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PM highlights tough new housing rules

The prime minister (PM) David Cameron has outlined an aggressive stance on tackling rogue landlords who are cashing in on the social housing sector at present.

In a speech made yesterday (March 25th), the PM outlined new plans to limit access to social housing for illegal immigrants, offering reassurance that local individuals in need of this support will receive top priority from authorities up and down the country.

According to the government's data, one in five new social housing tenants in London are foreign nationals, while across the UK this figure stands at one in ten.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles responded to the PM's statement, arguing: "Confusion around equality rules and European laws have led some to believe that councils cannot prioritise local people when allocating their taxpayer-funded social homes. This is wrong, and I want to restore a sense of fair play to social housing.

"It's time to back those who work hard and do the right thing, and prioritise social housing for those people who deserve it the most."

He added that the main thrust of the proposals will be in clamping down on rogue landlords who abuse their position to offer accommodation to individuals who would otherwise not be eligible - taking essential homes away from the rest of the community.

Measures that will boost this aim include stipulations that individuals wishing to secure social housing must either have attended the local school or have family living in the area.

Meanwhile, the Homes and Communities Agency published its latest figures on the financial state of the UK's social housing sector earlier this month, highlighting a nine per cent increase in the amount spent on the construction of new social housing projects in the UK last year to £13.8 billion.

Furthermore, upkeep and refurbishment costs for existing properties witnessed a three per cent downturn, highlighting the government's efforts to make social housing provision more cost effective for the taxpayer. 

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