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New residency tests for social housing

People with a long-standing connection to their local area will be prioritised for social housing, the government has announced.

New statutory guidance, published on Tuesday and replacing all previous guidance, will require applicants to have lived in an area for at least two years before being added to the waiting list for council housing. Having relatives or a job in the local area will also give priority.

Members of the armed forces will not be disqualified from social housing through a local connection or residency test.

Councils will also be encouraged to publish information on who is applying for and getting social housing.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles: “For years hard-working families have watched helplessly as local council homes go to people without jobs or any connection to the local area.

“We’re calling time on this blatant unfairness. That’s why we’ve published guidance that will ensure local people and members of the armed forces are made the top priority for council homes in their community.

“It’s part of a package of reforms to tackle unsustainable immigration, which will also ensure councils are completely transparent about who they have given social homes to, so those people who make a valuable contribution to their community can be confident they are not losing out.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


T Bailey   02/01/2014 at 23:48

I think not before time has this happened it was gettin beyond a joke how people who grew up in an area cant even get housed by the council because yhere occupied by complete strangers to the area

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