Forces help

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SOLDIERS could be given added priority in getting houses to rent.

A report to Durham County Council’s ruling cabinet recommends the move when it comes to bidding for advertised properties.

Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Clive Robson, said: “We are following government guidance in giving more help to those injured in duty, including reserve forces, as well as partners of those who have died and acknowledging our obligation owed to members of the armed forces and their families.”

It is part of proposed changes to the Durham Key Options Letting Policy, and follows consultation with housing associations.

In a separate report, cabinet members are asked to help out homeowners who are at risk of having their homes repossessed.

Up to £200,000 is to be set aside every year to help prevent some becoming homeless.

Mortgage repossessions have almost doubled in the last ten years in County Durham, and now average about 1,000 a year.

The Government is asking local authorities to take part in the purchase of Mortgage Rescue properties alongside other registered providers.