Wednesday, 30 January 2013

'Give Private Landlords Tax Relief to Relieve Homelessness Crisis'

Private landlords should be given tax breaks in order to relieve the housing crisis, London Councils has urged.
The capital's councils claim that the withdrawal of private landlords from the social housing market has forced them to put more homeless people in bed and breakfast accommodation.
The latest figures show that nearly 900 families with children have been in put up in B&Bs for longer than the six-week limit set out in government guidance.
According to a survey of London housing directors, the number of private landlords willing to let to homeless people on benefits has dropped by around 20 percent in the last year.
Now London Councils - the umbrella organisation that represents the Capital's 33 local authorities - has started discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) about a programme of action to bring private landlords back into the social housing market.
These include tax relief for landlords to increase the supply of private sector rented properties, improvements to government schemes to bring empty private properties back into the market and better joint working between government departments and local government.
Private landlords no longer need to rent to homeless people on benefits because the lack of housing in the capital promises both continually rising rents and a ready supply of tenants in employment.
Landlords also see employed tenants as more secure compared to tenants on benefits.
London Councils' Executive Member for Housing, Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, said: "While we need to address the long term housing shortage in London, we need to act now to tackle the acute housing crisis in the capital - primarily caused by the chronic shortage of temporary accommodation available for councils to place homeless Londoners.
"While local authorities have been doing their very best to mitigate the impacts, we need a concerted effort by central government departments and councils to take action to ensure a supply of good quality, affordable homes in the private rented sector.
"Londoners deserve to have safe, affordable and secure places to live. We hope to work alongside the government to make this a reality."

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