7 Housing Allocation Policy (C42) PDF 30 KB
To consider a report of the Executive Councillor (Communities)
The Housing Allocation Policy sets out Stockport Council’s approach to the assessment and allocation of the Council’s housing stock. The Council conducted a review of its policy, to take account of new government guidance, changes to housing case law and best practice in the sector. The Review was conducted by both the Council and Stockport Homes. Consultation and engagement with existing applicants, tenants, the wider community and partner agencies was also central to the review process.
The Executive is recommended to approve the Housing Allocation Policy.
Officer contact: Andy Kippax, 0161 474 4391, email@example.com
The Executive Councillor (Communities) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Executive Meeting to agree the Housing Allocations Policy that detailed the approach to the assessment of need for and allocation of the Council’s housing stock. The Policy had been revised following a recent review.
RESOLVED – That the Housing Allocations Policy be approved.
5 Housing Allocation Policy Review PDF 19 KB
To consider a report of the Corporate Director of Place.
The report sets out the Council’s approach to the assessment and allocation of the Council’s housing stock.
The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.
Officer contact: Andy Kippax on 474 4319, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A representative of the Corporate Director of Place submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Council’s approach to the assessment and allocation of the Council’s housing stock.
The Allocation Policy incorporated the principles that accommodation should be allocated fairly and in an open and transparent way; that meeting housing need should be the core consideration when allocating homes; that best use should be made of available housing stock; that choice and mobility should be promoted as far as possible; the creation and promotion of mixed and sustainable communities; and that allocations should be fully compliant with Part 6 of the 1996 Housing Act, the 2012 Code of Guidance and relevant case law.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:-
· The revised Housing Allocations Policy had been significantly simplified to reduce its size and accessibility while retaining the points based system which was understood and valued by staff and service users.
· The Council applied a more stringent test in respect of overcrowding than the two statutory standards, and work was being undertaken to encourage those in underoccupied properties to move into more suitable accommodation to make best use of the available housing resource.
· Problems had been experienced in certain properties where age restrictions had been lifted and the juxtaposition of age groups had resulted in tensions between tenants. It was stated that where it was considered that age restrictions be relaxed in the future, this should only be done after full consultation and engagement with existing tenants to secure the necessary buy-in and sense of ownership to make the scheme successful.
· Financial incentives with regard to rehoming those tenants in underoccupied properties had recently been reduced to £500; however, a comprehensive support package was available to assist tenants in making the move which was often more valued and of greater assistance.
· A discussion took place in relation to the introduction of a category of points allocations based on the employment status of an applicant and whether this had the effect of undermining the principle of the allocation of housing based on need. Members expressed their concern in relation to the potential impact of this change and particularly whether this marked the start of a transition in the nature of housing allocations in Stockport. It was acknowledged that the ‘Employment’ category carried only 10 points, however two similar applications could potentially be differentiated on the basis of an award of points from this category which to some members appeared unjust. It was noted that there was value in non-working families having support from relatives living nearby which could be undermined through the introduction of an employment category and this could perversely serve to keep these families from seeking employment in the absence of this support.
RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the Corporate Director of Place be requested to submit a further report to the Scrutiny Committee after six months of operating the revised Housing Allocations Policy detailing the impact that the revisions to the policy had made on housing allocations in the Borough.