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Why don’t social housing tenants move on?

Social housing’s mandate is to create permanent homes, just like homes in the private sector.

This mandate recognizes that stable communities are more successful than ones with high turnover; that children thrive when they are not moved from school to school; and that everyone – regardless of their age, income or situation — values the security of knowing they will not have their home taken out from under them.

There are some differences between private and social housing.

  • Social housing tenants can be required to move if they are over-housed. Residents in private housing may stay in their homes regardless of their family size – even if it means single people live in large houses while families live in one-bedroom apartments.
  • Social housing tenants have greater limits on their mobility. If they move out of social housing they may need to wait for years before they can move back in. If they want to move closer to a job, they go to the bottom the transfer list. Unit swaps are forbidden. So are sub-lets and taking in boarders. These policies can keep tenants in units they do not need or want.
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