Armed Forces and those who work to get extra priority for council housing

Members of the Armed Forces and those who work or make a community contribution will be given priority for council houses under new proposals from the Conservative Borough Council to be set out this week for consultation.

Under the new proposed policies, which Adrian was prominent in drafting, members of the Armed Forces with a connection to West Lancashire seeking accommodation on discharge will be placed in the highest bands for council housing such as that built by the Conservative council in Elmstead in 2011 (pictured). Those injured will be placed in the top band, A and all others in Band B.

Val Hopley, Conservative Spokesman for Housing said, “Our Armed Forces put themselves in harm’s way for us. We Conservatives feel it is right to prioritise their housing need on their return.”

The policies going out for consultation also include additional priority for those in employment or who are making a community contribution through voluntary work or training.

Adrian said, “It is important that council estates are balanced, thriving communities. We want to avoid the possibility of estates where few if any of the residents work. The new message is – If you want to increase your chance of council housing, work or make a contribution to your community. Those who volunteer or seek to improve their employment prospects through training will also get extra priority.”

Val Hopley explained the proposed new tenure policy that is also going out to consultation. “Older people and vulnerable groups will continue to receive lifetime tenancies and no existing tenant will be affected. However, for most new tenants of working age, we are proposing new flexible tenancies lasting five years rather than a council house for life. People’s circumstances change through life and we want to ensure that our tenancies can adapt to that change and provide greater opportunities for the many people waiting for a council property.”

Adrian urged residents to have their say in the consultation. “We believe we have the broad policy correct, but we want to hear from people, especially the thousands on our waiting lists on whom these proposed changes will impact.”

The council consultation can be viewed and responded to here.

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