Homeless people are being denied access to affordable housing because social landlords are routinely excluding prospective tenants who are deemed too poor or vulnerable to pay the rent, a study has revealed. Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) found that “screening out” of homeless applicants nominated for newly available lets was widespread, as housing associations and local authorities increasingly ration their shrinking stocks of social homes.
In many cases nominees were refused a home because of the likelihood they would accrue major rent arrears after moving on to universal credit, because of the probability they would be hit by the bedroom tax or because the benefit cap had made them a financial risk.
Others were rejected after social landlords identified they had unmet mental health or addiction problems, often because of cuts to local NHS and housing support services. Individuals with unmet support needs were regarded as “too high a risk to tenancy sustainment”, the CIH said.
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