Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
How housing is allocated set for changes
8:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
THURROCK Council is set to introduce major changes to the way it allocates its social housing.
A new scheme was dubbed “a fantastic piece of work” by Cllr Rob Gledhill, pictured left, chairman of the council’s housing overview and scrutiny committee last Wednesday as the panel scoured the report.
The current scheme, which was adopted in 2005, is now said to be out-dated, with the new scheme taking a fresh approach to who qualifies for any of the 10,300 properties owned by the council, while also proposing a range of incentives to encourage tenants to downsize.
Changes include a new eligiblity criteria, where applicants wanting a house must meet immigration, financial and behaviour criteria.
This means applicants with assets or income above certain levels will be excluded, applicants will only be put on the waiting list if they have a local connection, such as residence, family or employment in the borough for a period of five years or more and a behaviour criteria, which could exclude applicants with an unruly past.
Extra priority will also be given to former members of the armed services, in line with the council’s veterans charter.
Current tenants will also receive a higher priority to move should they wish to downsize, which would free up bigger homes for families.
Working households will also be rewarded under the new policy, with 15 per cent of all properties being just for working households or households making a contribution to the community.
The ways in which overcrowding is assessed in houses is also set to change.
Presenting the report to the scrutiny committee, Cllr Phil Anderson, chairman of the cross-party task and finish group, said: “We’ve got to change and refresh our allocations policy.
“Local people feel local people should have priority.
“We’ve got a waiting list of 5,000. This policy is designed to better meet specific needs and circumstances.”
The report will be put before cabinet next month.