People will have to live in Barnet for at least five years before they qualify for help with housing, under new proposals.

Barnet Borough Council is looking at proposals to change the way it allocates council and housing association homes.

Applicants currently must live in the borough for at least two years.

The council will continue to provide accommodation to people in need where it has a legal duty to do so, under homelessness legislation.

The proposals aim to guarantee that available housing is allocated to people who have an established connection with the borough.

Other proposed changes include excluding people who refuse an offer that meets their needs from housing for two years, rather than the current one year. Priority for housing is also being looked at. The number of hours someone has to work, volunteer or attend training to be awarded additional priority will be set at 16 hours per week, rather than the current ten hours for volunteering or training. At present, there are no minimum hours for work.

People at risk of violence in their homes will be treated as homeless, and offered temporary accommodation.

Council staff living in a property as part of their job, with more than 15 years service in the armed forces, will also no longer be offered a home with one more bedroom than they need when they leave their job.

Hale Councillor Tom Davey, chairman of the council's housing committee, said: “We have to combine our obligation to provide those in need with decent homes alongside the need to create successful communities.”

The consultation ends on September 30. For more information, visit