Falconer tells RSLs to reinvest surpluses

27 Sep 01
Housing associations should not use rent restructuring as an excuse for failing to reinvest surpluses in their stock, housing minister Lord Falconer told the conference.

28 September 2001

Dismissing suggestions that registered social landlords were receiving a rougher ride from the government than local authorities, he stressed that it was up to both to ensure the government met its target of reducing the number of people without a decent home by one third by 2004.

Councils, he said, were having a far from easy ride and had to prepare business plans showing how they were tackling repairs. And it was the very essence of the independent status of RSLs that ensured they had freedom to reinvest surpluses as they wished.

Councils and RSLs must move towards a standard rent formula (based on 70% earnings and 30% capital values) over ten years. 'We are confident the great majority of RSLs can both achieve rent restructuring and maintain stock,' he said.

Falconer also announced plans to make it easier for social landlords to evict unruly tenants. Urging local authorities to make greater use of anti-social behaviour orders, he promised that, in future, it would be unnecessary for other tenants to give evidence in court for a person or family to be evicted.

'There will still be a court process but the courts won't be hearing evidence,' he said. 'They will be looking to see whether the council has gone through the correct procedure.'

The minister disputed claims from delegates that increased evictions will add to the number of homeless people and so put more pressure on councils and other agencies. 'We are talking about a small number [of people] who can have a devastating effect on a large community,' he said.


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