Wait eight years for a home...

PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 May 2010

PEOPLE born and bred in North Somerset should be first in line for affordable housing - in a bid to slash an eight year waiting list. Tough talking councillor Peter Bryant says the only way to slash the lengthy wait for affordable homes is to make them a

PEOPLE born and bred in North Somerset should be first in line for affordable housing - in a bid to slash an eight year waiting list.Tough talking councillor Peter Bryant says the only way to slash the lengthy wait for affordable homes is to make them available only to those who were born in the district.More than 150 applications are received each month by North Somerset Council, but only 600 houses become available every year.Currently the lengthy list - held by the council's housing department - has 4,700 applicants on it waiting for a home to call their own.Cllr Byrant said: "I think North Somerset Council has been lax and naive in allowing people to come from all over the country and apply for affordable housing."People in North Somerset only get access to 56 per cent of affordable housing and 44 per cent goes to those who are homeless from elsewhere."I think it is the council's duty to look after North Somerset people and to a lesser extent people from elsewhere."People who join the list are scored on a points basis according to the conditions they are living in at the time.If applicants are flexible with the type of accommodation they want they can get to the top of the list more quickly. But if they move out of the area they cannot transfer to the same place on another council's list and have to start all over again.North Somerset Council's executive member for housing and community safety, Councillor Isabelle Cummings, said: "Councillor Bryant's comments are nonsense. Very few of the homeless people he is talking about aren't local and most of them have lived here for many years."The council used to own 13,000 council houses but thanks to the 'right to buy' scheme the number is now 6,000, so there is not enough housing. People who are on the waiting lists are living somewhere and are not homeless. "But transferring council owned properties to the housing association generated £21million of which £12million will be spent on building affordable homes.

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