Tory Lite Labour Council Endorse New 5 Year Local Connection Rule

Firstly of the 450 or so consulted, only 16 were homeless, which is 3%. This is wrong considering much of this legislation affects the homeless, especially the homelessness duty, which is affected by the Local Connection rule change.

When I say Tory lite, I mean this how it should be meant, the Tory Governement are currently destroying social housing and you guessed it Labour Councillors roll over to the unelected council officers demands by increasing the current 2 year rule on local connection for council housing waiting lists rising to 5 years.

Councillor Meadows said;

“Demand massively outstrips supply in the city so it’s right that our housing register recognises this huge demand, is realistic and prioritises those in greatest need.

The rise in luxory housing

Look down the coast down toward the Marina you see two new apartment blocks, aimed at the richest in society, there are plans for an even bigger tower, which will be much of the same.

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will see a rise in council houses, these planning decisions are against the party direction now and must be stopped.

What is the proposal change in housing allocations

The report states that “Over the past 5 years the Housing Register has continued to grow and now stands at over 24,000 applicants. In the last financial year just over 800 properties were let to people on the Housing Register. Figures of the growth over the last 10 years are contained in table 1 below. The number of applications remained static for the period April 2007 to April 2010. From this point on there is an increase year on year to the end of the last financial year to 23,419.”

This is the current number of bands and length on the waiting list.

Whilst I acknowledge that there is a huge waiting list, but with rents so high, the councils and governments plan to put people in the Private Rental Sector is not workable and is in fact contributing to pushing up rents, its a simple supply and demand issue and we need to build more council housing.

Housing allocations proposals to strengthen focus on local need

A report going to Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing & New Homes Committee on 21 September 2016 recommends updating the city’s housing allocations policy. Councillors will discuss proposals which aim to help ensure the council can house residents in the greatest housing need.

A consultation on the council’s allocations policy, carried out from December 2015 to February 2016, showed broad support from residents and partner organisations on the priorities for updating the scheme.

The main changes proposed aim to reduce the numbers on the housing register by limiting it to people in high housing need who do not have the means to satisfy and provide solutions for themselves, and strengthening the local residential connection requirement from two years to five, with some exemptions that we are legally required to have.

While the council allocates around 800 properties a year, the housing register continues to grow and has now over 24,000 applicants. With the high costs of managing such a large waiting list and a relatively few having a chance of housing, it’s recognised that the current scheme is not necessarily housing our residents in the most housing need. It also raises expectations that we are not able to meet.

Cllr Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “Demand massively outstrips supply in the city so it’s right that our housing register recognises this huge demand, is realistic and prioritises those in greatest need.

“We are doing everything we can to provide new affordable homes in the city, including building 500 new council homes. However, it’s important to recognise that this is against a background of growing need, and we need a more efficient allocations scheme to help make sure we can focus on those residents who need it most.”

If approved, the new policy will be applied immediately to all new applications. All current applications will be reassessed under the new criteria, which is expected to take until March 2017.

The Other Main Changes To The Allocations Policy for Brighton and Hove City Council

The new draft allocations policy has made a number of key changes that were consulted on widely with residents, community group, service providers and applicants. The key changes are:

  • Change to local connection : increased to five years residency from the current two, with a number of exemptions required
  • Exclude people with no housing need under the allocations policy
  • Exclude home owners
  • Introduce an income cap based on bedroom size
  • Exclude people with rent arrears or other related debt to the council, with some exceptions?
  • Exclude people who have disposed of a property purchased from the council under the right to buy
  • Remove applicants if they have not made a bid within 12 months
  • Remove applicants who refuse one offer of suitable accommodation
  • Remove band C Minor Medical and Band C sharing facilities & Minor disrepair
  • Introduce anti fraud checks prior to offering a tenancy
  • Introduce a digital service for applications and other processes
  • Introduce an allocation plan
  • Introduce reciprocal agreements with other local authorities to allow increase social mobility.
  • Removal of working positive contribution due to a recent judicial review against another local authority.