Decision details

Social Housing Allocations Scheme

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The Council has undertaken a review with partners of how social housing is allocated within the borough. This report follows consultation with partners, elected members and others and seeks approval for a new Allocations Scheme.

Decisions:

Consideration was given to a report of the Team Leader, Housing Strategy which sought approval to implement a new allocations scheme following a comprehensive review of the way social housing is allocated in the borough and consultation with partners, elected members and residents.

 

Cabinet was informed that Oldham Council’s Housing Strategy was in its final stages of development. The new Strategy had a clear focus on providing a good quality Oldham housing offer that met the needs of different sections of the population at different times of their lives. The registered social landlord partners shared in this ambition, and wanted to help achieve and sustain the

greatest and fastest possible improvement in the health and wellbeing of Oldham’s residents.

 

The aim was to achieve this by assisting residents to secure the right type of housing at the right time. This approach would see a positive outcome for some of the most vulnerable residents.

 

To assist with the aspirations of the new Housing Strategy, the current Allocations Scheme had been reviewed. The Allocations Scheme set out how Council-owned properties and nominations to housing association properties within the Borough were let to applicants on the Housing Needs Register.

 

The Cabinet was informed that the new proposals for the Allocations Scheme would support the Council and its partners in delivering these aspirations by:

 

·       Enabling the Council and its housing association partners to make more efficient use of existing and new resources.

·       Providing a clearer and stronger focus on meeting the needs of those households in the greatest housing need.

·       Better managing customer expectation.

·       Reducing pressure on the homelessness service.

 

Since the last review, the Council and its housing association partners had seen an unprecedented demand for social housing in the borough. The latest proposals aimed to tackle this issue as well as enable the Council to better manage the expectation of households on its Housing Needs Register.

 

The Cabinet was informed that there were currently over 24,000 households on the Council’s Housing Register, but only around 5,000 of these were in recognised housing need who had been awarded ‘reasonable preference’ by the Council; in other words, they had been given priority in line with the

principles set out in Section 167 of the Housing Act 1996.

 

The Cabinet noted the new proposals for the Allocations Scheme had a clearer focus on supporting households who had been identified as having a recognised housing need and who fell within the reasonable preference categories as defined. This focus aligned with the new housing strategy by delivering a more sustainable approach to effectively managing resources which in turn could be used to support the more vulnerable residents.

The new proposals would also support the Council’s co-operative principles in encouraging households to take greater responsibility on the choices they made of where they wanted to live.

 

Options/Alternatives considered:

Option1 - Amend the Allocations Scheme as detailed in Appendix 1 to ensure it meets all legislative requirements and responds to the current operating environment.

Option 2 - Do nothing. Do not update the Council’s Allocations Scheme.

 

RESOLVED – That:

1.     The contents of the new scheme be noted.

2.     The new Allocations Scheme for implementation and distribution be approved.

 

Report author: Zillur Rahman

Publication date: 26/02/2019

Date of decision: 25/02/2019

Decided at meeting: 25/02/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 07/03/2019

Accompanying Documents: