Have your say on the allocation of social housing

11 September 2019

Residents are invited to offer their views on how social housing is allocated across the borough.

By law, the Council must agree principles and rules about who qualifies to go on the housing register and how they are prioritised.  
Over the last five years, the number of households on the register waiting for social housing has increased to just under nine thousand.  
However, only 1,228 properties became available during the last financial year so demand is exceeding supply and applicants say that the current policy is complicated and confusing.    
The Council and its partners therefore want to simplify the policy and make sure that social housing is allocated to those with the greatest housing need. 
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth said:  “It is no secret that this country faces major challenges in housing and Cheshire West and Chester is no different. The allocations policy is designed to ensure that social housing goes to those who need it most. The proposed changes to the policy aim to make the system easier to understand and will mean that our housing officers can give people fair and more realistic advice about their housing options when they do not have a priority need. 
“The sad reality is that whilst we continue to build hundreds of new council homes across the Borough, many of the nine thousand people currently on the social housing register might never receive social housing and we should be honest about this so that we can start helping people to identify other suitable options. 
“That’s why this consultation is so important, because it gives residents the opportunity to comment on the key changes about who can join the register and the priority level awarded to those accepted.”
The new policy proposes that:
  • the number of bands is reduced from five to three
  • a Housing Options Band is introduced for those applicants who do not have a statutory housing need
  • applicants must have resided within the borough for a minimum of two years
  • the number of bids that an applicant can make in a bidding cycle is restricted to three bids
  • the level at which applicants with former arrears would be able to join the register will be increased from £500 to £1000. They will also retain their position in the queue, but not be allowed to bid for a property until they have resolved their arrears.
Cllr Richard Beacham, said: “I would urge residents, whether they currently live in social housing or not, to respond to the consultation and provide their views on the changes set out in the proposed policy.” 

You can provide your views via the online survey at: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/allocationsconsultation.

The consultation will run until 1 December 2019.

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