Response - Housing Corporation Proposals on Improving Best Practice in Exclusions and Evictions

By: Jenny Neuburger  Published: December 2003


Shelter commented in December 2003 on the Housing Corporation proposals for improving housing association best practice in exclusions from tenancies and evictions of tenants.

Summary

In April 2002 the Corporation introduced a new regulatory code for housing associations. Shelter believes that the Corporation's Guidance to the code should be updated to set out the following principles:

  • Intentional and serious breaches of tenancy should be treated differently to unintentional and minor ones.
  • Tenants should not be penalised for breaches caused by factors beyond their control, such as delays to housing benefit.
  • Vulnerable people should be offered support to access and sustain tenancies.

Evidence from Shelter services and CABs shows that some associations do not comply fully with the existing code in practice.  Shelter supports the idea that the ODPM and the Housing Corporation draw up a joint statement of practice on preventing and recovering rent arrears to which all social landlords should subscribe.