Bishop of Peterborough speaks out against scrapping life tenancies in council housing

Bishop Donald Allister at Peterborough Cathedral ENGEMN00120130623164741

Bishop Donald Allister at Peterborough Cathedral ENGEMN00120130623164741

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The Right Reverend Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, has spoken out against scrapping life tenancies in council housing.

During the discussion of the Housing and Planning Bill in the House of Lords on Monday, April 18, he recommended removal of the clause that made it compulsory for council accommodation in the future to be fixed term.

The Bishop of Peterborough said: “It is so important not only for women who may have been abused but for their children, who may have often witnessed abuse or been similarly abused, that they should have security.

“This is about children’s well-being and their development into stable and secure adults. Under the current proposal, if a woman who is being abused leaves the home, she will lose the secure tenancy.

“Unless discretion is brought in under regulations, the only option will be an unsecured tenancy, which is the worst thing possible for the children as well as the mother.

“This has brought into question how the Government might view council properties, not as ‘homes’ but, as Lord Kerslake said, as temporary welfare provision.”

Accepting this amendment with the lifetime tenancies removed would lead to all housing provision becoming temporary.

Bishop Donald added: “It seems completely self-evident that it should be written in that there should be no discretion, and that women who have to leave their home for reasons of violence against them or their children should be allowed to move to another secure tenancy.”