Forcing tenants out of their homes could create "sink" estates

October 15, 2010 12:21 PM
Catherine Smart

Catherine Smart

Liberal Democrats have warned that forcing council house tenants to move out if their financial situation improved could create "sink" estates.

They are worried by the suggestion from some Conservative ministers that new tenants should not be given security of tenure on their homes.

This could lead to people not trying to get better jobs for fear they would lose their homes and could drag down everyone living on the estate, claim the Lib Dems.

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Housing, Catherine Smart and Trumpington Councillor, Andy Blackhurst are calling on Cambridge City Council to oppose the removal of security of tenure.

They will put forward a motion at the Cambridge City Council meeting on October 21 urging leader, Sian Reid to write to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and MPs Julian Huppert and Andrew Lansley expressing the council's opposition.

"Requiring tenants to move out of their council owned home if their financial position improves would be a big disincentive to getting a better paid job or otherwise taking opportunities to improve their financial situation," the motion says. "It would rapidly create sink estates which would drag down everyone within its boundaries and reduce hope of social mobility for all its residents."

The motion adds that while it recognises the problems caused by the shortage of social housing, the council is completely opposed to a change in the tenure for tenants.

Cllr Smart said: "Removing security of tenure is not only very unfair but dangerous because it would stop people wanting to get a better job and improve the financial well-being of their family.

"The 'right-to-buy' scheme has created a social mix on council estates and successful neighbourhoods have a community spirit created through a mixture of people of all ages and social groups. Taking away the rights of new tenants to stay if their financial situation improves could change that balance and pull down the whole area."

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