New policy for council’s housing lists

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THE district council was one step ahead of government policy when it came to housing lists.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles announced a new policy this week, which ensures local people are prioritised for council homes.

Chichester District Council made the change back in July, removing those on the housing list without a local connection to the district.

Councillor Carol Purnell, cabinet member for housing and planning at Chichester District Council, said: “We support the government’s aim to make sure that social housing is allocated to those who are most in need. In particular, it prioritises those on low incomes, those who are disadvantaged and those who have a proven local connection to the area.

“In July of this year, we introduced new and more robust rules as to who is entitled to join or remain on our housing register. Applicants have to prove they have a local connection, or that they are a member of the Armed Forces.

“A key part of these reforms is a new two-year residency requirement. This means that, in most cases, you need to have been a resident in the Chichester District for at least the last two years to be eligible for social housing.

“The new guidance, issued by the department for communities and local government, reflects the changes that we have made to our policy and so we are very supportive of these proposals.”

Mr Pickles said: “This government is standing up for hard-working people. Local residents and the Armed Forces should be first in line for social housing.

“This is part of a decisive package of government reforms to tackle unsustainable immigration.”