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Housing solution; letters.

THE findings of a major new report published confirm that the ability of social housing tenants to move properties within the sector has declined markedly over the last decade.

The report also uncovers significant and unexpected costs to the UK's economy of social housing tenants who want to move home but are unable to - an estimated pounds 542m every year. From being unable to take up work, look after elderly relatives or escape from overcrowded properties - the inability of social housing residents to move has profound social and economic implications.

The report, commissioned by Circle Anglia, estimates that 495,000 of the UK's 3.9million social households want to move home but are unable to do so.

Yet, in this time of public spending cuts a low-cost solution is available. The creation of a national house exchange programme for social housing tenants that all landlords are obliged to sign up to would be inexpensive to manage.

What's more, it has the potential to open up a nationwide market for people in social housing to swap properties, with the implied economic and social benefits that the increased opportunity for social housing tenants to move brings. It's a simple idea that will go some way to alleviating a complex and costly problem.

David Williams, executive director of Strategy and New Business, the Circle Anglia Group
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 27, 2010
Words:223
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