Changes in social housing legislation welcomed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council


The Queen’s Speech included new laws to curb immigration.


By SWLondoner staff

New legislation stopping migrants from qualifying from social housing has been welcomed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, the first in the country to have already introduced the rule.

In today’s state opening of parliament, the Queen announced that the Government will enshrine a policy stating that only local people in genuine need of somewhere to live have priority on the housing register.

This means that migrants can only apply for social housing if they have lived in the UK and ‘contributed to this country’ for at least two years.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s policy extends even further, stipulating that social housing applicants must have a five year local connection to the borough.

“Changes announced in today’s Queen Speech will have a positive impact here in Hammersmith & Fulham and across the country,” said Councillor Greg Smith, H&F Council deputy leader.

Other steps taken to curb immigration include tightening access to the NHS and ensuring illegal immigrants cannot get driving licences.

The council also welcomed changes to the Right to Buy scheme which could help hundreds of tenants to purchase their council home.

Now, tenants only need to live in their property  for three years rather than five years before becoming eligible for the scheme.

“By increasing the eligibility for Right to Buy, thousands of our tenants may potentially now be able to consider buying their council property – something that for so long has only been a pipe-dream,” said Cllr Greg Smith.

Changes announced to the Anti-social, Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill will also make iteasier for the council to evict tenants who commit crime or antisocial behaviour, including rioting.

The council has a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of antisocial behaviour and will use these new powers to evict tenants who make their neighbours’ lives a misery. Changes recently made to tenancy agreements will also make it easier for the council to evict neighbours from hell.

Cllr Smith added: “We will not sit idly by and let our tenants commit crime and antisocial behaviour. This change is another tool in our crime-fighting armoury and we will have no hesitation to use it to evict proven troublemakers.”

Photo courtesy of  UK Parliament with thanks.

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