Two thousand no longer eligible for a council home

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MEMBERS of a borough council board have approved plans to remove 2,325 names from its housing waiting list.

Gosport Borough Council’s community board voted to pass a measure which will make waiting list rules tougher.

Letters to those who are no longer eligible for council housing have been written and will be posted this weekend.

After the move, there will still be 1,504 names on the borough’s waiting list.

The new set of rules will mean ‘Gosport homes for Gosport people’ as people who don’t live in the area will not be allowed to enter the waiting list.

Councillor Jill Wright, a member of the community board, said: ‘I am sure we all think that Gosport homes for Gosport people is where we want to be - I am really happy with it.’

During the council’s consultation, the authority, found 84 per cent of people asked agreed with the proposal of giving priority to local people, which would stop people without a local connection being registered for housing within the borough at all.

However, Cllr Wright, along with some other members, did take issue with one of the criteria being put forward in the changes.

A motion she put forward to increase the amount of savings a person can have and still be eligible for council having was turned down by other members.

Cllr Wright had argued savings of £16,000 would be an unsustainable way of paying rent.

The motion suggested the amount of savings a person can have should be £30,000.

Councillor Marcus Murphy said: ‘I do have one concern with the financial resources criteria. I think they can’t buy a house with £16,000. Are you saying we want them to spend all of it on housing? I am uncomfortable with that. We need to set the figure higher.’

However, other members thought the £16,000 savings limit was appropriate, with one suggesting it was already too high and the priority should be helping the most vulnerable people living in Gosport.

The change has been allowed by the government’s Localism Act 2011, which gives local housing authorities the power to set criteria.