Thousands of people set to be thrown off Breckland Council’s housing waiting list

Thousands of people will be thrown off Breckland Council's housing waiting list if plans to ban people with no connections to the district, and abolish the lowest category of need, are approved.

A cross-party working group was set up last November to overhaul the council's housing register, which currently includes 5,300 people. Only 557 were rehoused in the past year.

The proposals, intended to cut the waiting list by two-thirds, were unveiled at Thursday's Overview and Scrutiny Commission.

The register is currently open to anyone in the country and includes 1,000 people from outside Breckland. The reforms would restrict it to those with strong connections to the district through their home, work or close family members.

There would be exceptions for the homeless, and military personnel or their bereaved partners.

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The housing register's current 2,244-strong bronze banding, which has people judged to have the lowest housing need, would be abolished. Only 12 people in this category have been rehoused in the past year.

Others who would no longer be eligible include people rehoused within the past 12 months, unless their circumstances had changed dramatically, existing tenants who did not properly maintain their property and were in arrears, and people with enough assets or income to find housing on the market.

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However, there would be a route back onto the register for people who had been found guilty of unacceptable behaviour if they could prove they had been well behaved for 12 months.

Councillor Robert Kybird said: 'It appears to be a very fair and worthwhile policy with an accent on local need.'

The committee recommended the cabinet approve the changes.

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