA that the proposals may result in delays to allocations and therefore rent loss for social landlords who are already stretched financially because of welfare reform, notably by the ‘bedroom tax’. Therefore, the introduction of a mandatory 48 hour period, during which the Home Office has to clarify status for applicants without proof of identity, after which a landlord can simply go ahead and allocate, may bring some comfort to our members.”
For further information, contact Kirsten Walker on t: 0141 567 6221 m: 0788 788 8348 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. SFHA consultation response to Immigration Bill
2. The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 119 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
3. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
4. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.