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Tenants in debt targeted; CAMPAIGN: Bid to tackle pounds 13m arrears.

Byline: By David Bell

A LEAGUE of shame is being compiled to identify the "won't pay" tenants who have built up a near record pounds 13.9 million in rent arrears.

Scrutiny chiefs have ordered a detailed breakdown of how deeply each of the city's ten constituencies have sunk into the red to find the worst payers.

They also hope the table will pinpoint the housing officials who are not collecting the money.

The investigation was demanded by former Birmingham housing chairman Coun Mike Nangle who said the situation was serious.

"What is particularly worrying is that rent debts have rocketed by pounds 1.5 million over the past 12 months when our stock of council homes has shrunk by nearly 2,500," he said.

"We really do need to have a detailed breakdown to show what is happening and where.

"If we manage to recover even half these debts, it will go a good way to easing our repair and maintenance problems.

"I'm particularly staggered by the rising rent debts because 70 per cent of our tenants are on some form of full or part housing benefit payments."

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FEARS... Mike Nangle.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 20, 2006
Words:194
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