Derby Homes will let people who help others move up the waiting list for council houses
PEOPLE who help their community are to have a better chance of getting a council house in Derby.
The change will apply to the lettings policy for 13,500 houses belonging to Derby Homes, the city council's social housing arm, from March.
Whether or not someone helps their community would be considered once a person has been accepted onto the housing and details such as disability and risk of homelessness have been looked at.
The move will be introduced at the same time as plans to make it easier for former services personnel to get social housing in the city.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
A council report on the matter says "additional priority" will be given to people who contribute to their community through things like "employment, volunteering or providing unpaid care and support to a person in their area".
Councillor Baggy Shanker, cabinet member for housing and advice, said the idea was for "people who don't go to work for whatever reason but who do a lot of voluntary work in the community to be rewarded".
He said the move was "pioneering" as few other authorities had the policy.
Asked if the change was to stop undesirable people coming into council properties, he said this "wasn't the reason the plan was devised".
But he added: "It may make undesirable tenants realise that they need to be good neighbours."
Among homes affected by the changes will be 40 new houses in Osmaston, set to welcome their first families in June 2014.
They form part of a 95-home housing scheme run by Derby community group Oscar, which will hand over the letting and management of the houses to Derby Homes.
Oscar drew up its own lettings policy with the help of Derby Homes, which also gives preference to applicants who can demonstrate they "actively contribute to the community".
Anthony Slater, Oscar chairman, said it was vital for the people moving into the homes to have "good neighbours".
He said: "The clause in the lettings plan helps us towards creating a better neighbourhood."
Adrian Dewhurst, business manager of Derby disabled children's charity Umbrella, said that anything that encouraged volunteering was a positive step.
He said: "About 75% of our volunteers over the last two or three years have been able to use the experience to help find employment."
Under the Armed Forces change, people returning from the Army, Navy and Air Force would no longer be barred from housing waiting lists on the grounds they could not prove a connection to the city.