Feb 7 2013 by Caitlin Black, Harrow Observer
PEOPLE are being given the opportunity to share their thoughts on housing changes planned to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Harrow Council has launched a consultation on a number of proposals that will change the way it allocates housing, deals with homelessness and works with the private sector.
The three main changes being proposed are:
n Changes to how social housing is allocated, which aims to reduce waiting times for some people, including those with low paid jobs, households who are overcrowded by two or more bedrooms and people who have a severe medical or welfare reason to move.
* The second is helping applicants with less urgent needs to look at alternative options, such as private sector housing.
n Meeting the long-term needs of housing applicants, which will include the council working with private landlords to make this process easier and more secure.
The council said the proposed changes aim to deal with rising housing costs and an increased demand for housing, resulting from welfare reforms the government is introducing and they are calling on your views.
Chairman of Harrow Federation of Tenants and Residents’ Association (HFTRA) Paddy Lyne said: “These changes will make a difference to people’s lives and people should not ignore the chance to take part in this consultation.
“It is important to stand up and be counted and let the council know what you think.
“Many people will not have known changes like this before. HFTRA will try and involve as many people as it can and will be encouraging as many tenants and leaseholders as possible to have their say, as well as representing the views of those who will be affected.”
Harrow Council portfolio holder for housing, councillor Bob Currie, said: “A number of factors, including the introduction of the benefit cap later this year, will mean there will be an increasing number of people who need affordable housing.
“We have to find a way of meeting this challenge and it is very important that residents have their say.
“We want to know what people think about the changes we are proposing, so that we can be sure they are the right changes to make.”
To take part in the consultation see www.harrow.gov.uk/housingchanges, call 020 8416 8623 or email email@example.com before noon on Wednesday, February 27.