‘Outsiders’ are getting to jump housing queue

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People from outside Chorley are jumping the queue for housing in the borough, according to one of the town’s councillors.

Coun Peter Wilson, who represents Adlington on Chorley Borough Council, says he’s found evidence that families from as far afield from Manchester, Wigan, Preston and even Newcastle have found places in the town, even though there are over 1,000 people on the waiting list.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has promised to raise the matter in Parliament and will put pressure on Chorley Community Housing to ensure the needs of the local community are put first.

He said: “My surgeries and mailbag continue to be dominated by people who are in need of a home and yet have been waiting many months or even years for a suitable property.

“When I have been visiting people in Chorley it has been striking how many people occupy socially rented property from outside the borough.

“I want to see the council adopt a tighter local lettings policy which ensures that local people can get access to housing.

“Housing is a major issue in the borough and I believe that people who have grown up in our borough, work here and have children at local schools should be given priority which will help reduce the number of individuals on the housing waiting list.”

Chorley currently has around 6,000 social rented properties, with 1,228 people on the waiting list.

The 2,916 ex-council houses in Chorley were transferred from the control of Chorley Borough Council to Chorley Community Housing, a registered social landlord and a subsidiary of the Adactus Housing Group, in 2007.

A CCH spokesperson said: “CCH has in place a fair and practical structure which considers individual cases prioritised by need and the severity of circumstance. Our approach enables people to register their need for housing and depending on their circumstances they are given a certain band – from A to E. Those at A are high priority i.e homeless and those at E have somewhere to stay but need to have a long term solution identified.

“Those who live within the Chorley area and wish to stay there are given a higher priority than those who are looking to move into the area. I can provide reassurances that we do not give preference to those moving into the area over those who are looking for housing who already live in Chorley.”