Wandsworth Offer Tenants Cash to Move to Birmingham

Council say all London boroughs offering similar facility

Wandsworth Council have been accused of operating a policy of social cleansing after a letter was sent to Council tenants offering them cash and expenses if they agreed to move to Birmingham.

Labour councillor Simon Hogg tweeted the letter from Wandsworth Council to tenants informing them of the offer. The tenant would receive a cash back sum plus assistance with removal costs.

Wandsworth Offer Tenants Cash to Move to Birmingham

Will Martindale, Battersea's Labour MP candidate, says, "A woman knocked on my door last night after getting this letter. She told me it made her feel 'not wanted' in Battersea.

"It's just wrong to pressure local families to leave Battersea and move to Birmingham. The real answer is to build more homes that local people can afford to rent and buy.

"This Tory council is out of control. First, they moved local homeless families to Leicester and Portsmouth. Now they offer some of our most vulnerable residents cash to move 100 miles away from their jobs, friends and schools."

The Council responded that every council in London offers a similar facility. The scheme is an entirely optional offer that some residents choose to accept if it suits them, allowing the home they leave behind to go to another local family on a social rent basis.

A council spokesman said, “This is a scheme that has been in place in Wandsworth for many years. Every other London borough has a similar policy.

“What it does is provide choices and incentives for tenants in larger properties to hand them back so that they can be used to provide new social rented homes for families on waiting lists who may be living in overcrowded conditions and need a bigger property. Offering a financial incentive is one of the ways in which tenants who don’t need such big homes can be encouraged to give them up.

“As the letter makes crystal clear, it is not compulsory and no-one is forced to leave, but some residents are quite happy to move out of London because they may have family connections in other parts of the country or are looking to make a fresh start outside the capital.”

May 6, 2015