Housing Allocations Scheme 2023

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Closes 16 Feb 2023

Proposed key changes

We want to understand how strongly you support or oppose each of the key proposed changes.

1. How strongly do you support or oppose annual waiting points being awarded to everyone upon the anniversary of their acceptance onto the Housing Register?

More information on Annual Waiting Points

The time a household spent on our Housing Register is recognised under the current Allocation Scheme by an applicant’s priority date, usually the date they joined the Register.

We are suggesting that we use waiting points so that a household’s priority for rehousing, and their position on our Housing Register, more clearly reflects how long they have been waiting for a better home – the longer they have waited, the more points they will have. 10 points would be added to the application total each year under the current proposals.

2. If annual waiting points are to be added, should it be the same set amount (10 points) for everyone each year or should it be a percentage (10 per cent) of someone's points, for example if their total points were 200, that person would get an additional 20 points each year?
3. How strongly do you support or oppose the introduction of a chain lettings approach, whereby the Council will create opportunities for multiple moves to be triggered from an initial vacant property. For example, tenants moving from large properties will enable overcrowded tenants to move, then other moves will be facilitated as a result creating a ‘chain’ of moves.

More information on chain lettings

For example, social tenants who currently have more bedrooms than they need will be able to move to a new, smaller home and the resulting vacated family sized home can be made available to an overcrowded family in social housing, then their previous home can be given to another family and so on. Chains start and continue with tenants in social housing. They can be ended at any stage by allocating a property to a homeless family or someone on the register who is not already in social housing.

4. Do you think the creation of bands for priority points will help make rehousing priorities clearer?

More information on points and banding

We give different points for different reasons for needing a new home. As well as using points we plan to use a banding system to help explain the different levels of priority we will give for different points categories.  There will be four bands ranging from the most acute housing need down to more general housing needs.

You would stay in your allocated band unless your circumstances change and you then qualify for a different band’s priority points.  An accumulation of points would not lead to a change of band. Properties would be ring-fenced to a particular, or multiple bands when advertised.

5. How strongly do you support or oppose greater priority given for homeless families who choose a private rented sector home instead of moving into or remaining in temporary accommodation?

More information on a greater priority for homeless families who choose a private rented sector home accommodation.

If you are homeless, the Council may have a legal responsibility to provide you with temporary accommodation. However, you can choose to move into a private rented sector (PRS) home with our help instead.  You will be given a higher priority (200 points) on our Housing Register for rehousing to a Council or housing association home than if you choose to stay in temporary accommodation where you would have 100 points.

6. If you oppose a greater priority, do you think it should be the same, or less priority compared to those who move into or stay in temporary accommodation?
7. How strongly do you support or oppose the removal of paid work points – except for those who already have them?

More information on removal of paid work points – except for those who already have them

Analysis of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on paid work showed that some parts of our community were more affected than others. Members of our community who are Black, Asian or Minority or Multiple Ethnic were more likely to have lost employment and/or pay, especially if they were female. We are also aware that some members of our community face more barriers to getting paid work – for example, residents with disabilities or autism, or parents who cannot find affordable childcare. Because some members of our communities will find it more difficult to find or to keep paid work, we do not think it is fair to use it to give a higher priority for rehousing over the long-term. However, because many households already have paid work points, we feel it is fair that they keep them under the new Allocation Scheme.

8. We will not be adding paid work points to any future applications under the new scheme. Should existing applicants be allowed to keep them as is proposed?
9. How strongly do you support or oppose quotas or a percentage of homes for specific priorities instead of using the old separate Rehousing Plan?

More information on quotas or a percentage of homes for specific priorities instead of using the old separate Rehousing Plan

Each year, we will set and publish a quota or a share of the total number of available homes that we will try to allocate or let to different types of housing priority on our Housing Register. In other words, we will set a 'target’ for the number of homes we let to different types of housing need. We will also publish figures on our actual lets to the different types of housing need, so you can compare our lettings to our quotas.

10. Were you aware of the existence of a Rehousing Plan prior to this consultation?