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Proposed changes to Ealing's housing policy
Ealing Council is considering radical changes in the way it allocates its council homes - giving priority to those who make a 'positive contribution' to the community.
Currently housing is determined by need only and anyone can go on the housing register. Most have little or no prospects of getting a council house.
It's proposed that only households which qualify as “high-need” would be able to join the active housing register. Others would be ‘kept on file’.
Priority would be determined by the Council based on a number of factors:
Applicants who are working, pay their rent and council tax or who do voluntary work or are involved in relevant community groups will be given preference along with those who have lived in the borough for 12 months or more.
At the moment there is no income restriction on households applying to be housed by the council - so people who could afford to buy or rent in the private sector are able to go on the council’s Housing Register.
Under proposed changes households with a total income of £60k per year or capital assets of over £75k would not be considered.
The proposals if approved, will no doubt help cut the borough's housing waiting list which stands at approximately 17,000. However, concerns have been raised.
Eric Leach, Vice Chair of West Ealing Neighbours says:
'' ‘I can see where pressure from change is coming from. People born and bred in Ealing with low or no income often voice their resentment that Government seems more likely to house poor immigrant families than the locally born needy.
''However the elephant in the room is the inadequate supply of social rented housing. Disgracefully only six new social rented homes were built in Ealing in the whole of 2011. Shelter estimates that Ealing needs 3,213 new social rented homes. As part of the rebuild of Green Man Lane Estate, although the number of homes will increase from 464 to 706 the number of social rented homes will decrease from 391 to 338.’
''If low income/no income immigrants are to have no chance of State social housing won’t this just increase the incidence of beds in sheds?''
A consultation is underway regarding the proposed changes - all residents can take part in (until April 11th) which can be read in full here
4th April 2012