Council wants to do more to help homeless

PUBLISHED: 09:11 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:41 15 June 2010

The number of people seeking council accommodation in East Devon outstrips the number of homes the district council already rents out.

The number of people seeking council accommodation in East Devon outstrips the number of homes the district council already rents out.The council has 4,298 properties, but its waiting list of people seeking affordable homes stands at a staggering 4,500.There are 700 people in its priority 'gold' band.Councillors want to do more to plug the affordable housing gap, but their hands are tied.They wants to spend cash the council raises through rents on providing more homes, but that money is currently being siphoned off by the Government - to be given to other local authorities outside of Devon.The 'subsidy' claimed by the Government from the council's housing revenue account in this financial year is expected to top £5.8 million. That's 40 per cent of the council's overall income from rents.If the council was allowed to keep that cash, it says it would buy existing homes and provide a stimulus for the local property market.

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