Newham housing for our heroes

Members of the armed services and working people on Newham’s housing waiting list will now be given priority by the council.

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and members of the council’s Cabinet have approved pioneering plans to change the council’s housing allocations policy. People who have made a contribution to their community in other ways such as full-time carers will also get preference.

Newham is one of the first local authorities in the country to make such changes to their housing allocations policy.

Current and former members of the armed services or their spouses will be given the highest priority on the housing waiting list. Applicants must have served within the past five years and either have a job in Newham or lived in the borough before joining the services.

Working people will be prioritised above the unemployed. Applicants or their partners must be in paid work for 16 hours or more per week and have worked for any nine months of the past year. Full-time carers who care for someone for at least 35 hours per week and are in receipt of Carers’ Allowance are eligible too.

To be eligible to join the waiting list, all applicants must have lived in Newham for at least two years continuously or have a strong local connection such as working in Newham or close relatives who live in the borough.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “This decision shows Newham is leading the country when it comes to progressive housing policy. By prioritising those who have seen active service in defence of our nation, we can recognise their achievement and help support their future. There are currently 30,797 names on our housing waiting list and these measures will help ensure priority is given to those who contribute to society.

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“Our resilience approach is all about supporting residents to help develop the skills they need to live independent and successful lives. The housing allocations policy has been reviewed with this in mind. Our scheme is about giving something for something; we want to recognise the efforts of those working for low incomes by prioritising them for social housing.”