Hammersmith & Fulham Council is to become the first local authority in the country to prioritise serving police officers for low-cost home ownership opportunities in the borough.
The council believes it is crucially important for police officers to live in the community that they serve and is offering them a helping hand to fulfil their housing aspirations.
H&F Council already has a register of 4,900 local people interested in so-called ‘intermediate’ low cost housing schemes. From April, it will give police officers living or working in the borough a higher priority on that list.
Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “Police officers are amongst the pillars of the community but too many of them are forced to live well off-patch due to astronomical property prices.
“We believe that police officers that live in the community that they serve have a far greater connection with local residents and better understand the crime priorities of their neighbourhoods.
“This borough is extremely polarised as far as housing is concerned. As well as some extremely expensive housing, 31% of homes in the borough are social rented – well above the London average. There is hardly any housing for people on middle incomes – in fact only a 2% is intermediate.”
The move has received backing from Police Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Lucy D’Orsi who said: “This is a welcome step forward for housing in the borough. I hope that our officers will consider the benefits of living within the community that they work so hard to police and provide reassurance for.”
The council also intends to give police officers access to two year fixed term tenancies in Council homes at a discounted market rent where a special allocations scheme has been agreed under a local lettings plan. This means that they will be able to save for a deposit for one of the council’s low-cost home schemes.