CHELMSFORD’S MP has reiterated his desire to see social and council housing in the city go to those from the area before anyone else.
Tory Simon Burns said it was wrong that a typical 21-year-old living with their parents in the city could wait ten years for an offer.
He is not happy about people from outside Chelmsford, with no connection to the area, being able to “queue jump”.
Mr Burns wants to see the allocation of social housing finetuned to ensure local people have greater priority when it becomes available.
Speaking in the Commons, he said: “That causes tensions within the community, because people ask why they have to wait so long to get housing when people who have never been there before and have no connections can get an allocation through a housing association and come to live in a very attractive and vibrant city.”
Mr Burns went on to say it was crucial the housing needs across the country were met with a growing population, and praised Chelmsford Council for its work in helping to provide 16,000 new homes in the city between 2001 and 2020.
Mr Burns said: “Local housing should, first, be for local people, and if there is spare capacity, people from elsewhere may certainly be encouraged to live there.
“Chelmsford is a very attractive place. It has two of the finest grammar schools in the nation. It has good communications with London.
“About 8,000 of my constituents commute by train to London to work. It is an area with good shopping, and so on. That means there is constant demand for housing in the borough.”
Lib Dem Councillor Jude Deakin said the regulations put in place by Chelmer Housing Partnership – including asking what connections they have to the city – made queue jumping difficult, and not as widespread as Mr Burns has made out.
She said: “If somebody is eligible to be at the highest level of the list and you’ve transferred to come into the area, you’re eligible regardless of where you come from. It’s not just a case of ‘I’ll move here because it’s nice’.
“You’ll probably have to be on a waiting list at another council and then they prove you should be here.”