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End the myths about housing waiting lists, town halls told

PUBLISHED: 12:01 07 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 05 October 2010

TOWN Hall bosses in London have been given more power to manage their own waiting lists by the Housing Minister John Healey. The minister wants them to tackle “the myths and misunderstandings” about waiting lists to restore public confidence

By Mike Brooke

TOWN Hall bosses in London have been given more power to manage their own waiting lists by the Housing Minister John Healey.

The minister wants them to tackle "the myths and misunderstandings" about waiting lists to restore public confidence that the system is working fairly.

Newham Council in East London plans to use the new allocation powers to tackle overcrowding as a priority. Just last week a survey by the national housing charity Shelter revealed Newham would take 24 years to clear its waiting list backlog at present rates, while neighbouring Tower Hamlets would take 10 years.

The Minister said: "Priority will still be given to those in greatest housing need, but local authorities will now also be able to allocate according to needs specific to their local area.

"They must make sure people can see more clearly how homes are being allocated. I expect councils to take greater responsibility to combat the myths and misunderstandings that develop around council housing."

Mr Healy launched the first-ever national crackdown on tenancy cheats last week, to recover up to 10,000 council and housing association homes from fraudulent subletting to release them to those in real need.


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