Council Leader says “dramatic changes” to housing allocations will “truly mean Harlow homes for Harlow families”

News / Mon 26th Feb 2024 at 01:38pm

ON Thursday 15 February Harlow Council’s Cabinet approved over 16 “dramatic” changes to Harlow Council’s Housing Allocations Policy which determines who is eligible for council housing in Harlow. 

The changes are focussed on ensuring the highest priority is given to those most in housing need who were born and bred in the town and have lived in Harlow for 7 years or more.

Photo by Brian Thomas Photography

The Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Dan Swords, has hailed these changes as “transformational” saying that these “dramatic changes will truly mean Harlow homes for Harlow families”. 

Commenting on the changes, the Council Leader said:

“Harlow Council has just over 9,000 council homes, but we also have another 5,585 applicants waiting on for a home on our Housing Needs Register. It is a fact that we do not have enough council housing for everyone who needs and wants a council home, and therefore we must decide on the criteria that is as fair as possible to ensure it is those people most in need, who get council housing.

“We also know that for too long, many residents have felt that our council housing does not go to Harlow people and that it is not necessarily those most in need that access our housing. That is what the consultation results showed and what residents say to me every day.

“That’s why, we have just passed a dramatic shake-up of our council housing allocations, which will truly mean that our council homes will be for Harlow families and will go to those who need them most. 

“As a result of these changes, if you were born and bred in Harlow you will have added priority, you must have lived in Harlow continuously for at least seven years to even be considered for council housing and those placed into Harlow by other councils in temporary accommodation will not be eligible for Harlow’s council housing. If you are in housing need and you meet our criteria, it will be easier for you to get a council home.

“These changes alongside the over 16 changes we have made represent a major overhaul of our criteria and will truly deliver local homes for local people once and for all.”

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32 Comments for Council Leader says “dramatic changes” to housing allocations will “truly mean Harlow homes for Harlow families”:

2024-02-26 13:59:49

Bit late, families already been broken up now.

Bruce Downey
2024-02-26 14:00:58

“ Truly mean Harlow homes for Harlow families” So, what you have said in the past is a fib?

2024-02-26 14:35:53

Too little, too late. We needed this 30 years ago.

John C
2024-02-26 15:12:47

Anyone would think there is an election this year... oh wait... there is! Stop trying to dupe us with your lies.

Cllr James Leppard
2024-02-26 15:39:07

John C, I would point out that under the current system of thirds, every year is an election year. Nothing new in that regard.

John C
2024-02-26 16:05:44

Cllr James, likewise with Conservative promises... always empty lies and always in the run-up to elections to try and fool the elector, nothing new in that regard. It is always too little to later... And it may be true every year is a local election BUT not every year is also a national election after 2 or 3 different leaders of your party since the last general election and after 13 years of putting up with your party in power, enough is enough. Sunak will need to call that election sooner or later, he can't desperately cling on to power for much longer!

Cllr James Leppard
2024-02-26 16:20:55

John C, you are of course entitled to your opinion and preference. I think it wise to distinguish between national and local elections. They are certainly not analogous. Last week, the Labour opposition failed to present an alternative budget, which is unprecedented, and then proceeded to vote against the Council Tax Support scheme for 6,000 of the most vulnerable residents. I don't think you or anyone would vote for a party that openly stated that they had no financial plan but would work something out once elected. That is, in effect, what the Leader of Harlow Labour said in the public domain.

2024-02-26 16:59:25

That's why I had to buy a home in the late 80s. Do we now go to the top of the housing list?

John C
2024-02-26 17:02:50

Right now I think most local Councils would take anyone but a Conservative MP, with or without a plan or budget... and your party only has itself to blame after years of chaos now people would rather have no plan/Gov than the Conservative plan.

2024-02-26 17:31:08

We were told by the council that we made ourselves intentionally homeless which wasn’t the case , then went through we wasn’t in need of housing as we worked & must have money to private rent , housing/homeless team come at you with every excuse they can think of to not give local people housing , people that are born & bred in the town , not only do they totally dismiss you , they are very rude with it too , so as far as they are aware they have many local families living on the streets & hotels rather than give them a roof over their head , Harlow council housing /homeless team are a disgrace.

2024-02-26 17:37:21

I don't believe all these comments , you complain about the council not issuing Harlow housing for Harlow people, and when they do what you ask , your still bloody complaining.

2024-02-26 17:42:42

And Steve. You can thank the Tories that you were able to buy your house in the 80s

Sheila Bates
2024-02-26 18:06:00

Why then in my supported housing area have the Council allowed a couple and there grandchild to move into a one bedroom bungalow. This family are from Hertford then moved into Shield House converted office/factory and allowed to bid on Harlow Residents housing

2024-02-26 19:04:02

Eddie - it's because of a Conservative government that we have a housing shortage. 606,000 net migration last year, 745,000 in 2022... it goes on. You can't import this many people and not increase housing. They claim to be the Party to stop immigration but the numbers say different.

Kim Oconnor
2024-02-26 19:23:34

To little to late.

2024-02-26 19:27:58

Kim . Better late than never

2024-02-26 21:29:57

I have heard this for years houses for Harlow people it’s all talk no action our families who were born and worked in the town couldn’t get houses

David Forman
2024-02-26 23:49:55

Dan Swords stated in February's Cabinet meeting that 21 council homes had been sold under Right to Buy this year in answer to a question by Labour's Tony Edwards. Harlow Council hasn't built that same amount this year. The council's website lists 16 homes completed at Bushey Croft and 2 at The Hill. Work on these projects started March 2021 and January 2020 respectively. Watch council meeting video from 1hr 25mins 03seconds at https://harlow.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/851506

David Forman
2024-02-26 23:52:41

One for David Carter to look into: the council's website states when the Bushey Croft and The Hill build projects were started, but fails to state when they were completed? See link at: https://www.harlow.gov.uk/housing-and-garages/housing-developments/completed-housing-developments

2024-02-27 09:40:18

The housing crisis is all down to the population crisis !

2024-02-27 10:44:13

Jerry - that's exactly right. If a country is going to increase the number of people living there it must be planned for. Schools, hospitals, GPs, housing, public transport, roads, and the variety of public services beyond that. To scale it down and simplify it, if you are planning for two people living in a house, you must provide enough bedrooms, bathrooms, cooking space, food, living space etc. If you do that and then you move ten people into that house you will be in trouble. Successive British governments, both Conservative and Labour have failed miserably in this regard.

2024-02-27 17:37:52

Tell that to the 2,500 people who have been kicked off the housing list

2024-02-27 19:44:44

Resident. If you look at the report, you will see that in the last 7 years there has been just one property allocation to Band D. It is an illusion. Nobody is going to get a place as there are not enough properties and too many ahead of them with greater need. And before you say build more council homes (Labour built none in a decade. This administration is building 107) please tell us where. There is barely any land and we are the most densely populated district in Essex. Our population increased from 81,800 in 2011 to around 96,000 today with new extra space. We are full up as is the country.

Dan Long
2024-02-28 07:47:29

I have always said this. I said this once to the press when I was a local UKIP councillor in Harlow and got lsbeled as racist. So how comes Labour councillors and Tory councillor can say the same thing and not a word is said.? Well, just to make you all aware. UKIP is back.

2024-02-28 10:27:15

Dan Long - some people use that to shut down a discussion. You're racist or you're a bigot or whatever. The perfect example of what most politicians think about people who raise the subject was whe Gordon Brown met that lady in her home and she raised the topic of uncontrolled immigration. He smiled and listened to her, then when he got back into his car his mic was still live and he called her 'a bigoted woman'. The vast majority of Tory & Labour MPs think like that, and that's why we need a change. I've written to Robert Halfon several times expressing my concerns in a constructive and polite way, and he has ignored each email I've sent. Not even an acknowledgement. He won't get my vote next time.

Dan Long
2024-02-28 17:43:44

John.Lol. I bet you are only calling me that due to the party that I use represent when I was a councillor which is the same party i am standing for this may. If anything your trying to shut me down.

2024-02-28 18:38:34

Dan Long - I'm not calling you anything. Read my post again. I'm giving examples of the words others use to shut down a discussion.

2024-02-28 20:33:31

Harlow homes For Harlow people is a total lie,we are being treated like total fools. Mini Boris Johnson is a liar and i have proof of that. Bare faced liar.

2024-02-28 20:35:48

Look at him,all smug and posing with the only decent part of Harlow in the background,funny how its right on the doorstep of the civic centre,while the rest of Harlow crumbles,what a state Harlow is.

Dan Long
2024-02-29 07:54:30

Well said Cheryl. The Tories and Labour are just as bad as eachother, non of them care about the wealth and welbeing of the number one priority of Harlow, that Is the residents of Harlow. They only in it for their on benefits and gains.

Dan Long
2024-02-29 19:45:57

Hi John. My apologies.i mean that.

2024-03-01 17:00:20

Dan Long - no problem. Good luck with the elections

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