Government let the private rental sector down…

2 02 2012

The Government has let down tenants in the private rented sector who want the freedom to choose who receives their housing benefit, says the Residential Landlords Association.

Despite calls from a number of bodies, including Shelter, Crisis, Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Trust, for tenants to be given a choice, the announcement by the Department of Work and Pensions of pilot projects for the payment of housing benefits excludes running a trial of this option.

Instead, says the RLA, the pilots will solely be in the social rented sector and will only involve the direct payment of benefits to tenants, instead of giving them a choice.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “It is disappointing that a Government committed to choice and personal responsibility is not allowing tenants themselves to make decisions about what is best for their own circumstances.

“Evidence clearly indicates that tenants on benefits want to be given the right to choose who receives their benefits, particularly those struggling to make ends meet in tough economic times.

“It is absurd therefore, that despite being committed to evidence-based policy, ministers are not even prepared to pilot the idea of tenant choice to ensure policy best supports tenants in the private sector.”

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