Exclusions in Tyne and Wear

By:   Published: May 2006


An investigation by Shelter's NEHAC into why applicants are excluded from social rented housing.

Summary

The research reveals widespread poor practice and shows that a significant number of vulnerable people are being unfairly excluded from social rented housing in Tyne and Wear. Our evidence shows that, where exclusions were challenged (and where the outcome was known), more than half of the exclusions were overturned on appeal.

The existence of rent arrears was the most common reason for exclusion and many people were excluded for low amounts of rent arrears.

Some 43 per cent of the excluded households were families with children. Insecure housing and homelessness are known to have a damaging effect on children's well-being and life chances. It is ironic that when these families are homeless, they are often owed a duty of accommodation by the local authority under the homelessness legislation, yet social housing providers refuse to accommodate them. This can lead to a situation where local authorities are forced to accommodate families in temporary accommodation for long periods because they are homeless yet excluded from social housing.

This report is not intended to criticise housing providers but to highlight a problem. It is our wish that the report will lead to positive dialogue between us and housing providers in order to establish good practice and eliminate unfair procedures.

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