15 December 2016

Changing the way council homes are allocated

Changes are being made to the way council homes are allocated in Brighton & Hove to help ensure the council can house residents in the greatest need.

Councillors on Brighton & Hove City Council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee agreed to update the city’s housing allocations policy.

The move will reduce the number of people on the council’s housing register by restricting it to people in high housing need, who do not have the means to find alternative housing themselves.

People will also need to have lived in Brighton & Hove for five years* – instead of two years at present.

If anyone turns down two offers of accommodation, they will be removed from the register.

At present there are more than 24,000 people on the housing register, while the council allocates approximately 700 properties a year – as a result the majority of people on the existing list have little chance of social housing.

Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “We are doing everything we can to provide new affordable homes in the city, including building 500 new council homes. However, demand massively outstrips supply in the city so it’s right that our housing register does not raise expectations we are unable to meet, is realistic and prioritises those in greatest need.

"We need a more efficient allocations scheme to help make sure we can focus on those residents who need it most.”

The changes follow consultation with residents and partner organisations last winter which showed significant support on the priorities for updating the way homes are allocated.  A meeting was also held with council tenant and leaseholder representatives this autumn to keep them updated on the proposals.

The new policy will be applied immediately to all new applications and lettings. All current applications will be reassessed under the new criteria and those affected will be written to, to tell them how they will be affected.

*There will be some exemptions to this local connection policy which we are legally required to have.

Read the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee report on the housing allocations policy (item 91).