Leeds families ‘will get first dibs on new council homes’

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Council tenants in Bramley are to be offered first dibs on new homes that have been built on a former pub site, as the authority bids to counter claims that the current allocation process is “unfair”.

The Lord Cardigan site on the corner of Hough Lane and Town Street - which had become an eyesore for many years before it was finally snapped up for housing - now has eight new homes on it.

And council bosses have just signed off a new lettings policy for the site which will allow people who have been awaiting rehousing the longest to be considered first.

A report just approved by council housing officers says there are currently 400 people on the housing waiting list for Bramley, with 130 being existing council tenants and 60 of those on the list for over a year. Four people have been waiting for more than TEN years.

“The council wishes to overcome the perception that the current lettings policy is unfair to tenants who have been on the housing register for a long time and who feel they have little hope of being rehoused ahead of others in housing need,” the report says.

“For this reason, the council proposes to give preference for the lettings of the new build homes to existing Leeds city council tenants who have a connection to the local area and can demonstrate an excellent tenancy record. This approach has the benefit of releasing additional council properties for rent, which will be relet to other customers on the housing register.”

The report adds there were some concerns that the council could leave itself open to legal challenges, following a recent court case on another council’s allocations policy, however it says “robust” work has already

been done to avoid this.

The council bought the houses from the developer as part of its drive to build 1,000 new houses by 2018. The authority’s cabinet member for communities Councillor Debra Coupar said previously that the project was “a perfect example of regenerating a former derelict site into something new to help boost the local community”.