Decision - Draft Housing Allocations Policy

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Decision details

Draft Housing Allocations Policy

Decision Maker: Housing & New Homes Committee

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

 

That the Housing & New Homes Committee:

 

(1)          Agrees upon the policy, and agrees to refer the policy to Policy, Resources and Growth Committee (PR&G) as set out below.

 

(2)          That the recommendations on page 125 of the agenda be amended by inserting an additional recommendation 2.1.1 as follows:

 

2.1.1 Recommends to Policy, Resources & Growth Committee that the proposed new policy on refusing a suitable and reasonable offer of accommodation (page 194 of the agenda) be amended to read: Applicants will not qualify for social housing in Brighton & Hove and be (or remain) registered onthe council’s housing register if they have refused any two offers of suitable accommodation within the last two years made or arranged by the council and there has been no material change intheir circumstances so as to make the earlier offer(s) clearly unsuitable in the light of theapplicant’s changed circumstances.”

 

Further that the words “subject to the amendments in paragraph 2.1.1 above” be added at the end of paragraph 2.2.

 

(3)       That the Housing Allocations Plan, is approved by the Housing and New Homes Committee;

 

(4)       That the initial Housing Allocations Plan set out on page 127 of the Committee papers be approved;

 

(5)       That future Housing Allocation Plans are approved by Housing and New Homes Committee on an annual basis, with any deviation of more than 5% of each allocation queue being reported to the committee

 

(6)       That this policy be reviewed at the end of the first Housing Allocations Plan cycle, and that this review will consider
i) any revisions to the Housing Allocations Plan
ii) The possibility of reintroducing the positive local contribution category

iii) Feedback from applicants involved in the system

 

 

That the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee:

 

(1)          Notes the comments of Housing & New Homes Committee and agrees the Policy subject to the amendments set out in resolutions 2 to 6 of the Housing & New Homes Committee above.

 

(2)          That an officer report be presented to the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee considering the further draft Green amendments as follows.

 

·         Banding continues to be dependent upon assessment by a medical officer, as before

·         That any applicants who have not bid in 12 months should be written to and asked if they wish to remain on the register, with a warning that failure to respond to the notification within 31 days will lead to their removal from the register;

·         That the income cap be reduced, to exclude those who are able to afford private renting of the appropriate sized property (those for whom renting consumes less than 50% of their income)

·         That the savings cap be increased, to enable individuals to retain sufficient funds to cover for 8 months rent for a property in the private rented sector –covering for 6 months rent in advance plus 2 months to cover damage, moving costs and charges

·         Rent arrears: That exclusion not be automatic should a person have a record of ‘failure to pay rent’, except where the person has outstanding debt liabilities to the council (excluding rent arrears) and is deemed not to be making satisfactory arrangements to repay those debts;

·          That the bidding time limit be set at  6 months rather than 3;

·         That the criteria for being a qualifying person include those who have lived in the area continuously for five years preceding the date they make their application, and at least 2 years immediately preceding this date (with the same exceptions provided for in the draft policy)

·         That the policy explicitly state that ‘there will be provision of a cooker and a sink in their home,’ rather than referring only to ‘access to cooking facilities,’

·         That whilst internet based applications are encouraged as default in the policy, that the policy will allow paper based applications, should these be requested by the applicant.

·         That Housing Allocations assist genuine and informed bidding by making fuller property information available to bidders (with images of aspects of the property)

·         That applicants excluded for refusing an offer be excluded for one year, not two.


Report author: James Crane

Publication date: 16/11/2016

Date of decision: 16/11/2016

Decided at meeting: 16/11/2016 - Housing & New Homes Committee

Effective from: 24/11/2016

Accompanying Documents:

 


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