Ever wondered how the District Council allocates social housing to people?
There’s a new policy arrangement proposed here – unles it’s ‘called in’ in the next few days, it will come into effect.
Here’s some lengthy extracts:
The draft Housing Allocation Policy has been out to consultation with
Registered Social Landlords, and from the feedback received, minor
amendments have been incorporated into the final document.
The Council’s current Housing Allocation Policy requires updating and it is
now considered to be an opportune time for this to be carried out, as the
Council is also about to due to implement the new Choice Based Lettings
scheme in June 2011 and the two schemes / policies are intrinsically linked.
The current Allocation Policy is based on applicants to the Council’s Housing
Register being awarded various amounts of points, in relation to meeting a
range of criteria such as local connection, residency, medical needs, numbers
in household, inadequacy of present accommodation, time on register etc.
The new Allocation Policy will be much simpler and more transparent, whilst
aiming to give applicants an element of choice as to where they live. Once an
applicant has completed the appropriate application form, if they are eligible,
they will be placed in one of the five bands, A – E, according to their housing
need and connection with the district, as detailed in Appendix A.
The Council does not own any housing stock. All social housing in the district is owned and managed by housing associations, and the Council has agreements with many of these, enabling it to nominate prospective tenants to vacancies that arise.
There are relatively low levels of social housing in the district and although the Council is continually working with housing associations to provide more accommodation, only a limited number of vacancies arise each year. Priority is therefore given to those applicants with the highest need, who have a local connection with the Rochford District and who do not have the financial resources to meet their housing costs. Consequently many applicants will have no realistic prospect of being nominated in the foreseeable future.
The majority of applicants will be placed in one of 5 bands, A to E, according to their housing need and their connection with the district. A limited number of these applicants will then be invited to ‘bid’ (express an interest) in a property when it becomes vacant. Nominees will be selected from those who bid. Because of the low number of vacancies, bids are only likely to be invited from applicants in bands A, B or C.
Applications will be placed in one of five bands from A to E, according to housing need and local connection. Within each band the active date will be the determining factor.
Band A (Urgent priority)
• Applicants owed a duty by the Council under section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996 (or section 65(2) or 68(2) of the Housing Act 1985).
• Applicants occupying insanitary housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions where repairs/improvements are unlikely to be completed in a reasonable period of time.
• Applicants living in accommodation that is statutorily overcrowded. Care leavers/move on
Applicants leaving care provided by a Local Authority under the Children Acts (or other statutory duty).
Applicants ready to move on from schemes the Council had referred them to or where the Council would have a housing duty on leaving.
Medical or Welfare
• Applicants awarded an A grade.
• Applicants suffering persistent harassment, violence or abuse.
Band B (High priority)
• Applicants who are owed a duty under section 195 (2) of the 1996 Act (priority need and not threatened with homelessness intentionally).
• Applicants awarded a B grade.
Need to move
• Applicants who need to move to a particular locality in the district where failure to meet that need would cause hardship to themselves or others.
Band C (Moderate priority)
• Applicants who are homeless (within the meaning of Part 7 of the 1996 Act) including people who are owed a duty by the Council under
section 190(2) (intentional homelessness), or occupying
accommodation secured by the Council under section 192(3) (no
priority need but not intentionally homeless).
• Applicants awarded a C grade. Environmental
Applicants lacking 1 or more bedrooms (non –statutory overcrowding).
Applicants occupying insanitary housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions where repairs/improvements are likely to be completed in a reasonable period of time.
• Applicants sharing facilities with persons other than the applicant’s household.
Band D (low priority)
• Applicants with a housing need but no local connection.
Band E (no priority)
Applicants with no housing need.
Applicants who have sufficient financial resources to resolve their housing situation.
Existing social tenants living in the district who do not have any housing need but wish to either down-size or move to another part of the district will be placed on a separate list, providing the Council has nomination rights to the resulting vacancy in the event of a move. Applications will be placed in the following order of priority.
1) number of bedrooms given up;
2) moving from general needs housing to older persons housing or sheltered accommodation;
3) moving to a similar size property.
Where applicants have equal priority, the active date will be the determining factor.
Existing social tenants with a housing need will be placed in one of the five bands referred to above.