Forces could get help on Gosport homes waiting list

Veterans march at the ''Gosport Remembrance Day parade in 2011
Veterans march at the ''Gosport Remembrance Day parade in 2011

City leaders join Kurdish community to mark anniversary of Halabja massacre

Have your say

SERVING military personnel are to be given a boost on Gosport’s housing waiting lists, under new proposals.

Gosport Borough Council plans to introduce a change to current policies which will see active personnel, and those who have left the services in the past five years, receive up to 20 points in the council’s housing application system.

There are currently more than 3,600 people on the council’s housing waiting list, with applicants being given points based on their individual circumstances, including the length of time they have lived in the town.

Under the new proposals, bereaved spouses and civil partners of services personnel will also be eligible for the additional points, along with injured, ill or disabled current and former reservists.

Both the bereavement and any disability must be related to military service.

Tory Cllr Derek Kimber, the Armed Forces Champion at Gosport council, said that the amount of points to be given is not finalised yet but will be between five and 20.

‘We’ve got a requirement that we do give servicemen a better opportunity on the housing list,’ he said.

‘Many servicemen, because they’re transient, don’t get into that position in places that they want to settle.

‘They might have it in their home town but if they want to stay in Gosport when they leave the service they haven’t been able to get those points.’

The number of points needed to get a property also depends on the type of housing needed.

Data from last year shows that to have a ‘reasonable chance’ of getting a four bedroom house, an applicant will need 118 to 134 points.

Applicants express an interest in a property and the applicant with the most points is given priority.

But Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Gosport’s Lib Dem leader, said that any changes to the system need to be fair.

He said: ‘I’m uneasy about it because every case should be judged on its merits, whether people have been in the forces or not. Obviously one wants to see everyone leave the forces have decent housing but there are also other people in great need at the moment.’

It comes as part of a wider review of the housing system, which starts next year.