THE GOVERNMENT'S new Housing Bill has been greeted with dismay by the Law Centres Federation (LCF).
The Bill, which the Government says gives wider choice and better quality of life to home owners and tenants, has been criticised by the LCF as "damaging" many people's rights and security.
The LCF's housing development project worker Matthew Waddington said: "We anticipate massive suffering among the people we serve from the changes on homeless people's rights, reducing security for private and council tenants, and increasing privatisation."
The Bill also contains moves to strengthen the provision of housing advice. The LCF welcomes this but points out that if people have fewer rights then it will be more difficult to provide advice.
But Ian Graham, housing partner at law firm Trowers & Hamlins, said: "The Bill is less radical than expected and carries no nasty surprises for the housing movement. In particular the dropping of licensed landlords is likely to be welcomed."
The Government's key proposals in the Bill are to give housing association tenants the right to buy their own home at a discount, leasehold home owners better protection against unscrupulous landlords, council tenants the chance to vote for new types of social landlord and the right to take action against noisy neighbours.