Have your Say! Housing Needs Allocation Survey @epsomewellbc
21st May 2015
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Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is reviewing its Housing Allocations Policy and needs your views on who can join the Housing Needs Register. The survey is available online at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk and closes on Monday 8 June 2015. The survey is also available in alternative formats if required, for more information contact c&c@epsom-ewell.gov.uk   

The Council’s Housing Allocation Policy sets out how we prioritise housing needs and allocate social housing. It aims to meet housing need, prevent homelessness, assist vulnerable households and promote safer and stronger communities within our Borough, whilst making best use of the Borough’s very limited affordable housing stock. 

There is currently very high demand for social housing with over 2500 applicants on the Housing Needs Register, with on average only 120 properties becoming available each year. Therefore it is important that we ensure these homes go to those who most need them. 

The proposed changes are designed to make the allocation scheme more straightforward to administer and fairer to all categories of applicants on the Housing Needs Register. 

The key changes proposed on how applicants are prioritised and how properties are allocated are: 

  • The register will no longer be an open register and stronger restrictions will be placed on who can qualify for social housing with strengthened criteria relating to local connection, financial resources and behaviour.
  • The existing points based scheme will be replaced with a banding scheme.
  • Qualifying applicants will be placed in an application category as a Homeless Applicant, a Waiting List Applicant or a Transfer Applicant.
  • A quota of properties will be attached to each of these categories.
  • The level of choice available to homeless households living in temporary accommodation will be reduced and they will be made one direct offer of suitable accommodation.
  • Reduced priority will be given for Waiting List and Transfer Applicants who refuse three suitable offers of accommodation.
  • Specific provision has been made for armed forces personnel.
  • Household and property size criteria will be aligned with the Department for Work and Pensions' Bedroom Standard. 

The Localism Act allows the Council to review its Allocation Policy so we can set our own local priorities and restrict who will be eligible or qualify for the Housing Needs Register, removing the requirement to have an ‘open’ Housing Needs Register. 

The latest Government guidance encourages Council's to make full use of the flexibilities within the allocation legislation to ensure that social homes go to people who need them whilst giving greater priority to locally identified needs. 

These changes have provided the Council with the opportunity to review its Housing Allocation Policy. Your feedback will form part of the decision making process and development of our Housing Allocation Policy. We will look to implement the new Housing Allocation Policy later this year. 

For more information please refer to the Council's current draft proposed policy at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/EEBC/Housing/Housing+needs+register+and+allocation+of+social+housing.htm


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