Views of residents and local stakeholders are sought on the issue to help update Melton Borough Council’s Choice-Based Lettings and Housing Allocations Policy with a public consultation running until February 25 on draft changes.
The policy determines who can join the register for social housing and also determines the level of priority which will be awarded based on an applicant’s circumstances.
Up to December 21 last year, there were 680 households on the waiting list for social housing in the borough, with 308 of them designated priority cases or requiring a high need to be housed.
There is a shortage of available properties, though, with only 155 being found properties in the last year, and 42 per cent of these were through housing associations.
Suggested changes in the council’s draft new policy would see the ‘homeless’ status changing to having lived in the borough for two years from being resident here for six of the last 12 months or three of the last five years.
Applicants would also have had to have worked in the borough for two years rather than one year as it is at present.
These changes and others in the draft new policy would lead to 90 households (13 per cent) on the current waiting list no longer being eligible for housing.
A review is needed, the council says, to take account of changing housing needs and in response to current legislation and national policy changes, including those relating to domestic abuse and armed forces personnel.
Councillor Ronan Browne, portfolio holder for council homes and landlord services, said: “It is important we review our policies to ensure they are up to date, relevant and best suit the current needs of our borough.
“The new Draft Choice Based Lettings and Housing Allocations Policy details our updated priorities for allocating social housing, which provides us the opportunity to better match the local needs with suitable housing and to use our housing resources as effectively as possible.
“We value the views of our residents and stakeholders and would encourage everyone to view the policy and complete our online survey of the updated document, which includes 12 questions relating to the key changes.”
Go to www.melton.gov.uk/draftallocationspolicy to see the draft policy and give your views on the online survey on the council website.
Feedback will be considered for a final draft policy which will be considered by the council’s cabinet members in March.