Dorset

Dorset social housing list applicants must reapply

Block of flats in Poole Image copyright Google
Image caption Applicants will be subject to strict new rules when reapplying for housing

Thousands of people on housing waiting lists in five Dorset districts are being told to reapply, as new rules about who is eligible are introduced.

People waiting for social housing in Poole, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland have until 11 November to re-register.

Anyone without a connection to the local area or with sufficient funds to find housing will be turned down, as will anyone who is in adequate housing.

More than 16,000 people are affected.

The new allocation policy will take effect from 17 December.

'Local circumstances'

The five councils, which are part of the Dorset Home Choice lettings partnership, have also made their own changes to the rules, priority bands and bedroom size calculations.

Anyone who does not qualify will still be offered assistance with other housing options or support to keep them in their homes.

Bournemouth Borough Council, which is also part of the housing partnership, changed its allocation policy in 2012 and 10,000 people were told to reapply.

There are now 4,006 households on the register.

Councillor Mike Lovell of Purbeck District Council said: "The changes enable the council to take account of local circumstances when determining who should qualify for housing."

North Dorset District councillor Graham Carr-Jones said: "The numbers of people we are housing have risen steadily over the last year making it even more important that we have a housing register that genuinely reflects and represents those in need of our help and assistance.

"It's vital that it is refreshed to ensure its authenticity."

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