Thousands of families to be removed from housing waiting list.
Wiltshire Council's new housing allocation policy comes in on 9th December. During an 8 week transition period the council will then re-register and re-band all applicants onto the new system.
Next week WC will be writing to all bronze band applicants - some 9,000 households - to inform them that as from the 9th December their housing application will be cancelled and they will no longer be able to bid for social housing. People currently in the bronze band are those with no immediate housing need.
The council claims that, "With only 2,000 social housing lets each year we need to ensure we identify and give priority to those most in need. We have explained to these households that our new policy aims to manage client expectations better by not registering those who are unlikely to be re-housed through Homes4Wiltshire and to encourage clients currently in Bronze band to look at the alternative options available to them."
Households with no identified housing need can still express an interest in other forms of housing under the Open Market Register. These options will not include general needs housing but will include:-
- Private rented accommodation
- Low cost home ownership
- Shared ownership / Homebuy
- Properties in low demand that clients on the housing register have not bid for
WC say the reasons for this change are:-
- There is limited housing stock and high demand so it's more efficient to have only those in need on the register.
- The new register will prevent false expectations of getting re-housed.
- The register will be easier to administer with less applicants needing to be processed and assessed.
- There was strong support to remove those households with no identified housing need from the register in the formal consultation.
When the change was considered by the WC cabinet in November 2013 there were 18,995 households on the Housing Register, of which 8,378 were in the Bronze band.