Worried councillors are ‘deeply concerned’ about how social housing is being allocated in their parish, claiming local people are missing out.
East Chevington Parish Council has raised the issue and is demanding answers from Isos Housing and Northumberland County Council.
Parish council chairman Coun Scott Dickinson feels people in the Hadston area are not receiving a fair chance when it comes to the Northumberland Homefinder bidding system, especially if they don’t have internet.
He said: “I am becoming increasingly frustrated that local people are missing out on much-needed available properties. Some of the residents have lived here all their lives but are being allocated houses in places like Cramlington and Blyth without, I believe, being given the fair opportunity to gain a property here.”
He is also calling for local people to be given a ‘cool off period’ when a house becomes available before it goes onto the wider bidding scheme.
A spokeswoman for the county council said the majority of the county’s social housing, including Isos-owned homes, is allocated through Northumberland Homefinder, which ‘provides a single point of access for those needing housing’ and gives an ‘open, fair and transparent allocation service’.
Registered people can bid each week for homes they are eligible for, she said.
She added: “Details of properties are available at council and housing company offices, public buildings such as libraries and information centres, as well as by phone and online.
“Those who bid are prioritised according to their housing need, assessed by criteria in the common allocation policy, and the length of time they have been on the housing register.
“Those who do not have a local connection with Northumberland will usually be awarded less priority than those who do”
An Isos spokesman said all its homes in the county are allocated through Northumberland Homefinder and people without internet can call 0300 300 1505 or visit an Isos office.