Tenant Consultations

Housing Allocations Policy

We are currently seeking the views of current tenants and applicants about a new housing allocation policy. You can read the draft policy here.

Many of the principles in our existing policy remain but the draft policy addresses a small number of issues that were excluded from the previous policy - such as around mutual exchanges. The key changes to the policy are outlined below:

·       Banding - a move from points to bands to determine priority on the waiting list. This is the main change arising from the review of the existing policy.

·       Management Transfer - the existing policy required management transfers to be approved by the Corporate Management Team (CMT). The new policy delegates this responsibility to the Housing Manager or someone of at least the same level of seniority, although still requires the transfer to be reported to the CMT periodically.

·       Suspensions – a moderate expansion of suspension reasons to include voluntary suspensions and where an applicant has been violent or aggressive towards staff. The revised policy also clarifies the maximum period of suspension to be three years.

·       Housing Need – these categories reflect the primary method of prioritising applicants on the waiting list. The move from points to banding maintains, in general terms, the level of priority given to existing applicants under the 2019 policy. A summary is shown in the table below. The main change is in relation to what was called ‘Social’ points and has been renamed ‘Giving/receiving support’. Under the 2019 policy, this had a low priority, but the definition appeared to incorporate both a high priority for housing and a low priority making it unclear which it should be given. It has been changed to reflect a situation where an applicant gives or receives support for personal or medical care or in connection with employment.

·       Mutual exchange – the Association has a procedure for mutual exchanges but lacks anything substantial in terms of principles related to mutual exchange. The revised policy adds a new section on mutual exchanges to address this shortfall.

·       Quota system – removal of the quota system which was effectively a procedural issue. The revised policy clarifies that ‘quotas’ are dealt with by means of the annual Local Lettings Strategy (LLS) or Local Lettings Plans (LLP).

The table below sets out how applicants will be prioritised under our proposed new policy.

Category

Points awarded

Band

Statutory Homelessness

Not applicable as section 5 referrals and homeless nominations are part of a different waiting list

Nomination Band (s.5 referrals and LA homeless nominations)

High – statutory homeless not being referred or nominated by LA

Property Condition

12

 

High

Under occupation

3 - per bedroom under-occupied

 

Urgent – 2 or more bedrooms

High – 1 bedroom

Overcrowding

5 - for each person affected

Urgent – 3 or more bedrooms

High – 1 or 2 bedrooms

Health

15 – high

10 – medium

5 – low

 

3 – additional points if more than one person in family will benefit, capped at one additional award

Urgent or High depending on circumstances

Return to Community

 

15

Urgent

Harassment

15 – high

10 – medium

5 – low

Urgent

Domestic abuse

15

Urgent

Giving and receiving support or take up employment

5

High

Sharing amenities

8

High

Insecure accommodation

10

High

Armed Forces             

10

High

Management Transfer

N/A

Urgent

A banding system will allow us to more efficiently focus on meeting housing need.

What will this mean for existing applicants?

Existing applicants will be placed in one of our bands depending on their individual circumstances. Any points that were previously awarded will be removed. For new applicants we will no longer award points but advise you which band you have been placed in. 

The banding system will work in date order of appplications received and will be allocated to those with the oldest application first.

We are keen to hear your views on our draft policy and would be grateful if you could complete our short survey here.

You can also send any views to haveyoursay@westscot.co.uk