Skip to content

H1 - do not remove

Issue - meetings

Review of the Housing Allocations' Policy

Meeting: 25/07/2019 - Cabinet (Item 17)

17 Draft Housing Allocations' Policy - July 2019 pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Summary:

 

The Housing Allocations’ Policy was adopted by the General Assembly of the Council on 18 March 2013 as the Council’s framework for the allocation and management of future tenancies from 29 April 2013.  Subsequent reviews of the Policy were carried out in March 2014 and September 2018.

 

In order to ensure a consistent approach, a further review of the Policy has been undertaken and changes made, where appropriate, to reflect new legislation and operational methods.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Cabinet agree the amendments to the Housing Allocations’ Policy as set out in the body of the report and approve the revised Policy, attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which detailed the outcome of the latest review of the Housing Allocations’ Policy which had been originally adopted by the Council on 18th March 2013 as the Council’s framework for the allocation and management of the future allocation of properties. All housing authorities were required to have a Housing Allocations’ Policy setting out how social housing properties would be allocated to eligible applicants in housing need. The policy had subsequently been reviewed in 2014 and 2018. In order to ensure a consistent approach a further review of the policy had been undertaken and amendments made, where appropriate, to reflect operational changes (including working practices) following the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, and the new policy met the requirements of current legislation. The report detailed the proposed changes to the Housing Allocations’ Policy and the general layout had also been revised to ensure ease of understanding, clarity and transparency.

 

The Cabinet had regard to the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report. The Chairman was advised that the Shadow Leader of the Council had taken up the invitation issued by the Housing Solutions and Private Sector Manager at the CAP meeting to be fully briefed on aspects of the policy. The Chairman was delighted to hear that the Shadow Leader had taken up an invitation that had been made on several occasions to his predecessor. His fresh approach was welcomed. 

  

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet agree the amendments to the Housing Allocations’ Policy as set out in the body of the report and approve the revised Policy, attached at Appendix A to the report.


Meeting: 22/07/2019 - Cabinet Advisory Panel A (Item 6)

6 Draft Housing Allocations' Policy - July 2019 pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Summary:

 

The Housing Allocations’ Policy was adopted by the General Assembly of the Council on 18 March 2013 as the Council’s framework for the allocation and management of future tenancies from 29 April 2013.  Subsequent reviews of the Policy were carried out in March 2014 and September 2018.

 

In order to ensure a consistent approach, a further review of the Policy has been undertaken and changes made, where appropriate, to reflect new legislation and operational methods.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Cabinet agree the amendments to the Housing Allocations’ Policy as set out in the body of the report and approve the revised Policy, attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Housing Solutions and Private Sector Manager presented a report which detailed the outcome of the latest review of the Housing Allocations’ Policy which had been originally adopted by the Council on 18th March 2013 as the Council’s framework for the allocation and management of the future allocation of properties. All housing authorities were required to have a Housing Allocations’ Policy setting out how social housing properties would be allocated to eligible applicants in housing need. The policy had subsequently been reviewed in 2014 and 2018. In order to ensure a consistent approach a further review of the policy had been undertaken and amendments made, where appropriate, to reflect operational changes (including working practices) following the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, and the new policy met the requirements of current legislation. The report detailed the proposed changes to the Housing Allocations’ Policy and the general layout had also been revised to ensure ease of understanding, clarity and transparency. 

 

A Member said that sometimes people in Band A on the housing priority list had to wait a long time before a property became available to meet their specific needs. He wondered whether a way could be found to speed up this process, perhaps by increasing the budget. The Housing Solutions and Private Sector Manager explained that where an applicant had a medical or welfare need this went through a medical assessment process and a property then had to be identified to meet those medical needs. It could take some time to find a property that met those needs or could be adapted to do so. An Occupational Health Therapist was embedded in the Housing Solutions Team to make the medical assessment process as speedy as possible.

 

Another Member referred to the process by which the Council allocated properties, detailed in section 5 of the report. She said that this involved bidding for properties using the internet but asked whether there were other ways of bidding for those without access to the internet as this did not appear to be stated anywhere. The Housing Solutions and Private Sector Manager explained that the Council is a member of Kent Homechoice, a Kent-wide choice based lettings scheme, and that Kent Homechoice had focussed on internet applications as it had found that other methods of applying were not being used. However the Housing Solutions Team would accept requests by telephone and would also fill in forms for those unable to do so by themselves on request and the telephone number was widely available. The Member also sought and received clarification on the circumstances in which an applicant might be removed from the Band A listing.

 

A Member asked for clarification of one of the criteria in Annex 2 regarding the assessment of people who needed to move on medical or welfare grounds  in Band A and the meaning of criteria e, ‘severe and enduring mental health issues significantly affected by current accommodation’. In particular he asked whether this could be expanded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6