Thousands due to be cut off Gosport housing list with shake-up

Mike Taylor, operations director at Society of St James with the leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170729-3206)

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GOSPORT’S council is planning a huge housing shake-up that will see more than 2,000 people taken off its waiting list of more than 4,000 people.

It comes as officers at the authority have been reviewing the way homes are allocated in the borough.

If approved people will be removed from the list if they do not live in the area, have enough money to house themselves or have behaved badly.

And now anyone on the list who has no real chance of being housed will also be removed from the list.

The 2,340 who are likely to have applications cancelled are entitled to a review.

Councillor Graham Burgess is the deputy leader of the council and chairman of the community board, which will hear the proposals.

He said: ‘It’s people who didn’t have a housing need.

‘We’ve over 4,000 on the waiting list at present.

‘Now we only have just over 3,000 houses.

‘Some people have been on there for years and years who have had no intention of taking a council house. They are just on there trying to build up the points to a time to when they think they might be able to sell their house and go into a council house.’

To qualify as local, applicants must have lived in the borough for at least two years or have close family who have lived there for a minimum of five years.

Applicants, or any member of the household, who has £16,000 will not qualify.

But it will not count for ex-services personnel have been given cash after sustaining an injury while serving.

There are varying restrictions on household income.

Changes to the policy also mean that applicants will only be offered one chance at accepting a home – if they refuse they will be taken off the housing list.

A public consultation to the plans saw 511 responses.

In it, 86 per cent agreed that local people should be given priority.

Just over 70 per cent agreed with the restrictions over accepting people with enough cash.

But only 55 per cent agreed the council should bar people who do not have a housing need, with 45 per cent disagreeing.

Councillors on the community board will vote on Monday.