The Milton Keynes Council Cabinet meeting on the 6th November started a 12 week consultation to fundamentally change the current letting of Council housing and some housing association properties. The aim being to introduce choice and to reduce homelessness as the main route into council.
The key changes proposed are:
- To change the over emphasis on rehousing homeless families in favour of rehousing people before they are homeless.
- To introduce a three year residency requirement before a person can apply for housing.
- To give priority to people who meet reasonable preferences e.g. overcrowding, or medical/welfare needs.
- To introduce a Household income limit.
- To introduce local lettings to meet local needs.
- To ensure the right of Armed Forces personnel to Council housing.
The key features will be
- All applications will be on line. (With support for vulnerable households)
- Applicants placed in one of three Housing Need bands.
- Properties to be advertised and people bid for them.
- OAP/Specialist and sheltered housing excluded from CBL.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration Cllr Nigel Long said, “I am proposing to introduce openness and choice into the future allocation of Council housing and some housing association properties in order to meet local needs. This has been a long term policy aspiration of Labour led Milton Keynes Council. It is another step in creating a responsive, high performing Council housing service.”
Some housing associations will be participating in the Choice Based Lettings. In the longer term all housing associations will be encouraged to join the scheme.
Cllr Long concluded, “Our aim is to make high quality secure Council housing a choice for households who cannot afford to buy, are living at Mum and Dads or who live in insecure Private Rented Housing. I hope over time all housing associations will let their properties through the Councils Choice Based Housing scheme. The new scheme should prevent homelessness and focus lettings on households in the greatest need and on preventing homelessness.”