Flexible Tenancies – one possible advantage

If, like me, you’ve ever worked getting people out of temporary homeless accommodation into permanent social housing you’ll know how hard it is. Especially in my stomping grounds of London and the South West. You’ve gotta push and blag and never give up. The clients, bless ’em, never quite seem to appreciate what goes in to getting them an offer.

From this point of view Choice Based Lettings has been a step backwards. It reduces the chances to play the system. Some might say that’s a good thing, but not if you’ve got a scheme of twenty-eight homeless people and you’re trying to move them on within two years. With CBL all you can do is fight over points and banding where before you’d be making plays for actual flats.

But I sense an opportunity. In any given area some properties will be coming up on the CBL system with Flexible Tenancies, others on tenancies with security. The flexible properties will be distinctly unpopular – who’s going to chose higher rent and less security when if they stick it out they might get something better? So the flexible properties will be available for much lower bids.

This is certainly going to help move-on from Supported Housing. I can sense the reader thinking dumping vulnerable people into expensive, temporary tenancies is not doing anybody any favours. Not if it stopped there – but once you’ve got the client into their first flat you’ve got two years to score them a permanent place. And the world of transfers has always been a fun playground for the professional social housing blagger!

2 Responses to Flexible Tenancies – one possible advantage

  1. Nobody on those estates with flexible tenancies will give a fig about the condition of their properties, they won’t do them up, they won’t register with a doctor, their kids will have to move schools not knowing if they will still be in the same school to take their GCSEs, the people won’t bother to register to vote knowing they’ll be moved on in two years, you should hear what Karen Buck MP has to say about the loss of secure tenure.

  2. inks2010 says:

    Yeah I know, it’s hard to think of anything good about flexible tenancies. The post is a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    In a way flexible tenancies will turn general needs housing into temporary supported housing. Which is fine if the support is there at one housing officer to twenty tenants rather than the general needs ratio of one housing officer to 500 tenants.

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