Comments : Social housing will no longer be available to those on a higher income

Posted: 15/05/2012

Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council will no longer allow couples to live in their social housing if they earn more than £40,000 a year.

This move is designed to free up a waiting list of more than 10,000 people waiting for a home out of 14,000 council properties in the borough. The council will also give priority to foster families, ex service personnel, those with a local connection and people who are in work or training. The new law, which came into effect last month, stops high income couples living in council housing but does not have a set income cap.

Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council will be the first of many council’s to implement the new Government legislation, which is designed to end tenancies for life and provide more flexibility to local authorities dealing with long waiting lists.

It is clear that the issue has be addressed because there’s a national waiting list for council housing of over 4 million people. Couples who earn over £40,000 a year are being asked to vacate their homes so that less fortunate families can be offered the stability of social housing. Council housing is intended to help people get back on their feet so should be used as a springboard, not a destination which will hopefully create more personal aspiration.

The head of housing, Andrew Johnson spoke to Letting Agent today and said, ‘We have decided to prioritise foster parents, as many people say they cannot take in children because housing is so expensive. If we can do anything to help vulnerable children in care it will be worth it. If we can make more foster places available it will also be a saving on our residential costs.’

What are your thoughts on the new Government legislation? Do you think it is fair to ask couples who have a higher income to vacate their homes and allow less fortunate families move in?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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