Is this the end to immigrants jumping the council house queue?
The Coalition Government will unveil plans tomorrow, allowing local councils to give housing benefit claimants with established links to an area priority over new comers to that area.
There are nearly five million names on council house waiting lists in England. Under the Labour Government in 2002, anyone could add their name to the list with no restriction being placed on newly-arrived immigrants sometimes allowing them to jump the queue.
It is thought that by giving councils the right to set their own criteria’s council housing will likely favour local residents. However, immigrants with families would still have to be housed if they were deemed homeless.
Local councils may also reject those who have applied for council housing in other districts to discourage multiple applications. New council tenants will also be affected by the end of the right to a council house for life. These factors are expected to increase the demand for rental properties from council tenants in the private rental sector.
It is thought that priority will still be given to those people who face homelessness or those in overcrowded accommodation when determaining the priority of the council lists. Councils and housing associations will have to give tenants at least six months’ notice to move out if they are found to be no longer eligible for social housing.