Gedling Borough Council is currently consulting on changes to who can apply for social housing and the priority given to different applicants. Let us know your thoughts by taking our short survey.
The allocation policy review
The Gedling Borough Council Allocation Policy sets out who can apply for social housing in Gedling and how priority is given to different applicants. The current allocation policy was approved in 2013 and explains how the Council assesses applications to join the housing register. This means the appropriate housing provider will be able to allocate properties from a shortlist of potential applicants.
All councils are legally required to publish an allocations policy and to ensure that properties are let according to that policy, as well as setting out specific matters for consideration. This includes:
Recent legislation and national guidance means that a review of the Allocation Policy is required. The Council is also committed to ensuring that the limited amount of social housing is allocated in the fairest way possible and to make best use of available resources.
Whilst there are in excess of 600 households identified in housing need and currently on the Gedling Borough Council Housing Register, in a typical year, only 200 general needs properties become available. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that households who are most in housing need are prioritised for housing.
The proposed changes to the Allocation Policy seek to ensure that it fully complies with legal requirements and adopts best practice to ensure that the limited supply of social housing is effectively allocated.
We welcome views from partner organisations and residents on these proposed changes.
The consultation runs over a 12 week period to 5 April 2020
Whilst the Allocations Policy has had a number of minor changes, there are four key changes to the Policy as outlined in the consultation. We would particularly welcome your comments on these changes.
Changes to how we prioritise homeless applicants:
In order to fully comply with new legal requirements and guidance relating to homeless applicants, we are proposing to place applicants who we assess as homeless and in priority need of housing in band 1 of the housing register (the highest priority) to seek to accommodate applicants as soon as possible. We are also proposing to use the auto bid system which allows bids to be placed on behalf of such applicants in recognition of their urgent housing requirements.
Where applicants make a homelessness application and are found to not have a priority need for housing but have a local connection to the Gedling Borough Council area, they will be awarded an extra 6 months waiting time.
Use of the housing register auto bid system
The housing register auto bid system will place bids automatically on behalf of the households on the register. We propose to place all applicants on band 1 on the auto bid system in view of their urgent need for housing. The exception to this is where applicants are downsizing by 2 or more bedrooms and are placed in band 1. In view of the need to incentivise households to free up larger properties, the Council considers it appropriate to give such households choice of the type and location of properties they bid for.
Local Connection Criteria
Due to the limited supply of Social Housing in the Borough, the Council is proposing to increase the local connection criteria from one to consecutive three years. This means that in order to be accepted onto the Housing Register, it is necessary to have a local connection for the last three consecutive years. There are some exceptions to this, for example, that the applicant has served in the armed forces. This is outlined in further detail on pages 12-13 of the draft policy.
Additional grounds for exclusion from the housing register
The draft policy identifies certain situations where applicants could be removed from the Housing Register, for example:
Once the survey has closed, the responses will be considered and resultant changes made to the draft Allocations Policy. A summary of responses will be published on the Gedling Borough Council website and presented for Cabinet approval.
If you have a general enquiry regarding the consultation, please email Gedling Borough Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org