Residents on council waiting lists to benefit from new initiative

Published: Friday, December 2, 2022

Residents on council housing waiting lists in Wandsworth will benefit from a new initiative to stop selling off larger houses from its stock

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There are more than 3,000 people currently on council waiting lists and those who have specific requirements for larger houses, or homes with private gardens or ground floor access, will be helped by this new policy.

The change means that the council:

• will no longer sell off larger homes, unless there are exceptional circumstances
• will retain current homes, a majority of which are larger houses
• be able to provide more council tenants with suitable properties, often with garden access

Aydin Dikerdem, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This important change means that the council will hold on to quality, larger houses with gardens or ground floor access, which typically meets the needs of larger families, or individuals with specific health requirements.”

Under the previous policy, the council would sell off homes, known as ‘acquired properties’, and use the money raised to buy other properties.

The homes sold were typically larger homes with four or more bedrooms and garden access, and these would be generally replaced with flats.

Cllr Dikerdem added: “We want to deliver as many new council homes as possible and we believe that the value of a house as an asset is as important as its financial worth. There is a balance to be found between the number of properties the council owns, and the type of property to ensure that we are suiting the needs of current and future tenants.”

The decision comes off the back of a series of other policy changes at Wandsworth that seek to increase their supply of council homes.

The council recently announced an ambitious target of building 1,000 homes for council rent and that it would be using government funding to expand its property acquisition programme from 32 to 50 homes.