OFFICIALS behind an online social housing letting system insist it DOES work and is helping to house families in the greatest need, despite criticism from some quarters that it is not fair.

Home-Link was launched by Huntingdonshire District Council in partnership with 11 other local authorities and social housing landlords four years ago in response to Government policy at the time towards a choice-based housing register.

Households are ranked according to need with those living in conditions that put their health or safety at risk coming in top. Officials say efforts are made to ensure information is verified.

But criticism has been levelled at HDC that people with strong local links and those who work are routinely sidelined.

Housing needs and resources manager at HDC Jon Collen said: "When somebody applies to the register, we assess their circumstances based on the council's policy. A person in greater housing need is offered that property first.

"Medical conditions have to be affected by the way you are living and you have to show a move will improve your quality of life. We work with social services at Cambridgeshire County Council, learning disability partnerships, mental health services, GPs and a whole range of agencies out there, to verify information.

"No priority is given for people on benefits or for people who work.

People living in the worst situations will get the priority. Home-Link will never meet all the housing need, so we ask that people look at other options as well."