Views invited on changes to social housing allocation policy in Bucks

The policy that guides the allocation of social housing in Bucks is changing due to alterations in government legislation and increasing demand for social and affordable properties to rent – and Bucks Home Choice is asking people for their views on the plans.

Bucks Home Choice is a partnership of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils. Officers manage the Housing Register through Bucks Home Choice, where applicants are prioritised according to their needs and circumstances and placed in different housing ‘bands’. In addition, Vale of Aylesbury Housing also works closely with AVDC to manage applications in the Aylesbury Vale.

The proposed changes are designed to prioritise accommodation to those who need it most and make the best possible use of the housing stock available. The partnership wants to prevent people and families at the highest risk from becoming homeless. Some groups will now have greater priority than before and others will be classified as lower priority.

Cllr Mark Winn, AVDC’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Faced with the huge demand for social and affordable housing in Bucks, we have decided to look again at how we identify those in greatest need. We have worked hard to create what we think are simple, fair and transparent rules, ones which should help anyone applying to the Housing Register to understand their realistic prospects. By making more efficient use of the housing stock we plan to cut down on the use of emergency or temporary accommodation for applicants who are actually homeless.

“I’m urging you to have a look at what we are suggesting and give your comments, so we can do the best job possible with the available housing, in a very challenging situation where demand is increasing all the time.”

Bucks Home Choice wants to hear from residents, those on or applying to the Housing Register, Registered Providers of social housing, community groups, those providing support and those with an interest in how housing is allocated across Buckinghamshire. The consultation can be found at www.buckshomechoice.org.uk and runs until 5.15pm on Monday 7 January 2019.