Government goes cool on docking benefit of antisocial neighbours

Over 80 per cent of councils are against the idea of docking the
housing benefit of antisocial neighbours, a consultation by the
government has revealed, writes Natasha

In May last year the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
issued a consultation document seeking views on using housing
benefit sanctions to tackle antisocial behaviour.

But the government has revealed that sanctions will not be
introduced “for the time being”, and the results of the
consultation have led the DWP to conclude that they “want to
judge the effectiveness of the range of existing measures before
introducing a new one”.

A total of 75 per cent of respondents were against the proposals
to dock housing benefit from tenants accused of antisocial
behaviour, complaining that the sanction would be
“unworkable, ineffective and counter-productive”. Of
the local authorities that responded, 81 per cent were not in
favour and 97 per cent of registered social landlords expressed
their disapproval.

Homelessness charity Shelter has hailed the government’s
decision as a “u-turn” on draconian law that would have
created more poverty and homelessness.

Adam Sampson, the director of Shelter, said: “The sheer
scale of the opposition shows just how many people are against the
government’s draconian measures that punish, but don’t
actually reduce antisocial behaviour.”

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