South also told the conference that the private rented housing
sector must be reformed before the government allowed councils to
permanently accommodate homeless people there.
He said that without such reform, homeless people could end up in
poor quality accommodation with no security of tenure.
He was speaking after Terrie Alafat, director of the Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister’s homelessness directorate, said she wanted
to investigate whether a council’s statutory accommodation offer to
a homeless person necessarily had to include property in the social
housing sector. She told the conference she wanted to “unpick” the
understanding of settled accommodation.
But South said that the end of an assured shorthold tenancy in the
private rented sector was the third most common reason for
Alafat said the ODPM would consult local authorities about the
proposals before potentially going to ministers with
recommendations to change homelessness legislation or guidance.