Private landlords urge councils to stop 'social engineering'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
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A private landlords group is urging local authorities to re-think the introduction of Article 4 Directions in a bid to halt attempts of "social engineering" and the process of moving tenants in receipt of housing benefit to other areas of the country.
The National Landlords Association's call comes after it emerged that Oxford City Council and other local authorities had been encouraging people in ‘urgent housing need’ to seek accommodation in Birmingham.
In response, Birmingham City Council recently issued a statement reiterating that it was not the solution.
According to the RLA, the introduction of Article 4 Directions in Oxford has limited the supply of shared housing in the area while forcing up rents. This combined with cuts to local housing allowance (LHA) means many landlords are reluctant to take on LHA tenants and invest in the area, the RLA says.
Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive, said: “The NLA have long said that councils need to think through this policy which inevitably limits the supply of shared housing.
“This is not the first example of councils trying to moving on those with the greatest housing need in the area. And the problem is down in part to the introduction of Article 4 Directions which are being used as planning controls to socially engineer communities.
“Councils that have introduced Article 4 Directions need to review their policies and engage with landlords. This would lead to greater investment in shared housing and mean more can be done to house those people most in need, rather than simply moving the issue on to other parts of the UK.”