Teignbridge social housing list could be cut by 39%

Nearly 40% of people could be removed from a waiting list for social housing in part of Devon, under new proposals.

Teignbridge District Council is considering removing band E from its social housing list - the lowest priority in its A-E banding system.

In Devon, there are currently 35,000 people on a waiting list for housing with 4,500 in Teignbridge and 1756 of those in band E.

The council said a public consultation would begin on 25 February.

Teignbridge District Council said it had made the proposals in the hope of making the department more efficient by catering to those people who are assessed as being in bands A to D.

'Unrealistic' hope

It said as well as removing band E it was considering taking people off the list who do not bid for houses or who repeatedly refused housing offers.

Councillor Stephen Purser from Teign Housing said: "I think we need to be honest with people and if you're on band E then you effectively have about half a per cent chance of getting a house.

"It's unrealistic and it's raising their expectations unfairly."

The plans also include giving priority to working families which Mr Purser said was to help maintain rural communities where rent was high but wages low.

But Ian Byworth, from Shelter, said: "If you cut the waiting list and block out some people from applying then you're really denying that there's a problem."

Rupert Warren from, Devon Home Choice, which organises council house lettings for all Devon's councils added: "If we closed the list now and we just housed the people in band A-D it would take five to six years, but obviously as everyone knows, there are more and more people joining all the time."

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