Housing Allocations Policy - Section 10

10. The process of allocating houses      

10. The process of allocating houses


10.1 Annually, the Communities Committee will review the ratio of allocations to be made to the Transfer, Homeless and Waiting Lists. The ratio will be considered at a Council wide level.  In deciding what list a vacancy should be let from, the Housing Needs Manager, in consultation with the relevant Area Housing Manager, will have regard to the number of vacancies arising in that letting area, the level of demand from the Transfer, Homeless and Waiting Lists and any particular attributes of the property to be allocated.

10.2 In allocating any vacancy, the Housing Needs Manager will ‘match’ applicants’ preferences to the attributes of the property to be allocated.  Therefore, applicants who have indicated that certain house types/heating types etc are not acceptable to them may not be considered for vacancies with these attributes.

10.3 Each application is assessed fairly and consistently with respect to the priorities and points level awarded (as detailed in Section 9 of this policy).  Applications are prioritised and ranked.   This ranking may change as applicants are housed, applicants’ circumstances change, applicants are removed or new applicants are admitted to the Housing List.    The Council may be required to deviate from the Allocations Policy in certain circumstances.  Please refer to Section 12 and 13 of the policy.

10.4 Allocations will normally be made to the applicants with the highest number of points for particular vacancies, where the applicant has a stated preference for housing in the lettings area in question.  Applications on the Homelessness List are not awarded points.  The position on the list will normally depend on the date that the homeless application was made.  Normally an offer is made to the applicant who has waited the longest, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

10.5 Sheltered housing vacancies will be allocated on consideration of the points awarded for each applicant together with an assessment of needs.

10.6 Where there is an equality of points for any allocation, the date of the application for housing will be considered.

10.7 Any allocation carried out under the terms of this policy which involves an Elected Member, an employee of the Council, or a close relative, will be authorised by the Head of Housing and Property.

10.8 All allocations will be the responsibility of the Housing Needs Manager, in consultation with the appropriate Area Housing Manager.

10.9 In accordance with legislation, in allocating housing, the Council will take no account of:
a) the length of time for which an applicant has resided in the area;
b) any outstanding liability (such as rent arrears) attributable to the tenancy of a house of which the applicant was not the tenant when the liability accrued;
c) any rent or other arrears accrued by the applicant on a previous tenancy which are no longer outstanding;
d) any liability which is outstanding but where
i) the extent of the liability is not more than one twelfth of the annual amount payable by the tenant to the landlord in respect of the tenancy; or
ii) the applicant:
has agreed arrangements with the landlord for paying the outstanding liability; has made payments in accordance with that arrangement for at least 3 months; and is  continuing to make such payments.
e) any outstanding debts (including council tax arrears) of the applicant or anyone who it is proposed will reside with the applicant which do not relate to the tenancy of a house (this would include a previous tenancy) i.e. which are not rent arrears or service charges. This means that any outstanding debts which do relate to the tenancy of the house – e.g. rent, repair recharges or service charges – can be taken into account.
f) the age of the applicant provided that the applicant is 16 years of age or over except in the allocation of
(i) houses which have been designed or substantially adapted for occupation by persons of a particular age group
(ii) houses for persons who are, or are to be, in receipt of housing support services (within the meaning of Section 91 of the 2001 Act) for persons of a particular age group or by persons with particular needs.
g) the income of the applicant and his family;
h) whether, or to what value, the applicant or any of the applicant’s family owns (or any of them own or have owned) heritable or moveable property.

10.10 In accordance with Section 20 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (as amended), when allocating housing, the Council will take no account of whether an applicant is resident in the area if the applicant:
a) is employed, or has been offered employment in the area; or
b) wishes to move into the area to seek employment and the Council is satisfied that this is the applicant’s intention; or
c) wishes to move into the area to be near a relative or carer; or
d) has special social or medical reasons for requiring to be housed within the area; or
e) wishes to move into the area because of harassment; or
f) wishes to move into the area because he or she runs the risk of domestic abuse.

10.11 Reasonable enquiries will be made where an applicant wishes to move into the area because of, for example, harassment, domestic abuse or for employment reasons. These enquiries will at all times be made in a sensitive and appropriate way.

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