Letter: Old could lose housing priority

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The Independent Online
IN 'Dumping the Poor' (16 January) Nick Cohen refers to our recent lobbying document Homelessness: a Shopping List for Early Change, but appears not to have read it. There is no reference in it to young single mothers, battered wives or the mentally ill. The only change the document suggests to the categories of priority need is that old age should not, in itself, establish a priority need.

Statutorily homeless persons are not permanently housed outside Westminster unless they fall within the 30 per cent or so of homeless persons accepted by us who have no local connection (as defined in DoE guidelines), or unless they consent. No homeless person with a local connection is placed in permanent accommodation outside Westminster against their will. Our policies are directed at making most effective use of limited funds, as well as seeking a thriving mixed residential community.

Alan Bradley

Chairman, Housing Committee

City of Westminster

London SW1