Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme

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					          Shropshire
 Affordable Housing Allocation
            Scheme
                                      as of July 2010, changes effective from 9th September 2010




                                                              Not including
                                                             Telford & Wrekin




Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme v.2 July 2010 changes effective from 9th September 2010   1
            This Allocation Scheme is also available in large print, Braille, on audio tape, disk or other languages o n request
                                                  WELSH
                                                  Os oes arnoch chi eisiau cael y gwybodaeth yma yn gymraeg, mae hi`n bosibl inni drefnu cael gwasanaeth cyfieithydd.
                                                   ffoniwch 01746 713100 os gwelwch chi`n dda.




Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme v.2 July 2010 changes effective from 9th September 2010                                                                 2
Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme v.2 July 2010 changes effective from 9th September 2010   3
CONTENTS

Applying for a Home                                                                                       7
 How to apply for a home                                                                                 7
 Reciprocal arrangements                                                                                 8
 Nominations for non-partner housing associations                                                        8
 Review of applications                                                                                  8

The Shropshire Housing Register                                                                           9
 Applications from people aged under 18 years                                                            9
 Applications from people requesting sheltered accommodation                                             9
 Joint Applications                                                                                      9
 Owner Occupiers                                                                                         10
 Declaration and authority to obtain information from another agency                                     11

Exclusions and Suspensions from the Register                                                              11
Exclusion
a) Nationality and immigration status/people from abroad                                                  11
b) Unacceptable behaviour                                                                                 12

Suspension of Housing Applications                                                                        12
 Suspension of applications                                                                              12
 Removing suspension                                                                                     13
 Exemption from suspension                                                                               13

Serious Offenders                                                                                         13

How the Scheme Operates                                                                                   13
 Local Letting Plans                                                                                     14
 New Affordable Housing: Local Housing Need                                                              14
 Sensitive Lets                                                                                          15
 Direct Lets                                                                                             15
 Target Allocation                                                                                       15




Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme v.2 July 2010 changes effective from 9th September 2010        4
Banding explained                                                                                         15

1. Priority Band                                                                                          16
2. Gold Band                                                                                              18
3. Silver Band                                                                                            20
4. Bronze Band                                                                                            23

 Preference within Bands                                                                                 23
 Assessing Composite Need                                                                                23
 Movement between Bands                                                                                  24

 Applicants who have deliberately made their housing circumstances worse                                 24
 Home Visits                                                                                             24
 Direct Lets                                                                                             24

Allocations to Parents with Access to Children                                                            24

Applications from Employees, Board Members, Councillors and their Relatives                               25

Property Criteria                                                                                         25

Appeals                                                                                                   27

Complaints                                                                                                28

Monitoring and Reviewing the Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Policy and Scheme                   28

Criminal Convictions                                                                                      28

False Statements and Witholding00 Information                                                                  29




Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Scheme v.2 July 2010 changes effective from 9th September 2010             5
SHROPSHIRE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ALLOCATION SCHEME

This Scheme applies to the Shropshire Council area, which does not include Telford and Wrekin. References to ‘the
County’ mean Shropshire excluding Telford and Wre kin

In this document ‘applicant’ also means ‘joint applicants’. Once allocated accommodation, single and joint tenants have
equal rights and responsibilities.

As of 1st April 2009 Shropshire has operated The Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Polic y and Scheme.

This document is the result of the first review that took place and amendments were adopted in July 2010. Changes are
effective from 9th September 2010.




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Applying for a Home
This Section explains how to apply for affordable housing, who is eligible to apply and the information required.


How to Apply for a Home
You may apply for a home by:

     Visiting or telephoning the Council or any of our housing association partners to request an application form to join the
      Housing Register. If you would like help to complete the form, please ask at any time.

     Completing an on-line application form at: www.shropshirehomepoint.co.uk


You can get advice and help by:

 Telephoning or calling in to the Housing Options Team or any Shropshire Council or partner housing association office


 Writing or emailing the Housing Options Team or any Shropshire Council or partner housing association office


 Telephoning the Shropshire Council Contact Centre

 Using the Shropshire Council Contact Centre language line if you do not speak English




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The Shropshire Housing Register is the list of people applying for affordable housing and includes existing Council or
housing association tenants applying for a transfer as well as people applying for affordable housing. You will be asked to provide
proof of identity before being allocated accommodation under this scheme.



Reciprocal Arrangements
Occasionally other councils and housing associations will ask us to house someone in return for a ‘reciprocal’ nomination outside of
the allocation scheme. Should the need arise, we will contact other landlords for their help with a reciprocal arrangement for
someone moving away from Shropshire. The Shropshire HomePoint Partnership will consider such arrangements and decide
whether to agree or request reciprocal arrangements



Nominations for Non-Partner Housing Associations
The Council has nomination rights to housing associations across the County. Many of these are our partners within this Policy and
our nomination rights are managed through the CBL scheme. Some housing associations however are not yet members of our
Housing Allocation Policy and Choice Based Letting Scheme. When these properties become available, nominations are made in
accordance with this Allocation Policy from applicants registered on the Shropshire Housing Register.



Review of Applications
Applicants have a duty to advise us if any of their circumstances change. We will review your application every 6 or 12 months
depending on the size and type of accommodation you have applied for. You will also be asked if you want to stay on the Register.
You will have 28 days from the date the letter was sent out to reply to the review letter. We will send out one reminder but if we
don’t receive a response, your application will be removed from the Register. If you need help to reply to the review letter, please
contact the Housing Options Team or any of the partner housing associations.




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The Housing Register
Although anyone can apply for affordable housing, properties can only be let to ‘eligible’ applicants.

If your application is refused you will be informed in writing of the reason why and you will be able to appeal.

People eligible to join the Housing Register include:

 Anyone aged 16 years or over
 Anyone who is not subject to immigration control under the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 as outlined in the Allocations
  Code of Guidance issued by the Government UNLESS they are already a tenant of a council or housing association
 Applicants who have NOT been excluded from the Housing Register because of unacceptable behaviour (see below)

Applications from people aged under 18 years
By law, people under the age of 18 years (minors) cannot hold a legal estate in land and so cannot normally hold a tenancy.
Although you can put your name on the Housing Register from the age of 16 years, you will not be able to bid for a home
until you are 18 years.
If you are under 18 years and want to apply for housing, you should contact the Housing Options Team to discuss your
situation. In some limited circumstances it is possible to offer accommodation to a young person, provided you are willing to
accept tenancy support and have a guarantor for the tenancy agreement until you are 18. Your guarantor could be an
agency, organisation or a person over 18 years old agreed with the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership. Each application will
be assessed individually.

Applications from people requesting Sheltered Accommodation
If you want sheltered housing, you will be sent information about sheltered housing in Shropshire. If you want to place a bid
for sheltered housing, you will be assessed by the Housing Provider to ensure that the property will meet your needs and that
you are eligible for this type of property.

Joint Applications
You can make a joint application if you are:
 Husband and wife
 A civil partnership couple
 Partners including same sex couples
 A parent with a child aged 18 years or over
 Siblings

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Owner Occupiers
If you own your own home, you may be considered for affordable housing if:

 Your current home is unsuitable in terms of size, location or cost and this is having, or threatens to have, a strong negative
  impact on the health and well-being of you and/or other members of your household

AND

 You cannot afford to remedy your circumstances through open market solutions

OR

 You and/or other household member/s require specialised accommodation available within the affordable housing sector and
  you would not be able to access this type of accommodation in the private sector following sale of your existing property/ies.

Owner occupiers will be banded according to their housing need. Owner occupiers who are deemed not to be in housing need can
be accepted into Bronze Band. As an owner occupier you can bid for properties upon exchange of contract for the sale of their
current home.

The Shropshire Housing Register
You must be registered on the Shropshire Housing Register before you can be considered for an allocation of affordable housing.
Once the application is complete, has been processed and made active you will be informed in writing of:

   Your banding and registration date
   Your personal application reference number (for use when bidding for properties)
   Details of how to bid for a property : you are allowed to bid for 3 properties each cycle/week
   Your right to appeal against your banding, should you disagree with it

You are responsible for notifying us of any change in your circumstances. If the change affects your Banding you will be informed
in writing of the outcome of your reassessment. If you stay in the same Band or move to a lower Band, your Registration Date will
remain the same. If you move to a higher band your Registration Date for the higher band will be the date the new information was
received.



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All applications will be acknowledged in writing within 5 days of receipt. If an application cannot be fully assessed and made active on
the Housing Register, you will be told in writing of the reason why and advised what you need to do so your application can become
active. Your application will be suspended until all the required information has been received and your application fully assessed.

Declaration and authority to obtain information from another agency
Each applicant will sign a Declaration confirming the details they have given on their application form are correct. Applicants will also
be asked to sign to give authorisation to enable members of the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership to contact other agencies and to
obtain and share information relating to the application.

Exclusion and Suspension from the Housing Register

Exclusion
In certain circumstances you may not be eligible for affordable housing and you may be excluded from the Housing Register. This
includes some people from abroad who are ineligible for social housing.

a) Nationality and immigration status/people from abroad
People who are not subject to immigration control but who are treated as persons from abroad have to be habitually resident in the
‘Common Travel Area’ to be eligible for a social housing tenancy. This means your main home must be in the United Kingdom, the
Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland.

The main groups of people who may be allocated accommodation, subject to satisfying a number of conditions, are:

 Existing social housing tenants
 British citizens
 European Economic Area citizens
 People who are subject to immigration control and have been granted refugee status or leave to enter or remain in the
  United Kingdom and this is not subject to any conditions to maintain themselves or accommodate themselves
 Applicants who are disqualified from housing under s106a Housing Act 1996 can be registered and considered for offers
  of accommodation provided they have the financial means to maintain rent payments (with recourse to public funds) and
  are not guilty of any behaviour that would lead to their exclusion or suspension from the Register




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People from abroad who are subject to immigration control, as described in the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, are generally
excluded from the Housing Register. A person may be allowed to register whilst ineligible, for example someone seeking
asylum, but their application will be suspended awaiting the decision on their entitlement to remain. If they receive a positive
decision to remain their application will be made active and the date they notified us of the decision will be their Registration Date.

The ‘Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 (SI No 1294.2006) published by the
Government in May 2006 provides more detailed information on eligibility for social housing of people subject to immigration control
and other people who are not subject to immigration control but are treated as persons from abroad. A copy is available upon
request from Shropshire HomePoint for customers to read.

b) Unacceptable behaviour

If you, or a member of your intended household, have been guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour you may be deemed to be
unsuitable as a tenant. Behaviour would only meet these criteria if it were so serious that a possession order would have been
granted against you by virtue of the behaviour. The decision to exclude an applicant on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour will
be made by the Shropshire HomePoint Operations Group. In reaching their decision the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership will
carry out a multi-agency risk assessment.

Suspension of Housing Applications

Applicants whose behaviour affects suitability to be a tenant
Where there is evidence that you may be have in a way that would make you or your household/ intended household less suitable
to be a tenant, but your behaviour is not so severe as to exclude you from the Register, your application may be suspended.

This means that although you can put your name on the Register, you will not be able to bid for a property or be offered
accommodation until the situation is resolved and the suspension is lifted. The decision to suspend an applicant on the grounds
of unacceptable behaviour will be made by representatives of the Shropshire HomePoint Operations Group. More detailed
information about Exclusion and Suspension from the Register is provided in the scheme booklet. We will investigate unacceptable
behaviour in order to determine whether your application should be suspended from the Register.

If you are refused registration because of your behaviour (or that of your household/ intended household) you will be notified in
writing of the reason/s why and have the right to appeal.




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Removing Suspension
Suspension from the Housing Register is not intended to permanently exclude applicants. A period for review will be agreed with
you and you can ask for an earlier review if your circumstances change.

Exemption from Suspension
Your application may not be suspended if:

 Shropshire Council has a legal duty to find permanent accommodation for you
 A multi-agency task group recommends rehousing (for example the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel). In such cases the
  Shropshire HomePoint must be satisfied you will receive the support you need to sustain your tenancy before an offer of
  accommodation is made.

Serious Offenders
Applicants who are subject to MAPP (Multi-Agency Public Protection) arrangements may register with Shropshire HomePoint. Bids
will accepted when made by an acknowledged professional or advocate in consultation with and on behalf of the applicant.

How the Scheme Operates
Housing authorities are required by law (s167 Housing Act 1996) to have an allocation system for determining priorities, and for
defining procedures to be followed when allocating housing. The system must set out eligibility criteria, the means of determining
the relative priority for housing and the procedures in place for implementation. Reasonable preference must be given to certain
categories of people, as set out in the Act (s167 (2)):
 People who are homeless and owed a duty to rehouse (within Part 7 Housing Act 1996)
 People occupying overcrowded, unsanitary or unsatisfactory housing conditions
 People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds
 People who need to move to a particular locality where failure to meet this need would cause hardship (to themselves or others)

These categories represent categories of housing need, which in themselves lend a degree of priority for rehousing. Within and
between each category there will be hierarchies of need. Local authorities are required to assess which people have the greatest
need and to prioritise their rehousing.
Additional preference can be given to particular circumstances where need may be considered both a priority for rehousing and
urgent. This will include people who need rehousing for example as a result of domestic violence, harassment or being victims
or witnesses of crime, or on urgent medical grounds.
When a household is described as being in ‘housing need’, they are identified as falling within one or more of the needs categories
above.


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Allocations systems, which depart from giving reasonable preference to people in these categories to achieve broader outcomes, are
permissible in certain circumstances but require robust justification.

Local Letting Plans
The Shropshire HomePoint Partnership may from time to time introduce a Local Letting Scheme to achieve wider objectives.
Where a Local Letting Plan is in place, priority will be given to applicants who directly meet the criteria of the Plan. Details of
each Local Letting Plan will be available on request from the Council and/or the partner housing associations. Advertisements for
properties included in the Local Letting Plan will specify the required criteria.

Some properties may also be restricted by s1 06 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) imposing conditions on who
is able to bid. A s106 Agreement normally requires that priority is given to people in housing need who have a local connection to
the settlement or parish.

New Affordable Housing: Local Housing Need
In July 2009 the Council published Interim Planning Guidance on Affordable Housing to help increase the supply of affordable
housing and meet local housing needs. Some new housing developments may be subject to special planning conditions or legal
restrictions applied through Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) imposing conditions on who is
able to live in the accommodation (known as qualifying persons).

These conditions are particularly relevant in our more rural areas and aim to ensure that people with a Local Connection and Local
Housing Need are given priority for rehousing, over and above people from the general Housing Register. This means for example
that an applicant in Bronze Band who satisfies both the Local Connection and Local Housing Need criteria will have priority for
rehousing in this instance over an applicant in Gold Band who does not meet these criteria

The criteria used by the Council for determining Local Connection and Local Housing Need are set out in the prevailing Interim
Planning Guidance and any successor documents adopted through the Local Development Framework process.

Applicants who do not meet the Local Connection and Local Housing Need criteria will only be considered for accommodation
restricted in this way after it has been made available exclusively to qualifying persons for a period of no less than three months.




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Sensitive Lets
The Shropshire HomePoint Partnership may from time to time identify specific properties for Sensitive Let. This means specific
criteria will be applied to individual homes to achieve wider objectives. Where a Sensitive Let is identified, priority will be given to
applicants who directly meet the required criteria. Advertisements for properties defined as Sensitive Lets will specify the required
criteria.

Direct Lets
The Shropshire HomePoint Partnership may from time to time need to make a direct let of a property to an applicant in
exceptional or urgent circumstances or who has very specific housing requirements. Properties identified for a Direct Let will be
advertised in the normal way but will not be available for bids.

Target Allocations
The allocation of affordable housing in Shropshire is a key strategic activity. We aim to balance allocation of housing to properly
reflect the diversity of housing need within the community. To achieve this balance, target allocations have been agreed for
selected housing needs and are as follows:

 Move-on from supported housing                                    10%
 Transfer Applicants                                               25%
 Bronze Band                                                        5%


Banding Explained
Applicants on the Housing Register will be divided into four bands:

1)   Priority Band
2)   Gold Band
3)   Silver Band
4)   Bronze Band




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1) Priority Band
Priority Band status will normally be valid for 8 weeks from the date you were notified of your Banding. If you have not secured
accommodation in this period Housing Options staff will carry out a review. If no suitable properties have become available during
that period, your Priority Band status may be extended for a period agreed by the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership. If you have
been bidding for suitable properties but have not been successful, your Priority Band status may be extended for a period agreed
by the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership. The Housing Options Team will provide help and support where needed. If however
you fail to bid for properties, or have been bidding for unsuitable properties, we will determine the reason for this. If there are valid
reasons, your Priority Band status may be extended for a period agreed by the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership. Where there
are insufficient reasons the Priority Band status will be withdrawn and you will be placed in the Gold Band.

1.1 Statutorily Homeless With a Duty to Rehouse
We will accept a duty under Part VII of the Housing act 1996 (as amended by the Housing Act 2002) to provide accommodation if
you are:

   Eligible for assistance
   Homeless or threatened with homelessness within 28 days
   Have a priority need for rehousing
   Are not intentionally homeless
   Have a local connection to Shropshire (excluding Telford & Wrekin)

If as a statutorily homeless applicant and you have not obtained accommodation within eight weeks, the review outlined above will
be carried out. The Housing Options Team will provide help and support where needed. If it is decided not to extend the eight
week period, priority status will be retained and waiting time will continue to accrue but the Housing Option Team will make bids
on your behalf for any suitable properties that become available. When a successful bid is made for a property you will be notified
and, subject to your right of review under Part VII Housing Act 1996, this will constitute an offer of accommodation under Part VI
Housing Act 1996 to discharge the Council’s duty to provide accommodation. Should a housing association reject the bid made by
you or on your behalf, the homelessness duty will not be discharged and you will remain eligible for another offer. If you refuse a
suitable offer, the homelessness duty will be discharged and you will cease to have Priority Band status.

If you are put forward for a nomination by Shropshire Council to a non-partner housing provider and the property falls outside the
choice based letting scheme, then one offer only will be made. If you refuse this offer, the Council will consider its duty to rehouse as
having been discharged. You may request a review of this decision if you believe the accommodation offered to be unsuitable.



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1.2 Agricultural Tied Accommodation is coming to an end
If you currently occupy agricultural tied accommodation and it is coming to an end, the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 requires a local
authority to use their best endeavours to provide accommodation for a qualifying displaced agricultural worker. Section 27 of the
1976 Act requires the authority to be satisfied that:

I.      The dwelling house from which the worker is displaced is needed to accommodate another agricultural worker
II.     The farmer cannot provide suitable alternative accommodation for the displaced worker; and
III.    They ought to rehouse him or her in the interests of efficient agricultural management

In reaching a decision the authority may have regard to the advice of an Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committee
(ADHAC). The role of the ADHAC is to provide advice as to the question of whether the interests of efficient agriculture are served
by the rehousing of the worker and on the urgency of the application. If we are satisfied that your case is substantiated, it is our
duty under s28 1976 Act to use our best endeavours to provide suitable alternative accommodation. In assessing the priority to be given
to your application, we are also required to take account of the urgency of your case, the competing claims on the accommodation we
could provide and the resources at our disposal.

Where the ADHAC recommends rehousing, the applicant will normally be awarded priority status.

1.3 Tied Accommodation is coming to an end – assessed duty to rehouse
If you currently occupy tied accommodation and it is coming to an end and, following an assessment you would be eligible for
rehousing under Part VII of the Housing act 1996 (as amended by the Housing Act 2002), you will be placed in the Priority Band.
You will be required to bid for suitable accommodation as outlined in 1.1 above.

1.4 Verified immediate very high medical need, where a move will improve or prevent deterioration of a condition
Your individual circumstances will be assessed by an independent assessor to determine the level of medical need. An immediate
very high level of need will only apply where there is an urgent risk to your physical safety and functional ability that can only be
improved through alternative housing (see also 2.3 and 3.8). This will take into account the degree to which your condition affects
your ability to live in your accommodation. Applicants unable to return home from hospital because they need permanent rehousing
may also be placed into this category following a multi-agency risk assessment.




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1.5 Urgent management transfers
Where an existing social housing tenant has an urgent need to move to alternative accommodation the application will be placed in
the Priority Band for rehousing and may be allocated out of date order. The need for an urgent management transfer will be
confirmed by the Housing Manager of the relevant housing association or the Council, whichever is the landlord.

1.6 National Witness Protection Scheme
Shropshire Council participates in the national Witness Protection Scheme. Applicants in need of urgent rehousing under this
Scheme are eligible for priority rehousing.

2) Gold Band

2.1 Current property is in serious disrepair
If the information you give us suggests your home may be in a serious state of disrepair, the Council’s Private Sector Housing
Section will be contacted and asked to carry out a Health and Safety Rating System Assessment (HHSRS)

You will be placed in the Gold Band if your current home has one or more Category 1 hazards and a member of your household
falls within one of the HHSRS vulnerable groups.

2.2 Move-on from supported accommodation
You will be placed in the Gold Band if you currently accommodation with some level of support and it is the stated opinion of the
support provider that you need less support to meet your needs. Examples might be:
 Where you are a tenant of supported or sheltered accommodation but no longer need that level of support
 Where you occupy rehabilitation accommodation and your case worker believes you are in need of independent general needs
   housing

2.3 Verified high medical need, where a move will improve or prevent deterioration of a condition
Your individual circumstances will be assessed by an independent assessor to determine the level of medical need. An immediate
very high level of need will only apply where there is an urgent risk to your physical safety and functional ability that can only be
improved through alternative housing (see also 3.8). This will take into account the degree to which your condition affects your
ability to live in your accommodation.




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2.4 Severe overcrowding
Severe overcrowding occurs when the applicant needs two or more additional bedrooms. The criteria for determining overcrowding
will be based one bedroom being required for each of the following:

   A couple
   The parent of a lone parent family
   Two children of either sex under the age of 10 years
   Two children of the same sex aged 10 years and over but under 16 years
   Each child of the opposite sex aged 10 years and over
   Each person over the age of 16 years should be entitled to a separate bedroom

An expected child is not included in the overcrowding calculation until born. Tenants and owner-occupiers with lodgers do not have
the lodgers taken into account in the overcrowding calculation where the lodgers are the cause of the overcrowding.

If you indicate you have a shortage of bedrooms, we will investigate by making a home visit.

2.5 Applicants with a need for support
Where you currently occupy general needs accommodation but have expressed a desire for accommodation with a greater level of
support or where you have been referred by one of our partner agencies, we will assess any need for support.

2.6 Existing social housing tenants under-occupying by two or more bedrooms who wish to move to a smaller property
We will check to validate your application in relation to our eligibility criteria. You must be prepared to move to a smaller property.

2.7 Applicants who are experiencing harassment and want to move
All applications will be taken seriously and in line with the Shropshire HomePoint Partnership victim-centred protocol. The Housing
Options Team will fully investigate applications where harassment is the main cause of housing need. It may be appropriate to refer
applicants to the Homelessness Officer to determine whether a homelessness application is required.




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2.8 Discharge from the Armed Forces
If you are a member of the Armed Forces who is going to be discharged within 6 months you must have a local connection such as
a close family member or offer of employment in the County. If you are currently employed with the Armed Forces within the County
this will constitute a local connection. Confirmation of discharge and/or employment will be required.

2.9 Relationship Breakdown
If you have split from your partner and there is joint custody of children or regular overnight access to children and you do not have
suitable accommodation to enable the children to stay with you, we will assess your need for alternative accommodation.
Accommodation with one additional bedroom may be offered to the parent with whom the children are not habitually resident.
Evidence of access arrangements will be required and a home visit may be undertaken.

2.10 Assured Shorthold Tenancies: s21 Notice
If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and have received a valid s21 Notice from your landlord and the Council’s Housing
Options Service is satisfied that the Council would owe a full duty under Homelessness legislation, you will be placed in the Gold
Band.

3) Silver Band

3.1 Homeless without a statutory duty to rehouse
This status is only awarded by the Homelessness Officer and is awarded where you have priority need but have been found to be
intentionally homeless.

3.2 Current property is in disrepair
If the information you give us suggests your home may be in disrepair, the Council’s Private Sector Housing Section will be
contacted and asked to carry out a Health and Safety Rating System Assessment (HHSRS)

You will be placed in the Silver Band if your current home has one or more Category 2 hazards and a member of your household falls
within one of the HHSRS vulnerable groups.




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3.3 Overcrowding
Overcrowding occurs when the applicant needs one additional bedroom. The criteria for determining overcrowding will be based one
bedroom being required for each of the following:

   Two children A couple
   The parent of a lone parent family
   Two children of either sex under the age of 10 years
   Two children of the same sex aged 10 years and over but under 16 years
   Each child of the opposite sex aged 10 years and over
   Each person over the age of 16 years should be entitled to a separate bedroom

An expected child is not included in the overcrowding calculation until born. Tenants and owner-occupiers with lodgers do not have
the lodgers taken into account in the overcrowding calculation where the lodgers are the cause of the overcrowding

If you indicate you have a shortage of bedrooms, we will investigate by making a home visit.

3.4 Existing social housing tenants under-occupying by one bedroom who wish to move to a smaller property
We will check to validate your application in relation to our eligibility criteria. You must be prepared to move to a smaller property.

3.5 Applicants sharing essential facilities with a separate household not included in the application for rehousing
There is where you are sharing a bathroom, toilet or kitchen with a separate household not included in your application for
rehousing.

3.6 A move is needed to give support to, or receive support from, family members and/or move closer to local facilities
This would only apply where NOT moving would cause physical, emotional or financial hardship.

We will verify the address of each family member and you will need to provide evidence to show how the move would enable the
support required to be provided and/or how the facilities would be of benefit. Local facilities would include for example a school,
doctors’ surgery etc.




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3.7 Family is forced to live apart
This would apply where your family has previously lived together and is in circumstances where you are now unable to do so,
for example financial reasons, work commitments or other commitments.
The address of each family member will be verified and we will need evidence of the reason/s for the separation e.g.
confirmation of employment. Medical assessment will be sought where applicable.

3.8 Verified medium medical need, where a move will improve or prevent deterior ation of a condition
Your individual circumstances will be assessed by an independent assessor to determine the level of medical need. A medium level
of need will only apply where there is an urgent risk to your physical safety and functional ability that can only be improved
through alternative housing (see also 2.3 and 3.8). This will take into account the degree to which your condition affects your
ability to live in your accommodation.

3.9 Applicants in, or due to be in, permanent full -time employment (16+ hours per week) which will mean excessive
travel (over 1 hour each way)
Your employer will be contacted to verify that you are in permanent full-time employment and the hours you work. We will also
verify your home address and the length of journey time.

3.10 Relationship breakdown
If you have split from your spouse/partner but are forced to remain living in the same home due to financial or other limiting factors,
you will need to provide evidence that you cannot find alternative accommodation (e.g. you need to live in a particular area but there
is a shortage of privately-rented accommodation)

3.11 The applicant has a child under 10 years or is pregnant and lives in a flat above the first floor with no garden
A certificate will be required from your doctor to confirm your pregnancy and/or birth certificates for the children. A home visit may be
undertaken to properly assess your situation.




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4) Bronze Band

4.1 Applications from people in prison
If you are currently in prison we will accept your application but it will be suspended until approximately 3 months prior to you
release date. At this point your application may be reassessed in liaison with you and with joint working/ planning involving all relevant
support agencies. If you are likely to be homeless on your release homelessness assessment can be carried out prior to your
release.

4.2 If you don’t meet any of the criteria for the above Bands, you will be placed in the Bronze Band

Preference Within Bands
Properties will be advertised through the Choice Based Letting Scheme, as they become available. Anyone who is on the
Housing Register will be entitled to bid for properties, unless there is some restriction placed upon the property criteria which limits
bids e.g. a Local Lettings Plan, age-restricted property, supported housing.
If more than one suitable qualifying applicant bids for a property, the property will be offered to an applicant with Priority Band
status.
If no Priority Band applicants bid or are suitable, the offer will go to a Gold Band applicant. If not Gold Band applicants are suitable,
the offer will be made to a Silver Band applicant, and then to a Bronze band applicant.
Where more than one applicant from the same Band bids, preference will be given to the applicant with the earliest Registration
Date.

Assessing Composite Need
If you qualify for a Band for more than one reason, the Banding scheme will enable you to have a greater chance of getting a
property.
This will be achieved through granting additional notional waiting time, which will be added to your Registration Date.
If you are in Gold Band, for each additional indicator of need within the same Band you will be awarded an additional 6 months
waiting time.
If you are in Silver Band, for each additional indicator of need within the same Band you will be awarded an additional 3 months
waiting time.
If you are in the Gold Band and also meet Silver Band needs criteria, for each additional indicator of need, you will be awarded an
additional 3 months waiting time.



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Movement between Bands

You can move between Bands if:

 Your circumstances change
 You provide additional information about a medical or welfare issue

The date you submitted your application will remain as your registration date if you remain in the same Band or move into a lower
priority Band. If you move into a higher priority Band then the relevant date will be the date the new information was received.


Applicants who have deliberately made their housing circumstances worse
If there is evidence you have deliberately made your housing circumstances worse to get more priority on the Housing Register;
your application will be put into the Bronze Band.

Home visits
In most cases properties will be offered based on the information you give on your application form. Home visits may be carried out to
gain specific details about any area highlighted on the application form.

Direct Lets
The Council and partners RSLs may from time to time need to make a direct let of a property to an applicant in exceptional or
urgent circumstances or who has very specific housing requirements. Criteria for making direct lets have been agreed by the Allocation
Scheme Steering Group and are available for inspection. Properties identified for a direct let will be advertised through the Choice
Based Lettings Scheme but will be identified as unavailable for bids. This is to ensure the use of direct lets remains transparent.

Allocations to parents with access to children
If you are the parent with the primary responsibility for the child (ren), you will be the applicant given priority for accommodation. If
there is full joint custody or the “primary” parent’s circumstances are such that the other parent needs regular overnight sleeping
accommodation for the child (ren), they would qualify for properties with the family’s preferred criteria.




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Applications from Employees, Board Members, Councillors and their relatives
Shropshire Council and our partner housing associations each have policies to ensure allocations are made in line with the
Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Policy and that no favour is given to applicants who have close links with the Council or
partner housing associations. The proper implementation of these policies will be monitored within the terms of each agency’s own
internal and external performance auditing arrangements.

Property Criteria
Criteria for properties are set to ensure best use is made of the stock and that properties are allocated to the households they
are intended for. For example some properties may have had adaptations for people with a disability. Properties will initially be
offered to applicants who meet the property criteria in band and registration date order. If that list is exhausted then properties may
have the criteria reviewed or be offered to previously ineligible applicants based on band and registration date order for example a
two bed roomed bungalow may be allocated to a single person household if no two person households were interested.

A breakdown of the property criteria is listed below:

Bungalows are usually let to people who need ground floor accommodation, including older people or people who have a disability.
The applicants’ housing needs should clearly require allocation of bungalow accommodation. Consideration for a bungalow may
be given if there are no other ground floor properties within a reasonable geographic distance of the area requested.

Sheltered & Grouped Accommodation is usually let to older people who have been assessed as requiring the support service
provided by the Scheme Manager (Warden). There may be circumstances where a younger person may benefit from being in this type of
supported accommodation. Each application will be considered individually.

First Floor Flats above Sheltered and Grouped Sc hemes will normally only be offered to applicants assessed as being suitable
for accommodation close to vulnerable people.

Flats may be offered to a range of applicants. In some circumstances we may make offers to applicants who have children
under 12 in their household.




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Properties adapted or purpose built for people with disabilities will be offered first to applicants if they, or a member of
their household, need the adaptations provided.

If you are already living in a property which has suitable adaptations to meet your needs you will normally only be considered for
a move to another already suitably adapted property. Any extenuating circumstances necessitating a move will be considered.
Any move requiring another set of adaptations will have to be approved by the Housing Manager in consultation with Adult Services
Occupational Therapy Team Manager.

If two or more suitable applicants are identified, the property will be offered to the household that can make best use of the property
or has the earliest registration date.

If a property has been adapted and the disabled member of the household no longer requires the adaptation, has died or has
moved away, consideration will be given to offering the remaining occupants a direct let of alternative suitable accommodation to
enable the specialist property to be allocated to a household in greater need who would benefit from the adaptations (see
Priority Band).

2 and 3 Bedroom Houses – preference will be given to families and households with children

4 Bedroom Houses - preference will be given to households whose family composition will fully utilise all the rooms.

Bedroom requirements – if there is a severe shortage of certain property types in the area, priority will be given to households
who need all the bedrooms in a property.

It is considered preferable that the following have their own bedroom:

 A couple
 Each child over 10 years old to prevent sharing with another person of the opposite sex
 Lodgers

Delegated authority to amend property criteria
The Director of Housing or equivalent has the authority to amend the criteria for certain estates or properties if it is thought this
would benefit the community and contribute to sustainable neighbourhoods. A record of the reasons why any amendments to
property criteria have been made will be kept.

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Appeals

You can appeal against a range of decisions made in the housing allocation process. These are:

   A decision to exclude you from the Register
   A decision to suspend your application
   A decision about your banding on the Housing Register
   A decision on the medical or welfare priority you have been given
   A decision on your eligibility to go on the Housing Register
   An allocation made following bids made on behalf of homeless applicants in the Priority Band

All requests will be dealt with in the same way.

Your request for an appeal can be made either verbally or in writing. Contact Shropshire Council Customer Services or the
Housing Options Team for more information and any help you may need to make your appeal. The Housing Options Team will
also be able to provide a list of agencies that can help you with your appeal.

If you are lodging your details in writing, you must give details as to why you want the decision reviewed and provide any other
information you wish to be considered.

If you are lodging your appeal verbally, we will write down the reasons and ask you to sign to confirm it is a correct record of the
points you wish to be considered.

Reviews will be carried out by an independent Senior Officer from Shropshire Council or the relevant Housing Association who was
not involved in the original decision. They will either decide to overturn or support the original decision. You will be informed of the
decision in writing within ten working days of receipt of the request for a review. The reply will contain the decision made the
reasons for the decision and the facts taken into account when making the decision.




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Complaints

You can use the complaints procedure if you feel:

   Something has been done badly or wrong
   Something has not been done that should have been done
   If the service has not been delivered in accordance with the policy and procedures
   If you feel you have been treated in an impolite in an impolite or discourteous manner

All customers who make a complaint will be treated fairly and objectively. A written reply to your complaint will be sent out within 10
working days or receiving the complaint.

Please contact Customer Services or the Housing Options Team for more information about the complaints procedure and any help
you may need to make your complaint.
Information is also available on our website: www.shropshire.gov.uk

If you are still not satisfied with the decision or the way the case has been dealt with, you can write to the Local Government
Ombudsman or apply for a judicial review.

Monitoring and Reviewing the Shropshire Affordable Housing Allocation Policy and Scheme

The implementation of the Shropshire Affordable Housing Policy and Allocation Scheme will be monitored to ensure it achieves the
stated objectives. The Policy and the Scheme will also be subject to periodic review, in consultation with partner agencies,
residents and other stakeholders.

Performance against the Policy and the Scheme will be published in our annual service review.

Criminal Convictions
Applicants who have relevant unspent convictions for serious criminal offences which may threaten the stability of a community will
have their housing needs assessed and all factors taken into account before a decision is make regarding their eligibility to join the
Housing Register. The partnership will work collaboratively with the police, probation and prison service in an effort to resolve an
applicant’s ineligibility and improve their chances of being integrated back into the community through a planned and managed
approach.


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False Statements and Witholding Information

This Policy falls within the provisions Part VI of Housing Act 1996 s171, which states:

(1) A person commits an offence if, in connection with the exercise by a local housing authority of their functions under this Part:

a) He knowingly or recklessly makes a statement which is false in material particular,

Or

b) He knowingly withholds information which the authority have reasonably requested him to give in connection with the exercise
   of those functions

Where false information is found to have been given, you may be excluded from the registration, and where false information has
resulted in you obtaining accommodation, possession proceedings for recovery of the property may be instigated.




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