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North Lanarkshire Council complete third review of Housing Allocation Policy

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 21:35 GMT on Thursday, May 30th, 2013.

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NORTH Lanarkshire Council’s third review of the authority’s Housing Allocation Policy has been completed. 

The review was conducted in order to ensure that North Lanarkshire Council effectively support their tenants and target those in need of housing, as a matter of priority, with the council’s Housing Allocation Policy in existence to give priority to those most in need of housing, as well as supporting existing tenants to move to another home, with the circumstances and needs of individuals and families assessed using a point system to determine their place on the housing waiting list.

"When our new housing allocation policy was first approved, a provision was made that regular reviews of the policy would be carried out, to ensure it worked effectively," explained Committee Convener, Councillor Sam Love.

The completion of the third review of the policy comes after consultation with tenants, staff, elected members, other interested groups and partner landlords operating the North Lanarkshire Common Housing Register, with a number of amendments recommended to the policy.

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These amendments, including promoting mutual exchange between existing tenants and outlining the range of housing options available to them, were approved at a recent meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s Housing and Social Work Services Committee.

Cllr Love added: "This latest review took place to help us meet the many challenges presented in our housing sector, including recent changes in legislation which came into effect through the UK Government's Welfare Reform Act 2012.

"We received a number of responses to our recent consultation and are making minor amendments to ensure we're making best use of the limited housing stock in our area. For example, we'll be increasing the promotion of mutual exchange between existing tenants and when people come to us, we'll continue to make sure applicants are fully aware of the impact Welfare Reform could have on them. It is vital tenants know they may now have to pay a shortfall in rent, where previously the charge would have been fully covered with housing benefit. From the outset of the application process we must make sure they realise the implications of the choices they make.

"We'll continue to monitor the impact these changes have."

The committee also heard that, in addition to our own audit process, the Scottish Housing Regulator gave us positive feedback on their inspection of the Allocation Policy in May 2011.

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