According to the Tory controlled City Council in Peterborough, there are presently 9,328 applications on the current housing register, as of 23 July 2012 and over the period of a year, an average of 7 applications a day were being added!
As a result, the local authority has this week announced plans to change the “….the eligibility criteria that determine applications to join Peterborough’s Housing Register …..” which apparently will ensure “…priority is given to people who need housing the most …..” – makes you wonder what on earth the system has been to date and why?
The Housing Register eligibility criteria will be discussed by the city council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Monday 24 September.
Commenting, local LIB DEM ward councillor, Darren Fower, said:
“Because of the credit crunch, it is almost impossible to get on the housing ladder, and millions who do own their own home are facing repossession. We should also not forget that it was the local Tories who decided to flog off the Council house in this city to avoid paying to bring them up to scratch!
“We should also not make big decisions on sound-bites, yes we should ensure that local working people are helped, but we must not ever think that all migrants are bad and that all Peterborians are perfect tenants.
“As always the importance will be in the details, that are finally presented by the Tories.”
* The Localism Act 2011 gave local councils the power to set their own Housing Register qualifying criteria.
* Currently the city council operates an open-house register in partnership with ten registered social landlords. The register is open to all who wish to apply as long as they are 16 or over, have the right to live in the UK and have not been found guilty of previous unacceptable behaviour which would make them an unsuitable tenant.
* The amended register proposes excluding applications from those who own suitable accommodation or those who can afford alternative options. People who have previously behaved in an unacceptable way which would make them an unsuitable tenant will continue to be excluded from the register.
* The amended register will also be brought in line with the new Housing Benefit bedroom standards policy which proposes reducing Housing Benefit for those who are deemed to be living in a home which is larger than they require and refuse to downsize. As a result, families will only be placed in homes which are suitable for the number of people in the family.
* Between April 2011 and April 2012 the city council allocated 1,258 properties through the Choice Based Lettings scheme. In the same period 2,678 new applications were received.
A connection with Peterborough would be established by:
Having lived in the area for six of the last 12 months or three of the last five years
Having immediate family members who live in the area and have done for the last five years
Those who are working in the city
Those who need to move to the area for special reasons, e.g in order to receive specialist medical care