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Housing and Homelessness

Homeless Pet Owners

Many homeless people keep dogs for security as well as comfort. Currently only 9% of hostels for homeless people in the UK are dog friendly, meaning that many dog owners are denied access to shelter and support, simply because they have a dog. Likewise, rules on dog ownership for council housing or housing association tenants vary from place to place, with many council's forcing people to give up their pets to rescue centres or remain homeless.

What is our position on this issue? Do we provide emergency housing for people with dogs? Do we provide council housing for people with dogs? If so, what percentage of our emergency and council housing allows dogs? And what quantity of our emergency accommodation and council houses allow dogs?

Response

If we accept a homeless responsibility for someone, as defined in the Housing Act 1996, we will generally use our own housing stock to provide accommodation, however, the terms of the agreement state that the Licensee agrees not to allow any pets or animals to be kept in the accommodation.

We do not specifically provide emergency housing for people with dogs. We do provide some council housing for people with dogs, subject to agreement and our Keeping Animals Policy. This policy is currently under review and, in respect of dog ownership by tenants of our properties, the responsibility of the owner is to ensure that from 6 April 2016 the animal is microchipped. Approximately 89%, or 5110 units, of our housing stock are potentially available for tenants with dogs.

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