Some people to be told they will not be housed, despite years on the waiting list, after council revises priorities

Some people who have spent years waiting for council housing are about to learn they will never be housed.

New guidance from central government means that as of July this year, individual councils will have the power to decide how housing stock is allocated, based upon local priorities.

Proposed changes for the housing allocations scheme for Epping Forest District Council will include slashing the priority list from six categories, to just three, and crossing off the names of hopeful candidates.

A local eligibility criteria has been suggested in the proposals, which will stop people joining the housing list, if they have no realistic chance of being housed.

There are currently around 6,700 people on the council's housing waiting list, and Councillor Stephen Murray said that the proposed regulations will eliminate hope for people who would otherwise remain on the list indefinitely.

He said: “We have people on the list who have no chance of getting an allocation, so it is a false hope.”

The proposals will also see homeless residents dropped from the priority one list, they will also only receive one suitable offer of accommodation.

Tenants living in insanitary conditions will now be made a priority, along with those with disabilities and those living overcrowded houses.

Members of the armed forces and their spouses will also be prioritised, should the plans be put into place.

The scheme is will be reviewed after 12 months.

Comments (2)

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5:47pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Simon P. Hughes says...

In principle, this could be a very good thing for the area. However, I am always rather cynical when a council is given more powers.

It is good to see groups like the disabled and members of the Armed Forces being given property; but rather concerning to see local homeless people not considered a priority! I must assume this is due to regulations changing, that mean Councils no longer have a duty to house homeless people in the same way as once did.

These proposals do give a good opportunity to reduce the waiting list by stopping people from outside Epping Forest putting their name doing for housing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to appear on several housing lists in neighbouring areas.

Having professional experience of social housing; Epping Forest District Council seems to be forgotten on important tool in fight to reduce the housing waiting list: auto-bidding. Auto-bidding stops people sitting on waiting this, sometimes for years, while they place bids on only certain types of properties in certain areas. Auto-bidding is successfully used through London where it has reduced waiting lists; perhaps EFDC should speak with other councils before these proposals become policy…

There doesn’t seem to be much information within the public domain, but it would be interesting to know whether there has been or will be a public consultation on these changes. Or at the very least, if people on the waiting list have been able to feedback their thoughts and comments.
In principle, this could be a very good thing for the area. However, I am always rather cynical when a council is given more powers. It is good to see groups like the disabled and members of the Armed Forces being given property; but rather concerning to see local homeless people not considered a priority! I must assume this is due to regulations changing, that mean Councils no longer have a duty to house homeless people in the same way as once did. These proposals do give a good opportunity to reduce the waiting list by stopping people from outside Epping Forest putting their name doing for housing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to appear on several housing lists in neighbouring areas. Having professional experience of social housing; Epping Forest District Council seems to be forgotten on important tool in fight to reduce the housing waiting list: auto-bidding. Auto-bidding stops people sitting on waiting this, sometimes for years, while they place bids on only certain types of properties in certain areas. Auto-bidding is successfully used through London where it has reduced waiting lists; perhaps EFDC should speak with other councils before these proposals become policy… There doesn’t seem to be much information within the public domain, but it would be interesting to know whether there has been or will be a public consultation on these changes. Or at the very least, if people on the waiting list have been able to feedback their thoughts and comments. Simon P. Hughes
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Simon P. Hughes says...

In principle, this could be a very good thing for the area. However, I am always rather cynical when a council is given more powers.

It is good to see groups like the disabled and members of the Armed Forces being given property; but rather concerning to see local homeless people not considered a priority! I must assume this is due to regulations changing, which mean Councils no longer have a duty to house homeless people in the same way as once did.

These proposals do give a good opportunity to reduce the waiting list by stopping people from outside Epping Forest putting their name doing for housing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to appear on several housing lists in neighbouring areas.

Having professional experience of social housing; Epping Forest District Council seems to be forgetting an important tool in the fight to reduce the housing waiting list: auto-bidding. Auto-bidding stops people sitting on waiting this, sometimes for years, while they place bids on only certain types of properties in certain areas. Auto-bidding is successfully used throughout London where it has reduced waiting lists; perhaps EFDC should speak with other councils before these proposals become policy…

There doesn’t seem to be much information within the public domain, but it would be interesting to know whether there has been or will be a public consultation on these changes. Or at the very least, if people on the waiting list have been able to feedback their thoughts and comments.
In principle, this could be a very good thing for the area. However, I am always rather cynical when a council is given more powers. It is good to see groups like the disabled and members of the Armed Forces being given property; but rather concerning to see local homeless people not considered a priority! I must assume this is due to regulations changing, which mean Councils no longer have a duty to house homeless people in the same way as once did. These proposals do give a good opportunity to reduce the waiting list by stopping people from outside Epping Forest putting their name doing for housing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to appear on several housing lists in neighbouring areas. Having professional experience of social housing; Epping Forest District Council seems to be forgetting an important tool in the fight to reduce the housing waiting list: auto-bidding. Auto-bidding stops people sitting on waiting this, sometimes for years, while they place bids on only certain types of properties in certain areas. Auto-bidding is successfully used throughout London where it has reduced waiting lists; perhaps EFDC should speak with other councils before these proposals become policy… There doesn’t seem to be much information within the public domain, but it would be interesting to know whether there has been or will be a public consultation on these changes. Or at the very least, if people on the waiting list have been able to feedback their thoughts and comments. Simon P. Hughes
  • Score: 0

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