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Social tenants who relocate for work to get more housing rights

The Department for Communities and Local Government has launched a new consultation on proposals that would give social tenants the ‘right to move’.

The scheme is aimed at helping current social tenants who need to relocate for work or training. Under current rules they pushed to the back of waiting lists in the new local authority as others are often classed as having a higher need.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “We want to do all we can to support hard working social tenants to achieve their aspirations and seize what can often be a life-changing opportunity.

“In the past tenants may have felt trapped in their existing accommodation when they needed to move to take up a job. We want to make sure that people who have a social tenancy but need to relocate to a new community because of work or training will no longer find themselves back at square one – at the back of the housing waiting list in a new authority area.

“Tenants who want to work hard and get on should be supported in this goal not penalised because of it. Councils will have to work together to make sure tenants across the country will not have to make the choice between employment and housing.”

Social tenants relocating for work will be given greater priority, either by creating a new ‘reasonable preference’ category, used by councils to prioritise people for social housing. Or through strengthened statutory guidance to ensure local authorities apply the existing ‘hardship’ reasonable preference category to include people moving for work or training.

Further proposed new statutory guidance will also ensure that every council in England would have to set aside a small proportion of lets for tenants who need to move because of work or training.

Authorities would be required to provide at least 1% of their existing stock under the Right to Move scheme although they would be free to offer more. Any town hall that decides to offer less will need to explain to voters why.

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