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Council Discrimination???


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Hi,

 

A friend of mine has been waiting on the Council housing register for over 4 years, however she is a single mother of two, she is down under medical and bedroom deficiency.

 

The way the process works is that you are banded according to your need, A being immediate, B the same (i think) C bands being high priority and D bands is under medical and bedroom deficiency, which she is in. Since the process started the council indroduced a new system of bidding up to 3 properties per cycle (every 2 weeks). Now however they have started to introduce elegibility factors, such as an income of £20 per annum or more which she used to beable to bid on, now however she cannot because she does not fullfill that criteria of income and most of the properties that are on the bidding cycle are the income based ones, so lots of applicants are getting housed before her.

 

Is this blatant discrimination against single mothers, the unemployed and people with low income and disabilities because they are now blocked from bidding on those houses, where as they could before?

 

Ideally my friend would love to beable to bid on these properties as there are are hardly any Council or housing assocations ones available. Does she have a case for discrimination?

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Are the properties she needs the income for social housing properties (Council or Housing Association)?

 

Does it state that benefits are not considered as income for the housing?

 

Are you able to state what Council this is? I have never heard of any Council letting scheme where you have to have an outside of Benefits income. I have heard of systems where is you earn over a certain amount they will put you through to shared ownership scheme and will not house you in social rented housing. If I had the name of the Council then I could try to find out more.

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Thanks for your reply, the council is Woking Borough Council, they have Council properties, housing Association properties occasionaly they have Shared ownership properties, however Woking Borough Council now have another company called woking borough homes, they buy up properties in the Woking area and rent them through Woking Borough Homes and charge an intermediate rent, however my friends gripe is that up until May of last year anyone could bid for a Woking Borough Homes property and in the last 6 months you cannot now they are only letting you bid if you have an annual income of over £20 per annum, but what is so frustrating is every fortnight their is a new bidding list and 90% of 3 bedroom houses on the register are Woking Borough Homes properties she cannot bid on.

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I have taken a look and it seems that Woking Borough Homes was set up as a separate company to deliver affordable rented homes for people on a moderate income. This is why the people bidding have to have an annual income of about £20,000. As your friend is on benefits she will be classed as being on a low income. These properties are not classed as Council accommodation and they do not come with a secure tenancy.

 

She could ask them to justify not letting people on low incomes bid for these properties and whether they have any plans to change this in the future. When I took a look at the list there were no 3 beds available that were not Woking Borough Homes properties.

 

I couldn't say for sure whether they can do this or not.

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