LAMBETH HOUSING WAITING LIST LAST UPDATED IN JANUARY 2013 – Tory opposition leader slams “porky pies”
Lambeth council’s housing waiting list has not been updated for FOUR years.
And the last time Lambeth DID update the list FIFTEEN THOUSAND applications were closed.
The revelations must call into serious question Lambeth council’s claims that they need to demolish six council estates in prime locations and rebuild them to deal with the borough’s claimed housing crisis.
The figures, which have come in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a Central Hill estate resident, have angered Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs.
In a comment in the current issue of Lambeth Weekender Cllr Briggs says: “The first big porky pie is the claim that there are 21,000 homeless people in Lambeth. “So 21,000 people with no roof over their heads, sleeping in the rain and cold. “Those evil Tories!
“The reality is that anyone on the housing register is already in a property and almost no-one is on the streets.
“The truth is also that there are only 6,000 people actively bidding for council homes, but no-one has been removed from the list since 2012 – so Labour councillors can pretend demand is growing.”
His comments come with Lambeth’s Labour cabinet set to rubberstamp the demolition of Central Hill estate at its meeting on Monday January 16th. (The agenda for the meeting is due to appear online next Monday).
Cllr Briggs also criticises a second “myth” that the council’s budget has been cut by 56 per cent.
“That figure completely ignores income from sources like council tax, leaving an adjusted figure of slightly over 20 per cent. “These savings are easily absorbed in a council as bloated and wasteful as Lambeth, and this kind of moaning confirms to residents the sense that Labour is not up to the job.
“These kinds of ‘post-truth’ fibs are all in the council propaganda from articles in Lambeth Talk, to footers on council emails, letters with council tax bills, websites, email newsletters, council magazines, short films, bus shelter adverts – all paid for with the same money that could be used to actually look after residents.”
Cllr Briggs comments follow a (successful) FOI request by Nicola Curtis, secretary of the Central Hill tenants and residents association.
Her questions – and Lambeth council’s answers – are as follows:
Q: How often and when was the last time Lambeth council updated the housing waiting list?
A: The housing waiting list is updated on a daily basis as a result of new applicants joining the list, and old applicants being housed or their application being closed for various other reasons.
Q: Does Lambeth contact applicants to see if they still require housing or to see if the applicants housing needs/circumstances have changed?
A: Lambeth Council’s policy on this issue is as follows:
“Applicants must notify the Council if there is a relevant change of circumstances affecting their application, including changes that may affect their level priority, eligibility or size of property they can be offered.
“An applicant’s priority band or level may increase or decrease following a change of circumstances. At intervals the Council will contact applicants asking them if they still wish to apply for housing.
“The Council may also ask whether there have been any changes in their circumstances. The Council will normally give the applicant 28 days to respond.
“Applicants will be removed from the housing list if they fail to respond in the specified period, or if they indicate that they no longer want to apply for housing.” (Lambeth Housing Allocation Scheme 2013, p.7) https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default…
“Applicants are required to contact us if their circumstances change using an online form. “We do not contact applicants to ask them if their circumstances have changed.”
Q: If so when was that last completed?
A: Periodically, we contact applicants to ask them if the still wish to apply for housing. “The last time we did this was January 2013, and resulted in 15,000 applications being closed.”
(Source: whatdotheyknow? website)