Changes to housing lettings policy
By Trevor Carbin
Wiltshire Council is re-writing its policy on letting tenancies through the 'Homes4Wiltshire' process. The current banding system will be changed, and people on the lowest 'Bronze' band will be removed from the register on the grounds that they have no hope of getting a rented home. It will become easier to let homes to people with a connection to the local area.
The new policy will be considered by the WC cabinet next week. Agenda
There are currently about 19,000 households on the waiting list in Wiltshire. Thirty-two housing providers use Homes4Wiltshire, but between them they only have about 2,000 properties per year to allocate.
More than 8,000 households are in the Bronze Band. These people have no urgent housing need. They'll be kept on a separate list so they can be kept informed of opportunities such as low cost home ownership which may be suitable for them.
Local Homes for Local People.
Affordable homes will be allocated to those with a connection to the town or parish as the first selection criterion.
A 'cascade' would be used: if on the first allocation there was no household with a local connection to the town or parish, the property could go to a household with a connection to neighbouring parishes. If there was still no suitable applicant then eligibility would be opened out across Wiltshire.
The council believes that parish councils and residents would be much more supportive of affordable housing development in their area if they knew that the homes would be allocated to local people first, helping to keep families together and creating more sustainable and supportive communities.
Following cabinet approval the new policy will go to the full council, and should be ready for implementation next Spring.