Hounslow Council is reviewing its allocation policy
Should people on low incomes who work get priority for social housing? Should members of the armed forces, who have no housing when they leave the service?
These are some of the questions the council is trying to answer as it reviews who should join the housing register for social housing.
Every council has to review their allocation policy following the passing of the Localism Act. This gives the council the chance to decide who is or isn’t able to qualify to be considered for social housing.
The council is currently consulting on a draft policy that hopes to make the allocation policy fairer, reflects local demand for housing, helps build sustainable communities and makes the housing register more efficient.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, education and HR at the council, said:
“Providing housing to those that need it most is one of the most important things we do, and recent changes in the law mean we now have some flexibility to create a fairer system for deciding who is eligible for social housing.
“We have put together some proposals that we think answer these questions, but we want to know what you think about them.”
One of the proposals would see only households that have a realistic chance of receiving an offer of a home being allowed onto the housing register, and those unlikely to receive an offer being given housing advice on alternative options available to them.
To join the housing register, the council is proposing that an applicant must have been a borough resident for five years or more or worked in the borough, and is willing to undergo tenancy training. If they have a history of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, they will have to show these have been resolved.
The council is keen to hear whether people think a greater number of lettings should go to tenants who need to transfer to another social home.
The council wants to simply the banding system by creating a two band system. This would set the priority for housing based on the date applicants were registered, so they would have a realistic idea of how long they may have to wait.
The consultation is running until 16 November, and people can have their say on the proposal by visiting www.hounslow.gov.uk/consultations where they can read the draft proposals and share their views by completing an online questionnaire.
For a paper copy of the questionnaire, or more, information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8583 3759.
All submitted questionnaires will be viewed and analysed by an independent organisation.
October 24, 2012