COUNCIL-HOUSE seekers who feel short changed by the current Locata system are to benefit from a major shake-up in system – the council have claimed.
Hounslow Council have reviewed the way local authority houses are allocated, and formed a new policy which will hopefully do more to prioritise residents with the greatest housing need and make the whole process clearer.
However Kelly Potter, of Hanworth, who has organised several protests against Locata, which has been operating since 2002, and has sat on the Locata scrutiny panel, said the council are ignoring the most important point.
"My worries are they have no one to encourage older people living in properties that are too big for them to move into smaller places. There are so many tenants, such as myself, struggling with overcrowding, yet there are no incentives, monetary or otherwise for people to move out of under-occupied properties."
Kelly offered to do the job for the council for free for six months to see what kind off affect it could have, but they refused and told her they could not afford to hire somebody either.
Councillor Jon Hardy, the council's executive member for housing said: "A phenomenal amount of work has gone into ensuring the new policy is clearer, easy to use and, above all fair.
"Moreover, it needed to reflect the true state of social housing in Hounslow that, even though we are working with our partners to increase the supply of new homes, demand will still greatly exceed the supply. It is our intention that the new system will ensure that these scarce resources go to those in greatest need.”
Council tenants currently on the waiting list for a home or a transfer will be prioritised under the new system from May 2010.
However Tenants who remain in Band D, the category thought of as the lowest need for housing, are being told by the council that they are "unlikely to ever be offered a council or housing association home" because of the severe shortage of properties Hounslow.
Some of the revisions made to the Locata policy include ensuring homeless people are given the highest priority as well as those in severely overcrowded accommodation.
Also larger family homes should be available first to families who have older children sharing bedrooms and those with children old enough to move out of home will not be considered high priority for large homes.
The full report is available to view here as a PDF file.