Changing our housing allocation scheme - we want your views

Closed 15 Apr 2013

Opened 18 Mar 2013

Feedback Updated 13 Nov 2013

We Asked

During the first half of 2013 we asked residents and partners what they thought about some of the changes we could make. More than 450 people and organisations responded. We asked: - Should we restrict who can apply for social housing? - Should we apply sanctions to applicants who fail to bid or fail to show for viewings? - Who should be given priority for housing above and beyond the groups defined by law? - Should we adopt a banding scheme?

You Said

1. You support us restricting access to the housing register for some groups of people. For example, people in rent arrears, or those on a high income, or with savings. But individual circumstances should always be taken into account. 2. You support us doing our best to encourage people to bid and turn up for viewings but before imposing sanctions we should improve the way we advertise properties and arrange viewings. 3. You want us to prioritise people who have lived in Camden and been on the register for a long time. You also want us to prioritise carers for the elderly, disabled or seriously ill people and over-crowded households with children, foster carers and under-occupiers. 4.You don’t really mind whether we have a points or a banding scheme as long as the system is clear, fair and transparent. We should improve the information we give to applicants to help them understand their chances of securing housing better.

We Did

The changes we will make aim to:  bring the scheme into line with recent legislative changes;  make aspects of our scheme clearer, fairer and more robust;  improve the way we administer our scheme. In particular, we are taking steps to tackle under-occupation; going to restrict access to our register for small numbers of people; helping foster families and prospective adoptive parents and care leavers helping people move on from supported accommodation; and helping older people. We will also people who need to move due to development work; improve the applications process; and improve the lettings process. We will be continuing our review of the housing allocations process throughout the first half of 2014. If you wish to be kept informed of progress, please email hsu@camden.gov.uk or call the housing strategy unit on 020 7974 5519.

Results Updated 13 Nov 2013

Thank you to everyone who took part in our consultation. A full report on the consultation will be available in July. Until then, here is a summary of the survey results.

48% of you are fairly or very dissatisfied with the current Allocation Scheme

77% agree we should restrict who can apply for social housing

72% agree we should be able to close applications in certain circumstance

89% agree we should look at factors other than the ones set out in law when deciding what priority a housing application should get

63% agree a banding system will help the right people get housed more quickly.

The survey was only one part of our consultation. We held lots of workshops and attended community meetings across the borough as part of our consultation. All your views will be included in our full consultation report and given to Local Councillors when they make a decision on changes to our Allocation Scheme.

Files:

Overview

We are looking at how we allocate social housing (council and housing association homes) in Camden. By law, we must explain in writing who can apply for social housing, who gets priority, and how we are making sure it is allocated to the people who need it most. We do this in our Housing Allocation Scheme. 

Everyone who applies for housing in Camden goes on a list known as the housing register. Currently over 25,000 households are on the list, and this number is growing each year. On average we only have around 1,100 homes available each year.

Why We Are Consulting

We have decided to look at how we allocate social housing because:

  • The housing register keeps growing. Many of those who apply are very unlikely to get a home and over a quarter don’t live in Camden.
  • Lots of people on the register seem to have an urgent need for housing, but aren’t actively looking for a home.
  • Lots of people who are looking don’t turn up to look at homes or refuse homes they’re offered.
  • It’s not always clear to people what chance they have of getting a home
  • Some homes go to people who are not in the greatest need

Recent changes in the law have given us greater flexibility to decide who can apply for housing and who should be given priority.

Read the Housing allocation factsheet and then tell us what you think by filling out the online survey below.

Please note that the survey closes at 9am on Monday 15th April 2013.

What Happens Next

See the Results and what we are doing in response PDF below.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Black and minority ethnic groups
  • Carers
  • Community and voluntary groups
  • Council staff
  • Council tenants
  • Councillors
  • Disabled people
  • Faith communities
  • Landlords
  • Leaseholders
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups
  • Local groups and organisations
  • Non-service users
  • Older people
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Other local service providers
  • Parents
  • Pupils
  • Residents
  • Service users
  • Ward Councillors
  • Young people

Interests

  • Housing
  • Social care and health