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TENANTS FEAR EQUITY STAKES WILL BE UNFAIR

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New research investigating the concept of equity stakes for social housing reveals tenants are wary of possible unf...
New research investigating the concept of equity stakes for social housing reveals tenants are wary of possible unfairness according to a new report published today as part of an ongoing work undertaken by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH).

Equity stakes, a Labour manifesto commitment, aim to help people in social housing gain a direct financial stake in their home and to thereby think differently about their tenancy. The idea could reform the future of social housing.

Stephen Byers, secretary of state for local government, transport and the regions, has recently re-emphasised the government's commitment to delivering equity stakes. As he has said recently: 'Helping a tenant gain a direct stake in their home has the potential to radically change the outlook of occupiers of social housing.'

Researchers consulted tenants from different parts of the country and asked for their views on how different equity stake models could work. Tenants generally welcomed the approach:

'I think it would make me feel a bit more financially secure.'

'It would make me think longer-term than just where am I going to live next.'

'It feels like a little nest, something you are guaranteed.'

But some were worried about particular issues and feared it was not a straightforward idea:

'It wouldn't be fair to give us all a 1% share regardless of where we live or what house we live insome of us would be laughing and some of us would feel hard done by!'

Mr Byers has recently re-emphasised the government's commitment to delivering equity stakes. As he has said recently, 'Helping a tenant gain a direct stake in their home has the potential to radically change the outlook of occupiers of social housing.'

The report Equity Stakes, Fair Stakes? was discussed on Tuesday at a Chatham House Rules seminar attended by key government officials and leading housing experts.

CIH director of policy John Perry says:

'Now we will start to work on detailed models specifically aimed at addressing tenants concerns.'

* Equity Stakes, Fair Stakes? can be found here.

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