New way of allocating council and housing association homes moves a step closer
Archived press release
Date Published: 02/10/08
Bucks Home Choice introduces a new way of letting homes.
A major change in the way district councils and housing associations in Buckinghamshire let their homes has moved one step closer to reality.
The Choice Based Lettings scheme, called Bucks Home Choice, will give people in housing need more choice about where they want to live. It introduces a new way of letting all council and many housing association homes.
Locata (Housing Services) Ltd (known as LHS) has been chosen to manage the scheme following a competitive tendering process, and is now working with Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils along with the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, Paradigm Housing, L & Q Housing Trust and Catalyst Housing Group to develop the new choice based system.
At the moment in Buckinghamshire applicants are awarded a number of points based on their housing need and this determines their position on the housing register. Available properties are then offered to the applicant with the highest points.
Under Bucks Home Choice, applicants will be placed in priority bands depending on their housing need. The more housing need, the higher the banding an applicant will receive.
Vacant properties will then be widely advertised. Applicants will be able to choose which properties they want to be considered for. In general, the property will be given to the applicant who has expressed an interest from the highest priority band, has a local connection and has waited the longest.
Properties will be advertised weekly on the Bucks Home Choice website – www.buckshomechoice.gov.uk – and locally by way of a newsletter in council and housing association customer service centres and other public places.
Bucks Home Choice will not increase the amount of housing available, but people will be able to see how many homes are becoming vacant, and what their chances are of being housed. Staff will help those who may have difficulty in understanding how Bucks Home Choice works, so that everyone will be able to benefit from this new service.
Councillor Michael Edmonds, Deputy Leader of AVDC and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Choice Based Lettings is an exciting new approach to finding a home. It’s a more transparent system and will give people a much clearer idea of what is available. It also gives people a choice in where they want to live. If people choose where they live, they are more likely to be happy living there.”
Peter Riley, Director, LHS, said: “We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with Buckinghamshire in order to deliver their Choice Based Lettings solution and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
The new scheme is scheduled to go live in Buckinghamshire during April 2009. For more information, visit www.buckshomechoice.gov.uk
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Bucks Home Choice