Local city MP Stewart Jackson has formally raised the unethical way residents from St Michael’s Gate have been evicted by private property management company Stef & Philips with Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government, in a Westminster Hall debate this afternoon, Tuesday 10th January 2017 at 4pm.
Many local and long-term residents were evicted to make way for a temporary accommodation scheme that the City Council has signed a commercial deal with Stef & Philips. As a result, Mr Jackson has urged Ministers to look at the way Stef & Philips were allowed to exploit loopholes to purchase the social housing estate.
Gavin Barwell MP responded to Mr Jackson’s concerns pledging to look into the specifics of the case, especially in relation to the extortionate Management Fee paid by Peterborough City Council to Stef & Philips, and to take the general points of the debate forward in the forthcoming Housing White Paper.
Stewart Jackson said:
“I was pleased to have secured this important debate to highlight the ridiculous business model that Stef & Philips uses to purchase social housing.
Although we cannot turn back time to prevent the evictions that have already taken place, the Minister has agreed to look into this and the wider issue of Housing Benefit regulations, particularly Stef & Philips being able to charge the City Council a management fee per tenant on top of receiving each tenant’s Housing Benefit.
I hope that by having raised this issue in the House of Commons, it will prevent further unnecessary evictions in Peterborough and across the UK.”
A full link to the Hansard record is available here:
The debate can be watched on Parliament TV here (skip to 16:00 hrs):