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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Egremont lettings policy suspended

A LETTINGS policy that allowed tenants in Egremont to under-occupy three-bedroomed houses is likely to be suspended for 18 months.

By Margaret Crosby

The policy for social housing tenants, introduced in 2012 because of the lack of two bedroom properties in Egremont, was made to ensure equal access to housing for single parent families and couples.

Since the introduction of the bedroom tax, however, there is concern it may now have left people struggling to make payments for that extra bedroom. Now Egremont properties will be allocated in the same way as other properties in Copeland. The matter was before Copeland Council’s strategic housing panel on Tuesday, who agreed to revisit the matter in 18 months time. In the meantime the change will be recommended for approval to the council’s executive in April.

Adverts for houses will appear a number of times on the county-wide Cumbria Choice-based lettings system with the occupancy criteria being reduced following each re-advertisement. Initial priority will be given to a full occupier, then if no one applies, it will be offered to bidders who would under-occupy, then third and further adverts would allow anyone to bid.

Home Group says they will endeavour to ensure that applicants can afford the homes they are allocated, while understanding that housing in the Egremont area must remain available to smaller families.

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