New moves to tackle East End’s 22,000 housing waiting list

HOUSING bosses have had to bring in a new allocation system for council housing in London’s East End which has one of the worst housing queues in the South East. New ways of deciding who gets allocated from the 22,000 families in the long queue has been introduced by Tower Hamlets

By Mike Brooke

HOUSING bosses have had to bring in a new allocation system for council housing in London’s East End which has one of the worst housing queues in the South East.

New ways of deciding who gets allocated from the 22,000 families in the long queue has been introduced by Tower Hamlets Council.

The authority’s Cabinet approved the new lettings policy which gives higher priority to the time people have been waiting.

Applicants are now being placed in four bands, based on their circumstances. Priority is then given to those within each band who have waited the longest, creating a more even spread of housing allocation.


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“This new policy is a fairer and more transparent way to decided who is offered housing,” said the council’s housing lead member Marc Francis. “We want to make sure we’re allocating homes in the best way possible.”

The council started revising its existing lettings policy last year, after critics said same people were being queue jumped’ ahead of those waiting year after year whose circumstances were not made flagged priority’.

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Many applicants didn’t trust the current policy because they found it difficult to understand, the council admits.

Families on the waiting list are to get letters notifying them of their new position and what they can expect.

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