129 Proposed changes to the Councils Allocation Policy
Report by Alistair Cunningham, Corporate Director.
Councillor Chuck Berry presented the report which asked Cabinet to consider recommended changes for adoption by Council and to note the progress in regard to the IT upgrade.
In the course of the presentation and debate, the matters raised included: that the recommendation would be considered by the meeting of Council in February; the supply of housing and the efforts address the shortage; the impact of marketing and changes of policy on the housing waiting list; how the Council is encouraging people with local connections to register for affordable housing in rural locations; and that library staff had been trained to provide assistance to residents to fill in housing and benefit application forms.
In response to a question from Councillor Ian Thorn, the Leader stated that Cabinet members had asked officers to investigate how best the Council could assist vulnerable residents during the transition period moving onto the Universal Credit scheme.
Councillor Laura Mayes, as the Cabinet Member responsible for Looked After Children, welcomed the change in the policy that allowed care leavers to be included as a priority and stated, in response to a query by Councillor Jon Hubbard, that she welcomed a flexible approach to how the policy was applied to this group in recognition of their specific vulnerabilities.
The meeting’s attention was drawn to the recent recommendations of the Environment Select Committee who had considered the matter at their previous meeting.
At the conclusion of the debate, the meeting;
To amend the council allocation policy and recommend to Council to update the policy.
Reason for Decision:
To make improvements to the allocation policy in line with recent recommendations following recent consultation as well as welfare reform and legislative changes to help make the system more effective and efficient.