Ealing Council has asked the borough’s social housing landlords to offer lifetime tenancies to their tenants.
The request is one of several themes covered in the council’s new tenancy strategy, which sets out the broad objectives that Ealing’s social rented housing landlords should consider when creating their own tenancy policies.
Lifetime tenancies in genuinely affordable homes will help the council deliver on its plan to improve the quality of life in Ealing by enabling strong, stable communities to thrive. They are particularly suitable for vulnerable tenants with long-term support needs, including older people and anyone with enduring mental and physical health issues. The strategy includes a new section specifically dedicated to how vulnerable tenants should be treated.
Ealing has been hit hard by London’s affordable housing crisis. The borough is an attractive, popular place to live, with the cost of buying a home more than double the national average and 13 times the average household income. Renting privately is no cheaper, at an average of more than £1,400 a month.
Those affordability challenges have created a high demand and long wait for socially rented homes. There are currently almost 11,300 households waiting for a socially rented, affordable home, but there were just 821 lets into social housing in 2019-20. The borough also loses around 100 socially rented homes each year through Right To Buy sales. The strategy is part of the council’s plan to deliver the most efficient use of the borough’s genuinely affordable housing stock.
“Clear expectations for the borough’s social landlords”
Councillor Shital Manro is Ealing Council’s lead member for good growth. He said: “We are an open, inclusive and transparent council, and tackling inequality is at the very heart of everything we do. That’s why in 2018 we committed to ensuring housing associations provide homes that are well managed and affordable, and to protecting the right of Ealing residents to have lifetime tenure for their homes.
“We want Ealing to be a great place to live, with safe, comfortable, genuinely affordable homes and enough good, well-paid jobs for everyone who wants one. To achieve that goal, everyone in our borough must work towards it. That’s why we have set out clear expectations for the borough’s social housing landlords on how they treat their tenants.
“We will hold housing associations on their pledge to provide homes that are well managed and affordable. In particular, we want to protect the right of Ealing residents to have lifetime tenure for their homes.
“There is nothing more important than the security that comes from knowing that you have a roof over your head for the long term, so we want housing associations to commit to lifetime tenancies wherever possible too.
“This will also help ensure that they are held accountable for what they do in our borough, and we will continue to push them to deliver high quality homes for their tenants.
“And by providing more genuinely affordable homes at rents well below market levels, we can deliver on our pledge to create better living incomes for local people.”