New housing residents in Devon 'not local'

Devon residents have said that people from outside the county are being prioritised for social housing.

Some residents in Brixham say that houses in Sharkham Village are being given to families from outside the county as opposed to local people.

Devon Home Choice (DHC) which organises social housing said that the allegation was a "misconception".

More than 31,000 people are on the waiting list for social housing in Devon.

'Community spirit'

Joanne Baxter, a Sharkham Village resident said: "The majority of them [residents] are not Brixham people. I've lived in Brixham, for 35 years, but when I moved into the estate there was no one I knew.

"The more people move in, the less housing you've got for local people. I've been waiting five years for a four-bed [house].

"I feel quite disappointed, we were told they [houses] were for local people, you'd expect it to have community spirit, but we don't."

Houses are given to applicants registered with DCH, which ten local authorities in the county are registered too.

Applicants are then awarded properties depending on their housing need.

Re-homing applicants

Housing co-ordinator of DCH, Rupert Warren said: "The fundamental problem is that there is a chronic lack of affordable housing.

"There may be a few people coming in from outside Devon but generally they have very good reasons for that, like coming back for work.

"It is based on housing need, so we need to look at the reasons why people need a house."

Mr Warren said that more than 31,000 people were registered with DHC, but that it would only be possible to re-home about 4,000 applicants this year.

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