Mole Valley's Housing Allocations Scheme Review
On 28th November 2017, Mole Valley District Council's Executive will consider a report recommending the approval of Mole Valley's amended Housing Allocations Scheme, in preparation for the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
The current Housing Allocations Scheme was last reviewed and approved by the Executive on 16 January 2016, following an extensive review in 2014. Many of the newly proposed amendments have been made to ensure the Housing Allocations Scheme is compliant with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and it includes other amendments to improve clarity.
Changes to the current scheme include amendment to the 'local connection' criteria for those leaving care until they are 21 years old. The new Act requires that a care leaver's 'local connection' is now specific to the county (Surrey) and not to a particular district or borough.
Amendments to create sanctions for refusing suitable housing offers have also been included to ensure scarce affordable housing resources are utilised as efficiently as possible. The report proposes restricting the number of housing offers made to one applicant by Mole Valley District Council to a total of three. It is suggested that if a third housing offer is refused, that applicants will be removed from the register for 12 months from the date of their third refusal. Those accepted as legally homeless by Mole Valley will continue to receive one suitable offer.
In order to improve quality of living for those eligible for four bedroom properties yet living in overcrowded smaller properties, the report proposes that applicants who currently are waiting for four bedroom properties will be offered larger three bedroom properties to improve their situation.
Councillor Corinna Osborne-Patterson, Executive Member for Communities, Services and Housing said, "This report, if approved, will enable us to continue our excellent record in housing and ensure that we are prepared in good time for the Homelessness Reduction Act that will come into force from April 2018.
"We encourage anyone who thinks they may be about to become homeless to contact us as early as possible. We have a lot of useful information online and they can arrange an appointment at our offices in Dorking to see one of our Home Options Officers. As the cold weather of winter approaches we also encourage members of the public to use our website to report rough sleepers so we can make sure that they have access to support services"