Housing associations could have responsibility for gypsies

Around 3,000 vulnerable gypsies and travellers could become the
responsibility of housing associations, under a new amendment to
the Housing Bill, writes Shirley

The Housing Corporation would fund the sites to accommodate some
of those living near roadsides or near sewage works or motorways,
which would then be managed by the social landlords.

Councils will also be required to ensure land with planning
permission is available to gypsies and travellers who wish to
purchase land.

Lord Avebury said the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister select
committee report, due out shortly, recommends councils should have
a “fall back responsibility” if housing associations
fail to provide sites.

However, he said the government was likely to reject the
recommendation believing “the vast majority of gypsies and
travellers will look after themselves and housing associations will
accommodate just the negligible reminder”.

The bill, which is expected to receive its third reading next
week, falls short of re-introducing a statutory duty on councils to
provide sites, similar to that removed in the early 1990s.


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