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First refusal for existing council tenants
Thursday 21st March, 2013

Existing council tenants who want to move home will be given priority over new housing tenants under plans approved by Wigan Council.

The move comes in response to the government’s so-called “bedroom tax”, which will affect approximately 4500 households in Wigan Borough by penalising them if they have a spare room.

With the tax introduced next month, members approved the changes to the council’s housing allocation policy at today’s (Thursday 21st March) cabinet meeting. Other recommendations affecting the scoring criteria in the policy were approved, such as giving the most vulnerable members of the borough higher priority.

It’s hoped the new policy will be a fairer way of allocating council homes in the borough. The changes are part of a wider strategy to minimise waiting times for social housing.

Councillor Chris Ready cabinet member for housing at Wigan Council, said:

"The proposals refresh the existing policy, which was introduced in January 2011; taking changes such as the welfare reform and under-occupancy (bedroom tax) into consideration. It's important our policies reflect the wider, national context which is why we've suggested proposals that respond directly to issues affecting our tenants.”

The full policy will now go to full council in April for final approval.

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