Briefing: Localism Bill 2nd Reading

By: Kantar Public
Published: January 2011

The impact of housing problems on mental health

At a time when the housing safety net is needed more than ever, these reforms critically damage it by:

  • undermining the legal duty towards homeless people

  • removing security in social housing (reducing incentives to work).

However, the Bill could provide a vital opportunity to deliver much needed reforms by adding clauses, which would:

  • increase protection for tenants in the private rented sector (PRS), through: - tightening up tenancy deposit legislation (undermined by a recent court ruling) - the introduction of PRS accreditation schemes setting out the minimum standards for landlord compliance

  • give courts greater flexibility over eviction orders.

The Bill could also be improved by helping to enable local people to fully engage in planning decisions and hold their local authority to account, via the introduction of:

  • consistent methodologies for the assessment and presentation of housing need across local authorities

  • a duty on local authorities to say how they would address this need in their ‘Local Plans’.