Questions raised over housing policy figures

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A new council housing policy has been delayed after councillors questioned some of the figures in it.

South Holland District Council had drawn up the tenancy strategy and allocations policy to ensure a fairer way of prioritising those in need of housing and to make changes to the way it provides homes to those on the waiting list.

It means new tenants will no longer receive “lifetime” tenancies but instead will be offered a five-year fixed agreement, which the council hopes will enable it to use its housing stock more effectively – for example by moving families whose children have left home to smaller properties.

It also means those who breach the terms of their agreement, such as someone who is convicted of a crime which makes them unsuitable as tenants, or those who have enough savings to be able to secure a home on the open market, may not be offered a new tenancy.

The allocations policy sets out who can access the housing register, such as the homeless, and those who “play a part in making their neighbourhood strong, stable and healthy”.

But the draft document which went before South Holland District Council cabinet members for approval last week also said servicemen and women who had served over five years in the armed forces were eligible, raising a question on why five years had been chosen.

It also included a clause which said those whose total household income exceeded £65,000 were not eligible to go on the waiting list, leading members to comment that the figure seemed high.

Portfolio holder for housing landlord Christine Lawton agreed some of the figures would be looked at again.