HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 cc33-4WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Yvette Cooper)

The Government is today publishing draft guidance for social landlords on how they should prepare and publish their statements of policies and procedures for tackling antisocial behaviour on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website for consultation

Section 12 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 places a new requirement on all social landlords (local housing authorities, registered social landlords and housing action trusts) to prepare and publish statements.

The consultation is aimed at all social landlords in England and those with an interest in housing and antisocial behaviour issues, including tenants groups. I would therefore urge the sector and others with an interest in these issues to consider the draft and supply their views.

A key part of tackling antisocial behaviour is to ensure that tenants know exactly what their landlord will do about it when it occurs. Tenants often feel left in the dark when they are experiencing problems with antisocial behaviour. They may not know what options are available to them or the landlord. Sometimes the problem may be because front-line housing management staff are unclear about what procedures they should be following either.

Guidance is intended to support landlords in preparing and publishing their statements, helping them further define and develop their approaches to tackling antisocial behaviour and ensuring they work in partnership with other agencies to meet the needs of their tenants and the wider community when deploying interventions.

Following consultation, statutory guidance issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will apply to local housing authorities and housing action trusts in England. The housing corporation will issue statutory housing management guidance in the form of a circular for registered social landlords, under the requirements of the Anti-social Behaviour Act. The National Assembly for Wales (NAW) will be issuing similar guidance in Wales.