Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Council to give greater priority to employed people

Working households are to be given greater priority at a London authority after the new leader declared he was launching a reform of housing.

Ravi Govindia, who was appointed leader of Wandsworth Council on Wednesday, said he wanted to create a greater mix in the borough’s estates and that council housing should be ‘aspirational’ not ‘a last resort’.

Wandsworth Council said that less than one in three council homes are going to people in employment.

Under the plans, unemployed households would be offered homes in the private rented market and other housing providers while the authority’s housing stock would be offered to working households.

The council said this could be achieved with the proposed change in legislation for providing housing for homeless applicants.

If enacted, councils will no longer have to provide homeless applicants, who it argues are often unemployed, who refuse a suitable offer of private rented housing with temporary accommodation and then social housing.

Mr Govindia also spelt out plans to help first time buyers onto the property market which include a possible new deposit scheme, funded from housing receipts and future development, which is paid back once the property is sold.

Mr Govindia said: ‘I want young people in Wandsworth to have the choice of owning a stake in their home.

‘I want parents to have the choice about which school to send their child and I want to find ways of letting more homes on local estates to people who are working to encourage self-help and investment in the local economy.’

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