Kensington, Chelsea to get housing reforms

Kensington, Chelsea to get housing reformsA series of dramatic housing reforms set to take effect in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea will prioritise the vulnerable and those with genuine connections to the local area, the council has announced.

Armed forces personnel will be among those receiving special treatment if the plans are approved, although the measures face 12 weeks of public consultation and scrutiny if they are adopted by the local authority at a meeting next week.

The key proposals include an end to lifetime tenancies, with new social housing residents taking a 12-month introductory contract before being eligible for a two to five-year tenancy.

Residency will not be renewed if the property has become too large for the household's needs or the tenant or tenant's partner has acquired a legal interest in another house which is suitable for occupation.

Furthermore, residents will see their tenancies terminated if they earn more than £50,000 for one and two bedroom flats, or £65,000 for larger properties. Those who hold savings and investments of over £25,000 can also expect to lose their right to social housing.

"Our existing tenancy and allocation policies belong to a time when councils were able to build new homes and the turnover of the existing stock was far higher," said councillor Tim Coleridge, cabinet member for housing, while pushing for the new reforms to be upheld.

"We now need to make sure that this scarce and precious resource goes only to the right people. For us that means those in the greatest need, those with real roots in our borough, those who work and contribute," he added.

As part of the proposals, the waiting list will be reviewed with a view to removing those people who have a low priority and therefore very little realistic chance of going into social housing.

Public consultation on the new plans gets underway on April 1st and will conclude on June 25th, with a final decision expected later in the summer.

Published 20th March, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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