Call for London-wide lettings

London councils should introduce an all-London lettings system for
social housing to help tackle homelessness, a conference has been

The move would call into question the requirement homeless people
currently face to prove a “local connection” when applying for
housing in a borough and make properties available across the

Hammersmith and Fulham’s housing spokesperson Stephen Cowan told
the homelessness conference in London that borough boundaries were
often irrelevant when it came to where people wanted to live. He
said that the scheme would require a big culture change among

English Churches Housing Group chief executive Peter Walters told
the conference that one in three of his supported housing tenants
were ready to move on but could not do so because of a lack of

He estimated that it cost the government £600m to maintain
people in supported housing after they were ready to leave and said
the money would be better spent on building new homes.

The conference was also told that supporting housing providers
should join together to campaign around problems they were facing
with the Supporting People scheme.

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