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Changes to Housing Allocations Policy

We are changing the Housing Allocation Policy to ensure affordable housing goes to those most in need.

The changes will mean all current applicants will need to re-register by December 2019 in order to join the new register. Current applicants will be informed when the re-registration period commences in the coming months.

Cllr Jill Cleary, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said "This change is really important.  The old allocation policy had four bands and all applicants, apart from in exceptional cases, were placed in 'Band 3: Priority', which meant that the only determining factor was the length of time the applicant had been on the register.

"This new way of allocating housing will mean that applicants are given appropriate priority to enable the most effective use of our housing stock, and so the people most in need of social housing are given priority.

"We need to make sure that social housing is allocated to those who have a genuine need for it, and at their time of need. This will mean that some applicants will see an increase in the priority awarded and others may see a decrease in their priority.  With up to 400 properties each year becoming available it's important we have an allocation policy that fairly allocates housing, based on genuine need." 

A full copy of the new allocation policy, and summary of the main changes, is available at http://www.newforest.gov.uk/article/13626/NEW-ALLOCATION-POLICY---COMING-SOON

Anyone facing housing difficulties can get lots of advice and information at http://www.newforest.gov.uk/housing

Timetable for changes:

  • End of July 2019 - Current applicants will receive an email / letter about the new Allocations Policy
  • Friday 9 August 2019 - TEMPORARY close of current register to new applicants
  • Late September 2019 - we will be writing to all current applicants informing them how and when to apply on the new system
  • Late September 2019 - the re-registration window will open
  • Late December 2019 - the re-registration window will close
  • January 2020 - A new Homesearch website will be launched displaying our empty properties. This site will allow applicants to bid for properties and update applications through their online account. New applicants will now be able to apply to join the register

Re-registration will be through an online form and applicants will need to provide the following to complete their application:

  • ID for all household members including children e.g. birth certificates
  • Proof of housing need and any medical conditions
  • Proof of local connection
  • Proof of income
  • 3 Months banks statements for all accounts prior to application

Under the Council's old allocation policy, the main determining factor for an allocation of housing was time spent on the housing register. Applicants could wait up to 10 years for an allocation of housing. The Council believes it is important for social housing to be allocated to those who have an assessed housing need.  With the exception of those who satisfy the rural connection provisions for a rural parish, anyone wishing to join the Council's housing register will need to have an assessed housing need that falls into one of four bands.

A consultation over the proposed changes to the way social housing is allocated started on 16 January 2019 and closed on 20 February 2019. The Council invited comments on several changes being proposed on who can join the housing register and the way in which housing need is assessed. The Council reviewed all of the responses and produced a summary response to the consultation. This can be found below along with the full responses. The Consultation responses and the proposed Policy were put forward for approval at the Council's Cabinet meeting on 4th April 2019.

Updated: 25 Jul 2019
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