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Report on new Housing Allocations Scheme to Manchester City

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					Manchester City Council                                                       Item 16
Executive                                                               10 March 2010

                          MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL
                           REPORT FOR RESOLUTION

Report To:            Executive – 10 March 2010

Subject:              New Housing Allocations Scheme

Report Of:            Director Of Housing


PURPOSE OF REPORT

To seek approval for the adoption of a new Housing Allocations Scheme for the City
under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended). Executive is also requested to
note the ongoing work required to implement the new scheme.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Executive is requested to:

     1. Approve the adoption of the Part VI Allocation Scheme at Appendix 1.

     2. Note and approve the ongoing work required to implement the scheme in
        Winter 2010 as specified in paragraphs 8 and 9, and agree to delegate
        authority to the Director of Housing and Executive Member for
        Neighbourhood Services accordingly to allow for a smooth implementation
        upon advice from the City Solicitor.

     3. Note the Equality Impact Assessment appended at Appendix 2.



FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR THE REVENUE/CAPITAL BUDGET

Costs associated with the review will be contained within existing budget provision.

CONTACT OFFICERS                  EXTENSION       EMAIL ADDRESS
P Beardmore                       234 4811
                                  p.beardmore@manchester.gov.uk
G Heath                           234 4837        g.heath@manchester.gov.uk

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

List of Consultees and Consultation Response Documents

MCC Report for Resolution Executive 24 October 2007 Allocations Policy Review

The Housing Act 1996 (as amended)

Allocation of Accommodation: Code of Guidance for Housing Authorities 2002 issued
by the ODPM
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Executive                                                             10 March 2010

Allocation of Accommodation: Choice Based Lettings Code of Guidance for Housing
Authorities 2008

Fair and Flexible: Statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local
authorities in England 2009, issued by the Communities and Local Government
Department.

John Hills Report Ends and Means on the Role of Social Housing 2006


WARDS AFFECTED

All

IMPLICATIONS FOR KEY COUNCIL POLICIES

ANTI                       EQUAL                        ENVIRONMENT
POVERTY                    OPPORTUNITIES

Yes                        Yes                          Yes


EMPLOYMENT                 HUMAN RIGHTS
OPPORTUNITIES

Yes                        Yes
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Executive                                                                10 March 2010

1.    PURPOSE

The City’s Part VI Allocations Scheme operates within a tight statutory and legal
framework and from within this framework aims to contribute to Manchester’s
Community Strategy.

This report advises Executive on proposals emerging from a fundamental review of
the City’s Allocations Scheme commissioned by the Director of Housing and
Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, and on the outcome of formal
consultation with Manchester residents and partners on those proposals.

It seeks approval for the adoption of a new Part VI Allocations Scheme for the City
based on these proposals and to ask Executive to note the significant administrative
and procedural changes required to support its implementation. It goes on to seek
permission from Executive to implement parts of the proposed scheme under the
current allocations policy in anticipation of a full roll out later in the year.


2.    BACKGROUND

The 1996 Housing Act (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) requires local
housing authorities to make all it’s housing allocations and nominations in
accordance with an Allocations Scheme.

The Allocations Scheme includes the criteria that the Authority uses to assess
eligibility and to prioritise housing applicants for the social housing the Council has
available. Approximately 4,500 lets per year are made to social housing overall in the
City, approximately 75% of which are let under this scheme to homes owned by
Manchester City Council, including council homes managed by Northwards -
Manchester’s Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) and by Registered
Providers of Social Housing (often referred to as Registered Social Landlords)
pursuant to Private Finance Initiatives (PFI’s), plus a proportion (50%)of homes
owned by Registered Providers in the City pursuant to the Council’s nominations
rights (these allocations are known as Council “nominations”).

Registered Providers will have different criteria for the allocation of the 50% of their
own homes not let under their nominations agreement with the Council. In many
cases these allocation polices are aligned to the City’s own policy.

The Allocation Scheme is a key component of the city’s housing strategy, which
seeks “to lead and co-ordinate activity to enhance access to a higher quality more
balanced housing offer across the City to support economic growth and inclusion”
and in particular it is working to do so by “improving the access to affordable homes
for all residents and communities” . This in turn contributes to creating
neighbourhoods of choice, a key aim of Manchester’s Community Strategy.

The proposed allocations scheme is appended to this report and has been designed
to support this vision and to meet the following objectives in particular:
      • Provide housing applicants in Manchester with a fair and transparent
          system by which they are prioritised for social housing.
      • Help applicants most in housing need.
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      •   Promote the development of sustainable mixed communities and
          neighbourhoods of choice.
      •   Encourage residents to access employment and training.
      •   Recognise residents who make a contribution to a local community.
      •   Make the best use of Manchester’s social housing.
      •   Make efficient use of our resources and those of our partner Registered
          Providers.

3.    THE NEED FOR CHANGE

The issue of affordable housing has risen rapidly up the national, regional and local
agenda. In line with the vast majority of Local Authorities it is widely recognised that
Manchester needs to diversify its housing offer if it is to meet the rising demand for
affordable housing and, in doing so, support the City’s economic growth. This
includes the need to ensure better opportunities are available for lower paid and
lower skilled residents to access housing and share in the predicted economic growth
of the City and the region. The City’s approach to allocating social homes is a key
tool for meeting this need for affordable housing and it is recognised that the current
scheme is not making best use of stock or maximising the benefit for Manchester
residents and their communities.

Local Drivers for Change

The City’s current allocations scheme was devised in the mid-90s, a time of general
low demand for social housing in Manchester. As a result, in part, of successful
estate based regeneration, unprecedented investment in social homes and improved
neighbourhood management contributing to the attractiveness of our
neighbourhoods, alongside natural population growth demand for homes has been
steadily rising since this time with circa 16,500 households on the waiting list as at
February 2010. This is a reduction can largely be put down to improved cleansing of
the list and demand remains strong.

The scheme has been routinely revised in the light of changed guidance and case
law, with the last revision agreed by Executive in 2007. However, at that time,
Executive also identified the need for additional and more radical policy interventions
to assist a proportion of local residents on lower incomes to access new housing
opportunities, and to ease pressure on housing waiting lists. The proposed
allocations scheme has taken this into account has also been developed as part of a
wider portfolio of projects, the Housing Opportunities programme, designed to widen
the housing offer for residents beyond that of social housing, improve access to
affordable housing, including improved access to a quality, affordable private rented
sector, and, incentives Manchester residents to take up employment, training and
skills initiatives, and in doing so widen their housing opportunities still further.

Executive also requested in 2007 that we develop a scheme that was more
responsive to the current climate of high demand to better meet both the needs of the
most disadvantaged in our communities and equally to ensure that we can provide a
quality housing offer to employees whose skills are essential to the City’s continued
economic growth. This desire was informed in part by the publication of the The Hills
Report in 2006, commissioned by the DCLG. This made explicit the levels of
worklessness amongst social housing tenants in a way that had not been done
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before. The author, Professor John Hills, challenged the Government and social
landlords to address this issue. The Meir report, commissioned by AGMA and
published in 2009 has since gone on to underline the importance of supporting
economic growth across the region if Manchester is to fulfil its economic potential
and housing is seen as a key mechanism for delivering this continuing economic
growth.

The proposed scheme has been developed to specifically prioritise applicants who
are in employment or making a positive contribution to their neighbourhoods to tackle
the systemic worklessness experienced by social housing tenants and provide
opportunities for these residents to better connect with the economic growth in the
City.

Feedback from Councillors, applicants and partner landlords that the current
allocations scheme is difficult to understand, resource intensive and inconsistently
applied has also proved a key driver for change. This view was validated by an
external review of the policy commissioned in 2008 by the then Director of Housing.
The proposed policy has been designed to be a transparent, simple, easy to
administer allocation scheme that can be consistently applied to all applicants and be
seen by Manchester residents as fair.

National and Regional Drivers For Change

There is an increasing recognition of the importance of Allocations Policies at a
National and Regional level in ensuring that Authorities can make best use of their
housing stock. Improving access to affordable housing and the ease of mobility for
working households in particular, has emerged as a central theme for government
across all of the political parties.

The Government has recently published “Fair and Flexible - Statutory Guidance on
social housing allocations for local authorities In England”. This reinforces the
flexibilities that local authorities have within the allocations legislation to meet local
pressures by, amongst other things, adopting local priorities alongside statutory
reasonable preference categories, taking into account other factors in prioritising
applicants, including waiting time and local connection and operating local lettings
policies. The Fair and Flexible guidance is also clear that Local Authorities should
support through their Allocations Schemes people in work or seeking work, promote
greater choice and provide for those in greatest housing need.

The proposed scheme for Manchester has maximised this flexibility to the greatest
possible extent within the current legislative framework. We have sought to ensure
that the majority of lets will go to those in greatest need, but have been clear that we
are also concerned to address local pressures and drivers, to the greatest possible
extent, in the allocations of homes. In practical terms this will see Manchester
explicitly letting up to 19% of its social homes to households who are not statutorily
recognised as being in housing need, in comparison to more recent guidance, and
case law, that endorsed this approach to circa 5%. This represents a radical and
welcome change and will enable us to balance communities better, particularly in
areas where there are concentrations of social housing.
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Officers from MCC are working closely with the Department of Communities and
Local Government in the development and cascade of this fresh approach to
allocating social housing. Indeed this proposal with its emphasis on raising aspiration
and rewarding residents who make a positive contribution to their communities and to
economic growth has been cited as Best Practice by the CLG.

At a regional level the importance of ensuring that the allocation of social housing
contributes to the economic growth and sustainability of the Region and its
neighbourhoods has been recognised in both the Greater Manchester Strategy and
the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy and included in the Statutory City Region
Agreement. As a direct result of our trailblazing work in allocations, MCC is currently
leading a sub-regional pilot, commissioned by AGMA, the aim of which is to ensure
that Greater Manchester Authorities make best use of the flexibility the law allows in
the allocation of social housing.

4.     CONSULTATION

The proposed new Allocation Scheme has been developed in consultation and in
partnership with residents and key partner organisations and agencies, in particular
Registered Providers of Social Housing (previously referred to as RSL’s).,
Consultation has also included Northwards Housing, the City’s large Scale Voluntary
Transfer Organisations, Age Concern, Shelter, Manchester’s BME Network,
commissioners in Homelessness, Children and Families and Adult Social Care. A full
list of consultees is available upon request and is a background document.

The consultation has been extensive, deliberately so, as the allocation of social
housing is of interest to all Manchester residents irrespective of their race, gender,
disability or age. The consultation period has spanned four months, an initial phase
that explored the principles of the proposed scheme, followed by a second phase
which examined a detailed draft of the proposals. The formal consultation has
generated more almost 500 comments and suggestions. They have been broadly
based and can be characterised as accuracy comments 23%, equality impact
comments 13%, general comments 23%, policy based comments 27% and
procedural issues 13%. The number of organisations commenting totals 83. Of these
there are comments representing 34 Registered Provider (RSL) partners.

There has been overwhelming support for the proposed banding and waiting time
approach as this is widely seen as improving transparency and accessibility for
applicants and partner agencies. Some concern has been raised about the
accessibility of the policy document itself, in particular it’s use of legal terminology.
Whilst it is essential that the correct legal terminology is used in the City’s Allocation
Scheme, Members are asked to note that if adopted, a Plain English version will be
made available.

As would be the case with any consultation on a rationing system, this consultation
has prompted a wide range of comment and, in some cases concerns, about the
relative priority of one needs group over another within the scheme e.g.. However,
notwithstanding this, there has been strong support for the scheme’s commitment to
giving applicants in housing need a head start whilst at the same time incentivising
and rewarding the economic and community contribution of applicants. The key
areas of challenge and support for the proposed policy are outlined in this report
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however Members are advised to read the full impact assessment at appendix 2 for a
full account of comments made on the grounds of equality and diversity .Members
are also advised that a full copy of all responses to the final stage of the consultation
is available upon request.

Executive can be assured that the proposed new Allocation Scheme has been
drafted following detailed consideration of the responses to the consultation.
Executive can also be reassured that where the potential for adverse discrimination
for any one group has been identified, steps have either been taken to mitigate this
within the scheme as proposed, and/or recommendations for further monitoring and
research have been proposed in the Equality Impact Assessment to improve and
strengthen the scheme going forward.

5.       THE PROPOSED SCHEME

There is no doubt that this proposal represents a marked departure from the City’s
current Allocations Scheme. It seeks approval to implement a scheme that :

     •   Adopts a banding approach to the allocation of homes and uses waiting time
         to prioritise within bands. There will be no more backdating under this scheme.

     •   That identifies applicants in housing need as requiring a head start over other
         applicants, and only differentiates between levels of need where there is a
         threat to life. The scheme will not award extra points for cumulative need in
         the way the current scheme does.

     •   Where the only enhancement of priority for re-housing that can be achieved,
         once need had been determined, is through satisfying the criteria for working
         households or community contribution. This is a marked departure for the City
         and is, from a national perspective, a trailblazing approach.

     •   Awards priority for households that may not be in need but who are making a
         positive contribution to their communities through employment some other
         form of community contribution. This builds upon the current community
         connection criteria and takes it further still by incentivising working households
         through the housing offer.
.
6.       KEY CHANGES AND CHALLENGES

The proposed allocations scheme details the policy approach in full. The Equality
Impact Assessment in turn considers the proposal and its impact on citizens and
groups in terms of Race, Age, Diasability and Gender, and combinations of these
factors. Key issues, areas of concern and challenge to the policy are outlined below,

Banding

The proposed scheme adopts a banding approach that is based in the first instance
upon eligibility and need for housing and then rests on waiting time. This differs from
the current approach that employs a rotational offering system between three
categories of applicant, having first considered the needs of Group 1 applicants with
exceptional need. The new system has been designed to be more transparent,
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easier to understand and to administer. Consultation responses endorse this change
with few exceptions.

The proposed scheme prioritises applicants by their housing need and then allocates
them to bands according to their community contribution or economic contribution.
This differs from the current scheme in that it does not award cumulative preference
for multiple need (the scheme does however continue to recognise acute need in
band one). The vast majority of respondents support this approach and are
particularly pleased that it will end the practice of backdating queue dates and
perceived “priority chasing” thus making the scheme more transparent and fair.

The proposed schemes allows for movement between bands, and in particular the
demotion of applicants to a lower band for a range of reasons including where the
applicant has no local connection, rent arrears/housing related debt, and non
compliance with tenancy agreement. Consultation has seen strong support for this
approach, particularly from Registered Providers, however Executive are asked to
note that Shelter, the Homelessness Charity, regard reduced priority scheme as a
way of watering down the council’ s statutory requirement to meet need. Given there
is no legal barrier to the scheme using demotion as a means of managing
applications from prospective tenants who need to demonstrate further their ability to
successfully maintain a tenancy, this has been retained in the current proposal.

Housing Need

The assessment of need, using the statutory Reasonable Preference criteria, has
been tightened in the new proposal in line with case law and best practice.

Overcrowding: The overcrowding criteria has undergone significant revision.
Manchester’s current overcrowding criteria agreed at a time of very low demand has
been revised to fall in line with applied in the private sector. The new criteria takes
account of the different levels of overcrowding experienced by households and
continues to exceed the statutory minimum overcrowding criteria. This has been
identified by some consultees as having a potentially adverse impact on Black
Minority Ethnic households and is considered in full in the Equality Impact
Assessment, however overall the revised criteria reflects housing need more
accurately given the current levels of demand for homes and is fairer to applicants
overall.

There remains an outstanding piece of work to be completed on the potential to
determine an applicant as having deliberately overcrowded a household in order to
gain priority on the housing list. Further work and consultation will be carried out on
this in the Spring.

Child at Height –The proposed scheme offers families the choice to live above the
ground floor to provide more housing options that may address their housing needs
much sooner. Not all blocks/schemes are suitable for family living, for example the
traditional multi-storey blocks that are age restricted or those with no enclosed areas
and families will be prevented from bidding for this type of accommodation. Families
will not be penalised for refusing multi-storey accommodation and will continue to be
considered as “in need” of re-housing if they choose to move at some point in the
future.
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Homelessness - The proposed scheme tightens the policy with regard to housing
homless applicants in a number of ways whilst continuing to ensure that the Council
can meet its statutory obligations and minimise the amount of time that families are
required to live in temporary accommodation. This was an overriding concern of most
consultees. The extension of the amount of time in which homeless applicants can
bid for homes in areas of their choice (from 1 month to 6 months, subject to annual
review) widens choice for homeless applicants and it is hoped will particularly
improve outcomes for children in homeless families by allowing them greater
opportunities to settle near to existing support networks and children’s schools. There
remains provision however to make a reasonable offer of accommodation, after the 6
month period, anywhere in the City to homeless families to satisfy the Council’s
statutory duty to provide secure accommodation.

Various other changes have been made in the proposed policy to strengthen our
approach where this has been identified through consultation as necessary. For
example, particular attention has been paid to the impact of the policy on vulnerable
people leaving hospital or in need of an adapted home, people feeling domestic
abuse, care leavers for whom we have a corporate parental responsibility, children
who are subject to safeguarding, and armed forces personnel.

Working Household and Community Contribution

The working household and community contribution criteria have had the most
extensive consultation and in the case of the working household criteria has been
informed by two pilot projects (Grove Village Pilot and WorkingXtra). Further
information on both pilots is available upon request.

The most significant change is the prioritisation of working households for both
households in need and for those who may not be in need but want to move.
Manchester’s policy is explicit in that whilst it clearly provides households in need
with a head start, it also reserves the right to allocate up to 19% of homes to
households who want to move, who can contribute to Manchester and its
communities, but who may not meet the statutory criteria of need. This is a bold but
necessary strategy if we are to meet our community strategy objectives and foster
the economic growth needed to ensure that in the future Manchester residents will be
wealthier, live longer, be healthier and enjoy happier lives, children and young people
will be safer, more resilient and fulfil their potential

The vast majority of consultees are in support of this approach. However issues of
systemic inequality have been raised with regard to the working household criteria
and its impact on young people, single parents with pre-school children, applicants
aged 55 and over with mental health problems, some disabled groups and some
BME communities. These are laid out in full in the Equality Impact Assessment
appended. Executive are advised that the proposed approach is in accordance with
housing law and has had regard to the three pieces of equalities legislation that
relate to drawing up the scheme. And that the majority of lets (up to 85%) will
continue to be made to households in greatest need. Members are also advised that
the proposed approach does not worsen the position of these groups relative to the
current policy, is mitigated in part by the volunteering and positive residence
elements of the community contribution criteria and/or is addressed through the
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provision of additional support/care services provided by the Council, and so the
proposal remains robust.

The Community contribution criteria is largely derived from the current community
connection criteria, with some amendment following a review of its effectiveness on
the ground and compatibility with the agreed objectives for the review. The criteria
will apply to a cluster of rehousing areas, rather than just one as at present, and by
choosing to be prioritised in this way an applicant will restrict their choice of homes to
a specific geographic area. The vast majority of applicants welcome and support the
inclusion of this criteria. However there are two key challenges to the criteria that
need to be considered by Executive, both represent a fundamental challenge to the
primary objectives of the policy to incentivise and reward economic contribution.

The first challenge arises from the recognised need to invest in and support a child’s
development in their formative years and the Council’s commitment to apply a “Think
Family” approach to all policy and practice. In the current Allocations Policy the
“Community Connection” award gives enhanced priority for families with children in
primary school, to enable them to be rehoused near to their children’s school. This
has been removed from the proposed policy for a number of reasons, namely that
the needs of our most vulnerable children to be rehoused near to their school are met
through other mechanisms within the proposed scheme and that enhancing priority in
this way would dilute the schemes effectiveness in incentivising and rewarding
economic and community contribution and would need further justification in terms of
its relative priority to other need groups in the City, for example older people, or
young people.

In much the same way there has been some challenge from organisations and
individuals representing older people. The proposed scheme does not award
enhanced priority on the grounds of age except where there is acute need or frailty.
Prioritising older people principally because of their age would dilute the focus of the
proposed scheme on incentivising and rewarding economic and community
contribution, and as with a focus on families with children in primary school, call for
further equality impact assessment. This proposal does not include enhanced priority
over and above housing need, for any other reasons than threat to life, economic or
community contribution, in line with the original objectives set by Members.

In devising the scheme officers are mindful that changes in Equalities Legislation are
due to be agreed by Government shortly, and to age discrimination legislation by
2010. Once in place we will be required to review all polices within the council,
including this scheme, in the light of the changes. Members are advised that we will
work closely with Age Concern and Age UK to ensure any necessary amendments
are returned to Executive at the appropriate time.

Choice Based Lettings

We propose that the vast majority of allocations under this scheme will be made
through a choice based lettings system which allows applicants to view available
properties and express interest by making bids on line. The system will be supported
by a housing options calculator giving applicants realistic prospects advice and
promoting other housing options, such as low cost home ownership options and
private sector renting. It will also link to complementary services, such as a sub-
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regional choice based lettings service supporting applicant mobility by facilitating
moves across Greater Manchester. Partner landlords are very supportive of this
approach and are contributing financially and in kind to its improvement, procurement
and ongoing support and maintenance. Some concerns have been raised by
consultees about the accessibility of web based services. This will be subject to a
separate equality impact assessment to ensure its accessibility and a specific
working group has been set up to consider this in advance of any planned
implementation of improvements to the system.

Continuity

There are key elements of the proposed approach that will not change significantly
from the current approach. In particular these are:

Eligibility for Housing - The proposed scheme will continue to be equitable in its
treatment of applicants. In offering homes to eligible applicants the scheme will not
consider ethnicity of customers as a criteria. The aim of the allocation is to ensure
that those who are offered a home are in recognised housing need, are a suitably
sized household for the home on offer and will honour their tenancy conditions. This
approach has been welcomed by consultees as it assists in busting the myths about
council homes being allocated unfairly to new arrivals to the City.

Acute Need -The proposed scheme will continue to meet the acute housing needs of
our most vulnerable residents, in particular older residents with medical needs, or
those in fear of their life or who need to move to care for a relative or partner. This
has the overwhelming support of consultees.

Common Housing Register - The Council and its partners will continue to support
Manchester’s common housing register, called the Manchester Housing Register.
This is a common register shared by all of the major social landlords in the in order to
make access to social housing in Manchester as easy as possible. It provides for
access through one joint application form and register that can be used by partners
and the Council to determine allocations through their own specific particular
allocation schemes.

Rehousing Review List - The proposed approach will continue to ensure that
applicants with a history of arrears or anti social behaviour are required to prove that
they have altered their behaviour before being considered for housing under the
council’s scheme, and in some cases are deemed ineligible altogether from
accessing accommodation. The vast majority of consultees were keen that this
approach continues under the new scheme. To support this the Council and its
partners will continue to maintain the Rehousing Review List. This is list of people
who may either be ineligible for rehousing under the Council’s (and other partners)
allocation schemes or who may not have kept to their tenancy conditions at some
time and therefore warrant further investigation as to their eligibility for rehousing.

7.    IN SUMMARY

This proposal represent a significant departure from the current allocations policy but
will in the longer term help to bring about the balanced and sustainable
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neighbourhoods that we know our residents want and the City needs if it is to fulfil its
potential as a World Class City.

There is a minority of cases where possible systemic inequality has been identified,
for instance, some BME communities and disabled groups have poorer employment
prospects and may have been affected to a greater extent than others by the
recession and rising unemployment and might therefore be unfairly disadvantaged by
the prioritisation of working households. We have we considered this in the light of
the benefits for Manchester’s communities overall and found the scheme to be fit for
purpose.

We therefore recommend to executive that they approve the adoption of the scheme
as appended to this report.

8.       IMPLEMENTATION

Such a fundamental change in policy and the resultant Allocation scheme will require
a significant investment in terms of implementation from both the Council, its partner
landlords, and advice agencies prior to and during implementation. On this basis
Executive are advised that, should they adopt, this scheme we anticipate
implementation in the winter 2010.

A change of this magnititude will require an extensive and phased roll out. The
implementation plan will involve the following factors:

     •   Data protection requirements will need to reviewed and where necessary
         revised with the assistance of City Solicitors.
     •   Applicants will need to be advised of the changes and their status checked
         and verified, for example their working status. They will need to have an
         opportunity to correct or appeal against their placement in the relevant bands
         before the switch is made to the new scheme.
     •   Members will need to be apprised of the new scheme and supported in
         answering any queries raised.
     •   The switch over to the new scheme will need to occur at the same time for all
         applicants, and therefore will require careful planning and management of the
         information and technology systems, and aligning with any other major
         Council IT changes.
     •   We will need to continue to work closely with RSL’s to ensure that where
         appropriate policy and procedures are aligned in advance of going live.
     •   We will need to review contracting out functions with Registered Providers
     •   Officers within the Council, partner landlords, support services and advice
         agencies will need to trained in the new policy if they are to give appropriate
         and reliable prospects advice prior to going live. They will be supported in this
         by the issue of procedural manuals and the development of a prospects
         calculator, that will provide reliable and comprehensive up to date rehousing
         prospects advice on-line on the choice based lettings system.

There will need to be a thorough review of related policy and procedure within the
Council, the Councils Arms length Management Organisation and Private Finance
Initiatives. Some of this may need IT change that will need changes both within the
Council’s own systems and those of Partner Registered RSL’s. In particular the
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following policies will need to be reviewed to ensure they fall in line with the proposed
allocations policy: Rehousing Review List, Serious Offenders Policy, Pre-Transfer
Inspection Policy, References, Succession, Person From Abroad, Deliberate
Overcrowding and refusal of offers.

Executive are asked to delegate authority for revision and changes where this is in
line with the proposed allocation approach, to the Director of Housing, City Solicitor
and Executive Member of Neighbourhood Services.

9.     EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

We also intend to implement and action a number of recommendations arising from
the Equality Impact Assessment:

The Council does not currently hold details of which applicants are working or
engaged in voluntary activity. We will therefore need to review the implications of
both, and compare these to our initial assumption once applicants have been re-
registered in late 2010.

We will need to develop a comprehensive allocations monitoring framework capable
of monitoring the specific outcomes of the scheme to ensure the actual impact can
be continually assessed, all monitoring data will need to be analysed on an annual
basis and a report produced for the Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services.

An communication strategy must be developed and rolled out during the transitional
period, an explicit aim of which should be demonstrating fairness, promoting equality,
good race relations and community cohesion. This will be accompanied by a plain
English version of the Allocations Scheme produced in consultation with partners.

A further strategic EIA of Choice Based Lettings should be carried out in partnership
with partners and involving disabled people beginning in 2010.

Executive are requested to delegate responsibility to the Director and Housing, in
consultation with the Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services to ensure these
recommendations are fully implemented.

9.     CONCLUSION

In 2007 Executive asked for an allocation approach that proposed more radical policy
interventions to assist a proportion of local residents on lower incomes to access new
housing opportunities, and to ease pressure on housing waiting lists. Executive also
requested that we develop a scheme that was more responsive to the current climate
of high demand to better meet both the needs of the most disadvantaged in our
communities and equally to ensure that we can provide a quality housing offer to
employees whose skills are essential to the City’s continued economic growth. The
proposed scheme meets these requests to the best of our ability within current legal
constraints. We therefore recommend that Executive adopt the policy and allow for
the delegations and amendments to support implementation as described above.
Manchester City Council         Item 16
Executive                 10 March 2010
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   Manchester City Council

   Part VI Allocations Scheme
   Consultation October 2009-
   February 2010



   Final Proposal
   Issued March 2010

   For Further information about this proposed policy please contact;

   Johanna Russell             j.russell@manchester.gov.uk    0161 234 3586
   Mel Godfrey                 m.godfrey@manchester.gov.uk    0161 234 3696
   Gail Heath                  g.heath@manchester.gov.uk      0161 234 4837




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Contents list

SECTION 1                                             Page 5

Part1: The context in which Manchester City Council’s Scheme will
       operate and the aims of the policy

Part 2: The Legal context within which the scheme is framed

Part 3: Choice and Constraints



SECTION 2                                             Page 15
In this section of the document we explain
Part 1: Who is and who is not eligible under this scheme

Part 2: The Bands that make up the scheme
Part 3: What discretion is built into the scheme?


SECTION 3                                             Page 29

In this section of the document we explain

Part1: What Reasonable Preference is and how it is applied under
       this scheme

Part2: What Additional Preference is and how it is applied under
       this scheme

Part 3: How Increased Priority is awarded under this scheme

Part 4: How Reduced Priority is awarded under this scheme

Part 5: What Is Restrictive Labelling and how is it applied under this
        scheme?




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SECTION 4                                           Page 61

In this section of the document we explain areas of the scheme
under which specific criteria are applied

Part 1: How we allocate to homeless households under the
        scheme

Part 2: How Serious Offenders are dealt with under the scheme

Part 3: How Medical Assessment and Adapted Homes are dealt
        with under the scheme

Part 4: How Retirement and Extra Care Housing is dealt with under
        the scheme

Part 5: How Low Demand properties are dealt with under the
        scheme
Part 6: How Tenancy Succession is dealt with under the scheme

Part 7: How Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant
        organisations, Council Members, Co-optees and relatives of
        these groups are determined and how we determine the
        size and type of property for which applicants are eligible


SECTION 5                                           Page 84

In this section of the document we explain the administrative
processes that support the application of the scheme

Part1: Manchester City Council’s         Service   Standards       for
       administering this scheme.

Part2: How to make an application, How to bid and how applicants
       are assessed
Part 3: Advice and Assistance

Part 4: How changes in circumstances are dealt with

Part5: Additional legal duties, confidentiality and how to make a
       complaint

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Appendices                                         Page 100



Appendix 1 - List Of Manchester Housing Register Partners And
             How To Contact Them

Appendix 2 - Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant
             organisation, Council Members, Co-optees and
             relatives of these groups


Appendix 3 - Rehousing Review List (RRL)


Appendix 4 – List of Registered Providers, Council and
            Management Agents in Manchester


Appendix 5 – Local Lettings Policies



Appendix 6 – Annual Lettings Plan




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SECTION 1

In this section of the document we explain
Part 1: The context in which Manchester City Council’s Scheme
         will operate and the aims of the Scheme.

Part 2: The legal context within which the scheme is framed

Part 3: Choice and Constraints
PART 1: CONTEXT AND AIMS
The Aims of Manchester City Council’s Allocations Scheme
This Allocation Scheme sets out the criteria used by the Council to allocate housing
accommodation available to the Council. The housing accommodation available to
the Council consists of the following:


   1. housing accommodation owned by the Council (whether or not managed by
       one of the Council’s management agents), and
   2. housing accommodation owned by Registered Providers of Social Housing
       with whom the Council has a “Nomination Agreement” allowing the Council to
       “Nominate” an applicant for housing under this Scheme to the Registered
       Provider. The Nomination Agreement allows the Council such “Nomination
       Rights” over up to 50% of a Registered Provider’s housing stock.




   In this Scheme Registered Providers of Social Housing will be abbreviated to
   “Registered Providers” and for the purposes of this Scheme means only those
   “Registered    Providers”   who       are   Landlords   providing    low   costs   rental
   accommodation.


   A list of all the Registered Providers Council and management agents can be
   found at appendix 4.

“Social housing” is housing owned by local authorities and Registered Providers for
whom guideline rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also

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include rented housing owned or managed by other persons and provided under
equivalent rental arrangements, as agreed with the local authorities or with the
Homes and Communities Agency.

This policy is part of our affordable housing strategy, which focuses on increasing the
amount and range of affordable housing for Manchester residents. By ‘affordable
housing’ we mean social rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified
eligible households whose needs are not met in the market. It should meet the needs
of eligible households, including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford,
determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. The Council’s
affordable housing strategy and the ways in which we advise and assist
homeseekers on a whole range of housing options, including access to the private
rented sector and low cost home-ownership opportunities, can be found on
Manchester        City    Council’s     website      www.manchester.gov.uk         and
www.manchesterhomefinder.org.uk

In Manchester the demand for social housing is greater than the number of homes
available.    Manchester City Council and its partner Registered Providers work in
partnership to register applicants looking to rent a social home on the Manchester
City Council Housing Register. See appendix 1 for a list of Manchester Housing
Register Partners and how to contact them.
This Allocations Scheme describes how the Council prioritises housing applicants to
ensure that those in greatest housing need, as described by the legal definition of
Reasonable Preference (see section 1 part2 ), are given a head start to access
available social housing, compared with those who have no housing need, but who
want to move. Other partner Registered Providers will also have allocation schemes
and will assess applicants on the Housing Register according to their stated
priorities.


Manchester City Council’s Allocations Scheme sets out in detail who is and is not
eligible under the scheme and how this assessment is made. It also sets out how
applicants can apply for and access housing and what service standards an applicant
can expect.


We have designed the Allocations Scheme to meet all legal requirements (see
section 1 part 2 for more detail) and to support and contribute towards the objectives

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of Manchester’s Community Strategy by promoting economic growth and sustainable
communities.


Manchester City Council and the Manchester Partnership are ambitious for its
people. The Community Strategy has several objectives, including that “Manchester
people will be wealthier, live longer, be healthier and enjoy happier lives, children and
young people will be safer, more resilient and fulfil their potential and there will be
more working families “.


Through its Housing Strategy the City seeks “to lead and co-ordinate activity to
enhance access to a higher quality more balanced housing offer across the City to
support economic growth and inclusion” and in particular it is working to do so by
“improving the access to affordable homes for all residents and communities”.
Copies of these documents can be found on the Council’s website.

The key objectives of this Allocations Scheme are to:
       •   Provide housing applicants in Manchester with a fair and transparent
           system by which they are prioritised for social housing.
       •   Help applicants most in housing need.
       •   Promote the development of sustainable mixed communities and
           neighbourhoods of choice.
       •   Encourage residents to access employment and training.
       •   Recognise residents who make a contribution to a local community.
       •   Make the best use of Manchester’s social housing.
       •   Make efficient use of our resources and those of our partner Registered
           Providers.

The vast majority of the housing that we allocate under this Allocations Scheme is
through a choice based lettings system which allows applicants to view available
properties and express interest by making bids. The system will be supported by a
housing options calculator giving applicants realistic prospects advice and promoting
other housing options, such as low cost home ownership options and private sector
renting. It will also link to complementary services, such as a sub-regional choice
based lettings service supporting applicant mobility by facilitating moves across
Greater Manchester.


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We are committed to providing a fair and transparent service to all persons eligible
for registering for housing under the Council’s scheme and to allocate
accommodation, in the majority of cases, to those households with the greatest need.
In doing so we are also committed to ensuring that the allocation of homes is done in
such a way as to promote social cohesion and balanced sustainable communities.




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PART 2: LEGAL CONTEXT
The Legal Framework

Manchester City Council’s Allocations Scheme sits within a tight and complex legal
framework of Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended). This section describes
this legal framework.

The 1996 Housing Act (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) requires local
authorities to make all allocations and nominations in accordance with an Allocations
Scheme.     A summary of the Allocations Scheme must be published and made
available free of charge to any person who asks for a copy. A summary of the
Scheme and general principles is available through Manchester City Council offices;
partner landlords’ offices and on the Council’s website (see appendix 4 for a full list of
Registered Providers, Council and Management Agents in Manchester.). This
document is the full version of the Scheme and is available for inspection at
Manchester Town Hall.

The Housing Act 1996, (as amended) requires local authorities to give Reasonable
Preference in their allocations policies to people with high levels of assessed housing
need. This includes homeless people, those who need to move on welfare or medical
grounds, people living in unsatisfactory housing and those who would face hardship
unless they moved to a particular locality within the local authority’s area.

The Act also requires local authorities to state within the policy what its position is on
offering applicants a choice of housing accommodation, or offering them the
opportunity to express preference about the housing accommodation to be allocated
to them.

This Allocations Scheme complies with the requirements of the Housing Act 1996 (as
amended)and takes into account the three codes of guidance - Allocation of
Accommodation: Code of Guidance for Housing Authorities 2002 issued by the
ODPM, the Allocation of Accommodation: Choice Based Lettings Code of Guidance
for Housing Authorities 2008 and Fair and Flexible: Statutory Guidance on Social
Housing Allocations for Local Authorities in England 2009, issued by the
Communities and Local Government Department. The scheme is also drafted and
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framed to ensure that it is compatible with the Council’s equality duties including the
duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote good relations between
different racial groups, as well the duty to promote equality between disabled persons
and other persons and between men and women. The Council has carried out an
Equality Impact Assessment in relation to the scheme and also operates the scheme
in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

This Scheme has considered:
         •   The Council’s statutory obligations and discretion as to who is eligible for
             housing allocation
         •   The Council’s statutory obligation to provide Reasonable Preference to
             certain categories of applicants set down by law i.e. those who must be
             given a ‘head start’ under the Council’s Allocations Scheme.
         •   The Council’s statutory discretion to grant “additional preference” and/or
             to determine priority between applicants with Reasonable Preference.
         •   The general and specific statutory discretions the Council can exercise
             when allocating housing in support of its Community Strategy.


The Application of Reasonable Preference

Manchester City Council is required by law to determine the relative priority that
housing applicants are awarded. This is particularly important when, as is the case in
Manchester, the demand for social housing is greater than the availability of homes.

The law, as it applies to local housing authorities, requires that Reasonable
Preference for housing must be given to those in the categories set out in the
Housing Act 1996 (as amended). The statutory Reasonable Preference categories
cover:
         •   All homeless people as defined in Part VII of the Housing Act 1996
         •   People who are owed a duty under s190 (2), 193 (2) or 195 (2) of the
             1996 Act (or under section 65 (2) or 68(2) of the Housing Act 1985) or
             who are occupying accommodation secured by any Housing authority
             under section (192 (3).
         •   People occupying unsanitary, overcrowded or otherwise unsatisfactory
             housing;
         •   People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including
             grounds relating to a disability);
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       •   People who need to move to a particular locality within the district to avoid
           hardship to themselves or others.

Specific details and examples of how Reasonable Preference and priorities are
determined and applied are detailed in section 3


Determining priority between applicants with Reasonable
Preference

The Council determines priority between applicants with Reasonable Preference by
taking into account various factors including:
       •   The financial resources available to a person to meet their housing costs.
       •   Any behaviour of a person (or member of their household) which affects
           their suitability to be a tenant (which can include both good and bad
           behaviour).
       •   Any local connection (pursuant to s199 Housing Act 1996 (as amended))
           that a person has with the City.
       •   The contribution that an applicant makes to the City or their local
           community through working or volunteering.

Details and examples of how the Council determines priority between applicants is
detailed in section 3.

The Application of Additional Preference
In addition the Scheme also grants “additional preference” (or an extra head start) to
applicants where the Council is satisfied that these applicants also have other
exceptional or urgent housing needs. This is set out in more detail in section 3 Part 2
of this document

What are “Allocations” under this Scheme?

The following are “allocations” of accommodation under this Scheme:
   (1) the selection of a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of the Council
   (including notifying an existing tenant or licensee that his tenancy or licence is to
   be a secure tenancy) This includes properties that are owned by the Council and
   managed by agents including Northwards Housing Ltd, Grove Village, or
   Renaissance Consortium. This also includes the granting of a new tenancy to an

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     existing tenant by way of “transfer” upon the tenants request or the granting of a
     new tenancy under the Council’s (non statutory) contractual and/or discretionary
     succession policy set out below
or
     (2) the nomination of a person to be an Assured or an Assured Shorthold tenant
     of housing accommodation held by a Registered Provider (via the Council’s
     Nomination Rights Agreement with the Registered Provider).             Often the
     nomination will be that of a ‘Starter Tenant’ of a Registered Provider whereby
     the Registered Provider will grant an Assured Short Hold Tenancy for a set
     “probationary” period (usually 12 months) and provided the tenant successfully
     completes the “probationary” period the Registered Provider will        grant an
     Assured Tenancy.
or
     (3) The selection of a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of another
     housing authority.

Exempt Allocations – Accommodation provided for lettings
that is not covered by this Scheme
The following are not “allocations” under this Scheme:
        •   Succession to a tenancy on a tenant’s death pursuant to s89 Housing Act
            1985, or
        •   Assignment of a tenancy by way of mutual exchange, or
        •   Assignment of a tenancy to a person qualified to succeed to the tenancy
            on the tenants death, or
        •   Transfer of the tenancy by a court order under family law provisions or
            under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, or
        •   An introductory tenancy becoming a secure tenancy or
        •   Council initiated transfers (e.g. decant to alternative accommodation to
            allow for major works).or
        •   Rehousing due to being displaced from previous accommodation by the
            Council or being rehoused by the Council pursuant to the Land
            Compensation Act 1973 or
        •   A person being granted a family intervention tenancy or
        •   Provision of non secure temporary accommodation in discharge of any
            homelessness duty or power

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Joint Tenancies, Tenancy Succession and Transfer of a
Tenancy

Joint tenancies

This Allocations Scheme supports adult applicants wishing to sign as joint tenants
should they choose to do so.

In relation to allocations to Registered Provider tenancies made under the Councils
Nominations Agreement the individual Registered Provider will decide whether to
allow a Joint Tenancy depending on the circumstances of the case.

Tenancy succession
The law on succession rights is found at Sections 87 to 89 of the Housing Act 1985
and Sections 131 to 133 of the Housing Act 1996. Succession rights apply to both
secure and introductory tenancies. This scheme considers the following types of
succession:
       •   Statutory Tenancy succession
       •   Contractual Tenancy succession
       •   Discretionary Tenancy Succession

Specific details and examples of how tenancy succession is determined and applied
in this scheme are detailed in section 4 Part 6.

Transfer of Tenancy
When a relationship breaks down and one partner terminates a joint tenancy, the
Council, delegated as appropriate (see overleaf for details), may “re-grant” a tenancy
of the same property to the partner remaining in occupation.

When a relationship is formed or when an adult child wishes to become a joint tenant
with their parent, the Council, delegated as appropriate, can agree to the tenancy
being changed from a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy or vice versa. However, this is
a “re-grant” of a tenancy and the Council can refuse to do this in certain
circumstances e.g. where the tenancy is in arrears or where the proposed joint tenant
is ineligible on the grounds of his/her behaviour.




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The Council, delegated as appropriate, may take into account the following when
deciding to exercise the above discretions in favour of an applicant:-
          •   whether the rent account is free of arrears
          •   whether the property would pass a Pre-Transfer Inspection

Specific details and examples of how discretion can be exercised are in section 2
part 3 and specific information on pre-transfer inspection is dealt with under section 3
part 4.

Delegation of authority
The Council's Housing Allocations Scheme operates alongside the separate
allocation policies and activities of partner Registered Providers. Anyone who applies
for social housing in Manchester has the opportunity to join a common housing
register, called the Manchester Housing Register. This is a common register shared
by all of the major social landlords in the city in order to make access to social
housing in Manchester as easy as possible. It provides for access through one joint
application form and register that can be used by partners and the Council to
determine allocations through their own specific particular allocation schemes.


The Council and its partners also share a Rehousing Review List. This is list of
people who may either be ineligible for rehousing under the Council’s (and other
partners) allocation schemes or who may not have kept to their tenancy conditions at
some time and therefore warrant further investigation as to their eligibility and/or
priority for rehousing. The Rehousing Review List is used by the Council and its
partners to record behaviour of individuals that may have a future impact on
rehousing.


The Council and partner Registered Providers share the use of computer technology
to operate the Manchester Housing Register and the Rehousing Review List.
Partners may also share the use of the Choice Based Lettings system for the
purpose of making allocations through their own specific allocation schemes. The
formal descriptions of the sharing mechanisms in relation to these functions are
described in Service Level Agreement's and/or contracts between the Council and
partners.




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The Council may delegate or contract out functions to Registered Provider partners
to enable the smooth operation of its Allocations Scheme. The Council cannot and
will not delegate any of it’s legal duties and/or powers to any Registered Provider
partner.

PART 3: CHOICE AND CONSTRAINTS

Policy on Expressing Choice of Rehousing Area
The amount of choice that the Council is able to offer may be limited by the acute
housing pressures it faces and responsibilities it has to some groups in housing need
such as those found to be statutorily homeless. The Council believes that any
applicant considered to be eligible under this Scheme should be able to express a
preference over the type of property and the area in which they would like to live.
However applicants should be aware that the Council’s ability to satisfy their
expressed preference may be severely limited.

The majority of applicants will able to bid using choice based lettings for properties in
any location across the City. There are some circumstances for which this might not
always apply. For example, in some homeless circumstances and for younger people
and childless couples, due to age restrictions or scarcity of some property types.
These exceptions are dealt with in more detail below and in the section that deals
with homelessness applications section 4 part 1 and the section that deals with
restrictive labelling section 3 part 5 below.

The Council also requests that the applicant states those areas where they believe
they cannot live due to fear of violence, harassment or domestic abuse. The Council
must be satisfied such factors exist and that it is reasonably necessary to allocate
accordingly. This is to assist the Council in making more informed decisions. It will
also help support workers who may be assisting an applicant to bid to know where
not to express an interest in properties.




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SECTION 2

In this section of the document we explain

Part 1: Who is and who is not eligible under this scheme

Part 2: The Bands that make up the scheme

Part 3: What discretion is built into the scheme?

PART 1: WHO IS AND WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE UNDER THIS
SCHEME

Who can apply to be part of the Council’s Allocations’
Scheme?
Any United Kingdom Resident 16 years or over can apply for accommodation by
completing an Application for Accommodation form. However a Social Landlord will
not normally grant a tenancy to anyone under the age of 18 years unless they are
able to provide a guarantor to cover rent and a support worker. For young people
under the age of 18 years the Social Landlord may grant permission to allow the
occupation of a property by way of an “Equitable Agreement”.

Childless couples seeking larger family type accommodation are unlikely to
successfully access properties through this scheme. Applicants of this type will be
encouraged to express an interest in larger non family type accommodation or to
explore options in the private sector.

Married, civil partners and cohabiting couples, same sex couples and brothers and
sisters who wish to live together can make joint applications. In such cases, it is
usual for a joint tenancy to be granted in the event of an offer of accommodation
being made.

Those applicants who are not eligible
The Council shall only allocate housing accommodation to people who are eligible
under this Allocation Scheme. The following persons are not eligible:



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       •   People who are “subject to immigration control” (unless they fall within a
           class prescribed by regulations as eligible).
       •   People who are not subject to immigration control, but are nevertheless
           prescribed by regulation as being “persons from abroad” (this may include
           British citizens).
       •   Any other person as prescribed by the Secretary of State.
       •   Applicants (or a member of their household) who have been guilty of
           “unacceptable behaviour” and at the time of their application for housing
           they are still considered unsuitable to be a tenant by reason of that
           behaviour.
Unacceptable behaviour is defined as behaviour which would, if an applicant or
member of their household was a secure tenant, entitle a landlord to possession
under any of the Grounds 1 to 7, Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985. Unacceptable
behaviour can include:
           •   Owing significant rent arrears and/or failing to comply with a current or
               past tenancy agreement with a Council, Registered Provider or private
               landlord to such an extent that a Court would grant a possession
               order.
           •   Failing to adhere to the terms of an agreed payment plan in relation to
               rent arrears or housing debt.
           •   Conviction for illegal or immoral purpose.
           •   Causing nuisance and annoyance to neighbours or visitors.
           •   Committing certain criminal offences in or near the home and still
               posing a threat to neighbours or the community.
           •   Being violent towards a partner or members of the family.
           •   Allowing the condition of the property to deteriorate.
           •   Allowing any furniture provided by the landlord to deteriorate due to ill
               treatment.
           •   Obtaining a tenancy by deception, for example by giving untrue
               information.
           •   Paying money to illegally obtain a tenancy.
           •   Having lost accommodation provided in connection with employment
               due to conduct making it inappropriate for the person to reside there.




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In determining whether an applicant is ineligible due to unacceptable behaviour, the
Council will consider:


       •   Has the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household been guilty of
           unacceptable behaviour?
       •   Was the unacceptable behaviour serious enough to have entitled the
           Landlord to have obtained outright order for possession?
       •   At the time of the application, is the applicant still unsuitable to be a tenant
           by reason of that behaviour, or the behaviour of a member of his
           household?
An applicant’s eligibility to join the Allocations Scheme will be kept under review
during the application process. An applicant may be rendered ineligible at anytime
during the process should the Council become satisfied that they are ineligible.
Applicants classified as being ineligible through “unacceptable behaviour” can make
an application for accommodation in the future if they can demonstrate a changed
pattern of behaviour. It is for the Council (delegated as appropriate) to determine
whether the changed behaviour claimed makes the applicant eligible under the
Scheme. This is carried out at the point of re-application to the scheme.

Each application will be assessed on its own merits and a decision regarding
eligibility will be made accordingly. Anyone subsequently made ineligible from the
Scheme will be provided with a full written explanation for the decision and will have
a right of review of the decision. Please see Section 5 Part 5 which deals with the
right to reviews of decisions.


“Subject to immigration control & Persons from abroad” - access to housing for
foreign nationals is governed by Housing and Immigration legislation.


All can register for re-housing on the Manchester Housing Register, but checks are
required before they can be considered eligible for the Council’s Allocation Scheme.


At the point of registration for housing all applicants are asked for information about
their housing history and legal status, including whether they are persons from
abroad or subject to immigration control. Manchester City Council then carries out
checks to establish eligibility to the Scheme under the relevant legislation.


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Applicants who apply are registered but are not assessed via the Scheme or placed
into a Band until a decision has been made regarding their eligibility.


People from abroad come to Manchester to live, work and study. The majority of
foreign nationals arriving in Manchester will not immediately qualify for social housing
and are therefore more likely to rent in the private sector.

PART 2: THE BANDS THAT MAKE UP THE SCHEME

The Structure of the Priority Banding System
Manchester City Council operates a needs based banding system as described
below. The Bands are arranged to reflect housing need with the highest Band
indicating the greatest need for housing. The Bands distinguish between needs
groups on the basis of the contribution the applicant makes to Manchester through
either their economic activity; their contribution as a volunteer or through an activity
that makes Manchester a better place to live and work in. The scheme consists of six
Bands as summarised below: Please note that more detailed descriptions of the
Bands and of Reasonable Preference can be found in section 3.

   Band 1: Urgent Need to Move                        Summary of Criteria
     Band due to Reasonable
    Preference PLUS additional
               priority

                                         Where an applicant’s condition is expected to
Emergency medical, welfare or
                                         be terminal within a period of twelve months
disability
                                         and rehousing is required to provide a basis
All of these awards will be made by
                                         for the provision of suitable care.
the Council’s medical rehousing
                                         The condition is life threatening and the
team.
                                         applicant’s existing accommodation is a major
                                         contributory factor.
                                         The applicant’s health is so severely affected
                                         by the accommodation that it is likely to
                                         become life threatening.
                                         Disabled people who have restricted or limited
                                         mobility and are limited by their
                                         accommodation and unable to carry out day

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  Band 1: Urgent Need to Move                     Summary of Criteria
    Band due to Reasonable
   Preference PLUS additional
             priority

                                     to day activities (cf Disability Discrimination
                                     Act) or have difficulties accessing facilities
                                     inside and outside of their accommodation
                                     and requires rehousing into accommodation
                                     suitable for their use.
                                     The applicant’s accommodation is directly
                                     contributing to the deterioration of the
                                     applicant’s health such as severe chest
                                     condition requiring intermittent hospitalisation
                                     as a result of chronic dampness in the
                                     accommodation and the condition of the
                                     property can not be resolved within a
                                     reasonable period of time – usually 6 months.
                                     Where overcrowding in the property leaves
                                     the applicant at risk of infection, for example,
                                     where an applicant is suffering from full blown
                                     AIDS.
                                     A full list of the exceptional circumstance
                                     cases is detailed in the policy at section 3 Part
                                     2
                                     Applicants who need to move due to domestic
Exceptional need to move
                                     abuse, extreme violence or extreme
                                     harassment.
                                     Extreme violence or harassment will be
                                     verified by the Police and/or other agencies
                                     as necessary. This may include where a move
                                     is necessary to protect a witness to criminal
                                     acts. High risk victims of domestic abuse who
                                     are subject to Multiple Agency Risk
                                     Assessment Conference (MARAC) as part of
                                     an agreed safety plan for high risk victims will
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  Band 1: Urgent Need to Move                       Summary of Criteria
     Band due to Reasonable
   Preference PLUS additional
              priority

                                       be placed in Band 1. .
                                       Band 1 will be agreed in exceptional
                                       circumstances due to significant problems
                                       associated with the tenant’s occupation of a
                                       dwelling in the social or private rented sector
                                       and there is a high risk to the tenant or their
                                       family’s safety if they remain in the
                                       dwelling/area. For social housing tenants
                                       transfers will be to properties of the same size
                                       or smaller if they are under-occupying.
                                       Where a tenant does not require the
Release of adapted property
                                       adaptations in their current home and will
                                       therefore be releasing an adapted property by
                                       moving and there is a suitable applicant
                                       queuing for the adapted property which will be
                                       released through a move. This award is valid
                                       if the applicant still requires adaptations
                                       provided the adaptations required are
                                       different from those in their current home.


                                       Tenants who are statutorily overcrowded or
Statutory Overcrowded
                                       whose property is unsatisfactory or unfit as
                                       defined by the Housing Act 1985 and
                                       determined by an Environmental Health
                                       Officer. See section 3 part 2 for definition on
                                       statutory overcrowding.
                                       Where a household is 3 bedrooms short of
Acute Overcrowding
                                       the bedroom standard outlined on section 3
                                       part 1.
Private sector properties unsanitary   Those living in unsanitary conditions where


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   Band 1: Urgent Need to Move                    Summary of Criteria
      Band due to Reasonable
    Preference PLUS additional
              priority

or unfit.                            the conditions pose an ongoing and serious
                                     threat to health;
                                     Private sector tenants and residents of
                                     dwellings that the Council’s Private Sector
                                     Housing Team has determined that the
                                     property poses a category 1 hazard under the
                                     Health and Safety fitness rating and the
                                     Council are satisfied that the problem cannot
                                     be resolved by the landlord within 6 months
                                     and as a result continuing to occupy the
                                     accommodation will pose a considerable risk
                                     to the applicant’s health. This includes a
                                     property that has severe damp, major
                                     structural defects including subsidence,
                                     flooding, collapse of roof, or have living
                                     conditions which are a statutory nuisance,
                                     and there is no prospect of the problems
                                     being remedied within a 6 month time period.
                                     A private sector property either owned or
                                     rented where a statutory notice has been
                                     issued by the environmental health
                                     department that an unfit property is to be
                                     demolished under the Housing Act 2004.
                                     Where a Social Rented tenant will release a 3
Under-occupation
                                     bedroom or larger house and will move to a
                                     one bedroom property or a 2 bed property
                                     that is designated for older people. i.e.
                                     Retirement Housing, Extra Care or a
                                     bungalow.
                                     Serious threat to the well-being of a child and
Child Protection
                                     their accommodation is a contributory factor
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  Band 1: Urgent Need to Move                       Summary of Criteria
     Band due to Reasonable
   Preference PLUS additional
              priority

                                     to the risk.




     Band 2 Need to Move –                          Summary of Criteria
   Reasonable Preference plus
 Community Contribution or is a
        working household

Homeless Households owed a full      All homeless people as defined in Part VII of
homeless duty under section 193(2)   the Housing Act 1996
or 195(2)
Reasonable Preference categories
s167(2) (a) and (b)                  People who are owed a duty under section,
                                     193 (2) 0r 195 (2) of the 1996 Act (or under
                                     section 65 (2) or 68(2) of the Housing Act
                                     1985) or who are occupying accommodation
                                     secured by any Housing authority under
                                     section (192 (3).


                                     Exceptions where Homeless applicants will
                                     not be placed in Band 2:
                                     1. where the applicant is intentionally
                                     homeless
                                     2. where the applicant does not have “local
                                     connection” and the exceptions preventing us
                                     from referring them to another authority do
                                     not apply.
                                     These applicants will be placed in Band 6a

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Overcrowded by the Bedroom               Applicants overcrowded by 1 or 2 bedrooms
standard.                                according to the Bedroom standard for
Reasonable Preference category           overcrowding.
s167(2)(c)
                                         Applicants without access at all to any of the
Applicants living in unsatisfactory
                                         following facilities. No access to:
housing lacking basic facilities.
                                             •   a bathroom or kitchen
Reasonable     Preference     category       •   an inside WC
s167(2)(c)                                   •   hot or cold water supplies, electricity,
                                                 gas or adequate heating


                                         Applicants who occupy a private property
                                         which is in disrepair or is unfit for occupation
                                         and is subject to a Prohibition Order and
                                         recovery of the premises is required in order
                                         to comply with the Order as defined by
                                         Section 33 of the Housing Act 2004.
                                         Applicants who only have access to shared
                                         facilities in shared accommodation will not
                                         qualify under these criteria.
Medical grounds                          Where an applicant’s current housing is
Reasonable Preference category           unsuitable for severe medical reasons or for
s167(2)(d)                               the occupants specific needs related to
                                         disability, but whose present accommodation
                                         does not cause serious barriers to day to day
                                         activity or whose life is not at risk due to their
                                         current housing, but whose housing
                                         conditions directly contribute to causing
                                         serious ill-health.
Hardship / welfare/ exceptional need     Those who need to move to give or receive
to move for care or support              care or support that is substantial and
Reasonable Preference category           ongoing.
s167(2)(d)                               Those who need to access social services
                                         facilities, and are unable to travel across the
                                         City.

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                                       Those who need to take up (or continue)
                                       employment, education or a training
                                       opportunity that is not available elsewhere
                                       and who do not live within reasonable
                                       commuting distance.
Housing need due to age                Applicants aged 60 plus seeking Retirement
Reasonable Preference category         or Extra Care housing.
s167(2)(d)
Safeguarding Children                  If there are children who are part of the
                                       application who have a need to move and
                                       their accommodation is a contributory factor
                                       to the risk to the child. This would be in
                                       cases where a child is the subject of a CAF
                                       assessment and deemed as a child in need,
                                       and where the move would contribute
                                       significantly to the well being of the child.
Children living at height              Where there are families with children who
Reasonable Preference category         are 16 years old or younger living above the
s167(2)(c)                             ground floor in flats or maisonettes and there
                                       is no access to a garden.
Ready to move on from Council          An applicant is ready to move to independent
accredited Supported Housing           settled housing on the recommendation of the
schemes                                support worker.
Reasonable Preference category         The applicant is in need of appropriate
s167(2)(d)                             tenancy support.


                                       Ongoing support needs have been assessed
                                       and, where appropriate, a support plan is in
                                       place.


Move on from Support                   A support leaver is ready to move to
Reasonable Preference category         independent settled housing and is genuinely
s167(2)(d)                             prepared for a move to independent living.


                                       They possess the life skills to manage a

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                                      tenancy including managing a rent account.


                                      The support leaver is in need of either a long
                                      term or medium term tenancy support.


                                      Ongoing support needs have been assessed
                                      and, where appropriate, a support plan is in
                                      place.



Applicants will only qualify for Band 2 if they have Reasonable Preference,
have not been demoted to Band 6a and also have a Community Contribution or
Working Household award as defined in section 3 part 3 of the Scheme.


 Band 3 : Need to move - Reasonable                  Summary of Criteria
    Preference BUT no Community
     Contribution or not a working
                household

Applicants will qualify for Band 3 if they have Reasonable Preference and have
not been demoted to Band 6a.

Applicants placed in this Band will not have the Community Contribution or
Working Household award as defined on page 33 of the policy. Once a Community
Contribution or Working Household award is given, the applicant will be moved into
Band 2. See section on Moving Up and Down Bands at page 67.



Band 4: Want to Move - No Reasonable                 Summary of Criteria
   Preference but have a community
  contribution or working household
                  award

Applicants who do not qualify for           All others with a Community Connection
Reasonable Preference but who would         or Working Household award. who have
like to move to alternative                 not had their priority reduced.
accommodation, have not been


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demoted to Band 6b AND who have a
Community Contribution or Working
Household award.



Band 5: Want to Move - No Reasonable                    Summary of Criteria
     Preference and no Community
  Contribution or working household
                   award

Applicants who do not qualify for            All others without a Community
Reasonable Preference but who would          Connection or Working Household
like to move to alternative                  award who have not had priority
accommodation, have not been demoted         reduced.
to Band 6b BUT who do not have a
Community Contribution or Working
household award.




      Band 6: Reduced Priority

6a : Need to Move - Reasonable                        Summary of Criteria
Preference but with Reduced
Priority

                                             An applicant will be awarded the
Applicants owed Reasonable Preference
                                             Reasonable Preference that their
but who have been given reduced priority
                                             assessed housing needs warrant but
as a result of one of the demotion reasons
                                             the reasons summarised give the
outlined in this Allocations Scheme:
                                             Council the right to reduce that
arrears or other housing related debt
                                             preference to Band 6(a) until action is
within the meaning of this scheme,
                                             taken to by the rectify the applicant’s
income above threshold, capital asset
                                             behaviour/circumstances.
above threshold, breach of a tenancy
agreement that is unresolved but would
not warrant a full possession order, a
                                             All of these groups of applicants would
property not meeting the standard
                                             remain in Band 6 (a) until they meet the

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required for a transfer applicant or         criteria (outlined in this policy) whereby
refusing 3 reasonable offers (on viewing)    they will no longer have their priority
within a 12 month period, or are             reduced.
intentionally homeless and those who are
homeless but do not have a local
connection and the exceptions preventing
us referring them to another authority do
not apply.

6b : NO Reasonable Preference and            Summary of Criteria
Reduced Priority
As 6a above but relating to applicants who   As 6a above but with applicants who
have no Reasonable Preference.               have no Reasonable Preference


Band 6 is split into sub Bands a) and b) so that applicants with a Reasonable
Preference in Band 6a are given a head start within the Band over those without
Reasonable Preference in Band 6b.




Annual Lettings Plan
An annual lettings plan will be published on an annual basis and lettings made will be
monitored against this. The annual lettings plan is devised to ensure that the Local
Authority meets its statutory obligations.    All lettings made under this Part VI
Scheme, are counted for the purposes of the lettings plan.


The plan will be monitored and reviewed annually. If monitoring shows that outcomes
are not as per the lettings plan, the Council reserves the right to implement a quota
system and/or restrictive labelling in relation to bidding to ensure that it meets its
statutory obligations.


See Appendix 6 for a more detailed explanation of the Annual Lettings Plan.


PART 3: WHAT DISCRETION IS BUILT INTO THE SCHEME?
Management Discretion
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So far as is it possible the Council will use the Banding system and waiting time (See
section 2 part 2) within the Band to allocate accommodation. At times this will also
incorporate restrictive labelling of properties through Choice Based Lettings and
Local Lettings Plans to ensure that the Council is meeting its statutory obligations
and helping to achieve the outcomes of Manchester’s Community Strategy.


However the Council recognises that there may be exceptional circumstances where
the only way an exceptionally urgent housing need can be resolved is through the
use of management discretion. In the interests of fairness to all these applicants
these circumstances are kept to a minimum. Examples of exceptional circumstances
include, but are not limited to:
        •   Threat to life
        •   Emergency cases whose homes are damaged by fire, flood or other
            disaster may be provided with another tenancy if it is not possible to repair
            the existing home, or if any work to repair is to take such a long period of
            time that there will be serious disruption to family life.


        •   Households who, on police advice, must be moved immediately due to
            serious threats to a one or more members of the household, or whose
            continuing occupation would pose a threat to the community.
        •   An applicant who has an exceptional need that is not predicted or covered
            in the Allocations Scheme.
        •   Other exceptional circumstances as authorised by the Chief Officer.

Such cases will qualify for Reasonable Preference and will be granted additional
preference and placed at the top of Band 1, irrespective of waiting time and made a
direct offer of accommodation if all other housing options have been explored. If an
applicant has exceptional circumstances that are not within a Reasonable Preference
category then Directors Discretion will be required to authorise the applicant being
placed in Band 1.


There may be occasions of Special Circumstances not predicted by this Allocation
Scheme where the application of the Local Connection Policy to reduce priority is
deemed inappropriate by the Council and accordingly there is a Managers Discretion


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available not to invoke the Local Connection Policy to reduce priority in these Special
Circumstances .



Directors Discretion (for other exceptional circumstances not
covered by this scheme)
From time to time a situation may arise that is not adequately reflected in this
Allocations Scheme but the needs or circumstances are exceptional and significant.
Where a case is considered exceptional but the applicant does not meet any of the
Reasonable Preference criteria or it is felt that a higher Banding than the one
awarded is more appropriate then the Director of Housing of the City Council
reserves the right to override this scheme and allow an applicant to have a higher
priority than they would be entitled to under the Scheme. These cases should be few
in number and will be closely monitored and regularly reported on to ensure that the
duty to achieve Reasonable Preference overall is not compromised.


Directors Discretion can also be used to block an allocation in circumstances not
predicted by this scheme but where the Council is satisfied someone has unfairly
taken advantage of the scheme to the detriment of those in housing need. Again,
these cases will be monitored and are expected to be few in number.




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SECTION 3

In this section of the document we explain

Part 1: What is Reasonable Preference and how is it applied under
this scheme?

Part 2: What is Additional Preference and how is it applied under
this scheme?

Part 3: How Increased Priority is awarded under this scheme

Part 4: How Reduced Priority is given under this scheme

Part 5: What is Restrictive Labelling is and how is it applied under
this scheme?

Part 1: What is Reasonable Preference and how is it applied
under this scheme?
Manchester City Council is required by law to determine the relative priority that
housing applicants are awarded. This is particularly important when, as is the case in
Manchester, the demand for social housing is greater than the availability of homes.

The law, as it applies to local housing authorities, requires that Reasonable
Preference for housing must be given to those in the categories set out in the
Housing Act 1996 (as amended). The statutory Reasonable Preference categories in
section 167(2) (a) to (e) of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended) are:
       •   People who are homeless (within the meaning of Part VII of the Act).
       •   People who are owed a duty by any local housing authority under s190(2)
           193(2) or 195(2) (or under section 65(2) or 68(2) of the Housing Act
           1985) or who are occupying accommodation secured by any such
           authority under section 192(3).
       •   People occupying unsanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living
           in unsatisfactory housing conditions.


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       •    People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including
            grounds relating to disability).
       •    People who need to move to a particular locality in the district of the
            authority, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship to
            themselves or others.

The Council will use a Banding based system to allocate accommodation.               In
assessing housing need the Council will give Reasonable Preference to those
applicants who fall into the statutory categories.

The Council’s Allocations Scheme has been devised to ensure that it meets its legal
obligations to provide overall Reasonable Preference to the above categories of
applicants whilst also delivering the desired outcomes of Manchester’s Community
Strategy.

Who qualifies for Reasonable Preference?
The following criteria detail when someone would qualify for Reasonable Preference
pursuant to Section 167(2) (a) to (e) Housing Act 1996 (as amended). Applicants
who qualify for Reasonable Preference will be placed in Bands 2 or 3 depending on
their Community Contribution or Working Households status (see section 3 part 3).
Exceptions to this are applicants who are awarded additional preference and are
placed in Band 1 (as described in section ) or those who have been placed in Band
6a as a result of reduced priority (see section for further details). .

A: Reasonable Preference category s167 (2) (a) - applicants who are homeless
within the meaning of Part VII Housing Act 1996.

This group comprises all applicants who are homeless under the definition of
homelessness contained in sections 175 -177 of Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.
This definition includes a person who does not have accommodation which is legally
and physically available to him or her, or has accommodation that is not reasonable
for him or her to continue to occupy

B: Reasonable Preference category s167(2) (b) –applicants who are owed a duty by
any local housing authority under s190(2) 193(2) or 195(2) (or under section 65(2) or
68(2) of the Housing Act 1985) or who are occupying accommodation secured by
any such authority under section 192(3).

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C Reasonable Preference category s167 (2) (c) – People occupying unsanitary or
overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions.

Please note that those applicants who occupy overcrowded or unsanitary housing
but where this has not been assessed as being severe enough to qualify for
Reasonable Preference will be awarded Band 5 or 6, depending on their Community
Contribution and Working Households criteria or Band 6b if they have had priority
reduced (see section 3 part 4). .

Unsatisfactory housing conditions: Applicants will be awarded Reasonable
Preference due to unsatisfactory housing conditions if they;
       •     Lack a bathroom or kitchen
       •     Lack an inside WC
       •     Lack hot or cold water supplies, electricity, gas or adequate heating
       •     Occupy a property which is in disrepair or is unfit for occupation

Overcrowding: Those overcrowded by one or two bedrooms in line with the Bedroom
standard will be granted reasonable preference and will be placed in the Band 2 or 3,
depending on whether they have Community Contribution or are a working
household.

The bedroom standard states that a separate bedroom shall be allocated to the
following persons—
       •     a person living together with another as husband and wife (whether that
             other person is of the same sex or the opposite sex)
       •     a person aged 21 years or more
       •     two persons of the same sex aged 10 years to 20 years
       •     two persons (whether of the same sex or not) aged less than 10 years
       •     two persons of the same sex where one person is aged between 10 years
             and 20 years and the other is aged less than 10 years
       •     Any person aged under 21 years in any case where he or she cannot be
             paired with another occupier of the dwelling so as to fall within (c), (d) or
             (e) above.
The Housing (Overcrowding) Bill (Bill 46) was not passed by Government however it
is sited as good practice nationally and therefore this will be the standard by which
Manchester City Council will measure overcrowding levels for the purpose of
awarding “reasonable preference”. (N.B. the Council’s Allocation Scheme gives
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additional preference to those applicants who are statutorily overcrowded or deemed
by the Council to be acutely overcrowded. This additional preference is addressed in
section 3 part3).

Applicants who claim they are overcrowded will have their circumstances assessed
against the Bedroom Standard. The table below shows the bedroom entitlement for
adults and children according to the bedroom standard:


                                          Bedroom Standard

                                                                        Number of
                                                                        bedrooms

                Household Members                                       1            2


                Single Adults over 21

                Couple (married or cohabiting) wishing to
                live together

                28+ weeks pregnant woman with or
                without partner and no other children


                One child


                2 children under 10 regardless of sex

                2 children of the same sex aged between
                10 and 21

                2 children of the different sex aged
                between 10 and 21


Example

Using the table above to calculate the size entitlement of a family comprising 2
parents plus a female child aged 9 and a male child aged 14;
       •   Parents entitlement is 1 bedroom
       •   Each child is entitled to a separate bedroom
       •   Total size eligibility for this household is 3 bedrooms.



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In exceptional circumstances the Council delegated officer appropriate may exercise
discretion in deviating from the Bedroom Standard. Further details can be found in
(See section 5 part 2) – Size and type of property for which applicants are eligible.

Anyone with ‘access’ rights to children may also request larger non-family type
accommodation but they will not be entitled to request family type accommodation.

Child at Height Applicants who occupy a flat or maisonette above ground floor and
live with children who are 16 years old or younger will be awarded Reasonable
Preference if the property does not include access to a garden.

D. Reasonable preference category s167 (2) (d) – Medical, Disability and Welfare.

Medical Reasons to Move

Reasonable Preference is awarded by the Council following an assessment by the
Council, of the evidence provided by the applicant, or by the Council’s medical
advisor following an assessment of the applicant’s household and their current living
situation.   An applicant’s circumstances will normally be referred for a medical
assessment if an applicant has indicated that there is a medical or disability problem
that is made substantially worse by their current housing. Otherwise their
circumstances will be assessed by a Manchester City Council Officer. Priority will be
given depending on how unsuitable the current accommodation is in relation to their
medical, welfare or disability needs. The assessment is not of the applicant’s health
but how their accommodation affects their health or welfare.

Reasonable Preference will be awarded where an applicant’s housing is unsuitable
for severe medical reasons or for the occupants specific needs related to disability,
but whose present accommodation does not cause serious barriers to day to day
activity or whose life is not at risk due to their current housing. However their housing
conditions directly contribute to causing serious ill-health. If this is the case they will
be awarded Reasonable Preference and placed into Band 2 or 3. This will normally
be assessed by a Council Medical Officer using set criteria, and may or may not
need to be referred to a qualified nurse/medical advisor or Occupational Therapy
Team depending upon the circumstances.

The following are examples of cases that would qualify for Band 2 or 3 status under
one of the statutory reasonable preference categories. i.e. medical, welfare or
disability needs:

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       •   The applicant’s accommodation is directly contributing to the deterioration
           of the applicant’s health such as severe chest condition requiring
           intermittent hospitalisation as a result of chronic dampness in the
           accommodation.
       •   Children with severe conditions such as autism, or cerebral palsy where
           their long term needs cannot be met without settled accommodation.
       •   A member of the household seeking accommodation is disabled and re-
           housing will enable that person to overcome physical barriers created by
           current accommodation e.g. steps and stairs.
       •   A person with a severe disability requiring substantial adaptations to a
           property which is not provided for in their current accommodation.
       •   A person with a terminal illness or long term debilitating condition whose
           current accommodation is not having a significant impact on their
           condition but where their quality of life would be significantly improved by
           moving to alternative settled accommodation which may or may not be
           closer to support.
       •   A person suffering with mental illness or disorder where the medical
           condition would be significantly improved by a move to alternative
           accommodation.


Safeguarding children: There will be circumstances when it is essential that the
Allocations Policy can support a family with vulnerable children to move in order to
contribute to a child protection plan.


It is therefore proposed that applicants may be awarded Reasonable Preference if
there are children who are part of the application who have a need to move and their
accommodation is a contributory factor to the risk to the child. This would be in
cases where a child is the subject of a CAF assessment and deemed as a child in
need, and where the move would contribute significantly to the well being of the child.
This would need to be evidenced by the agency that has carried out the CAF
assessment.

E. Reasonable preference category s167 (2) (e) – People who need to move to a
particular locality within the local authority’s district, where failure to meet that need
would cause hardship to themselves or to others.


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This category applies to those who need to move to a particular area within the
Manchester City Council boundary, where failure to meet that need would cause
hardship to themselves or others. Given that the City is geographically compact, with
good transport links, an award will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
Reasonable Preference would not normally be awarded to applicants who claim that
they require ongoing support from relatives or friends, unless there is severe mental
health, medical or welfare issues relating to this person or a member of this person’s
household and exceptional reasons why this support cannot be made available
through a reliance on public transport or the applicant’s own transport.



Need to move on hardship grounds examples include
       •   Those who need to move to give or receive care that is substantial and
           ongoing.
       •   Those who need to access social services facilities, and are unable to
           travel across the City.
       •   To take up (or continue) employment, education or a training opportunity
           that is not available elsewhere and who does not live within reasonable
           commuting distance.
       •   Those applicants that qualify for reasonable preference on welfare
           grounds will be those urgent cases that require care and support needs or
           have other social needs that do not require medical care or support. In
           Manchester there are specific groups that will be awarded reasonable
           preference for welfare needs. These are listed and detailed below.
       •   Those leaving or who are ready to move on from Council accredited
           support or care schemes.

The Council wants to ensure that care leavers and other vulnerable people with
support needs are helped to move on from schemes. It is important that they are
only able to access social housing when they are assessed as ready to move on.
Therefore their application for housing will be demoted to Band 6 until they are ready
to move on. At this point the applications will be placed in the appropriate Band.

Move on from Supported Accommodation.             The following cases in supported
accommodation or care will qualify for Reasonable Preference under this category:
       •   An applicant is ready to move to independent settled housing on the
           recommendation of the support service manager
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        •      The applicant is in need of appropriate tenancy support.
        •      That a support package has been assessed and where required, is in
               place.

Move on from Care.          Applicants are awarded this category in accordance with
protocols between the Housing Service and the Council’s Children Services
Department. Applicants must be a former “Relevant Child” as defined by the Children
Leaving Care Act 2002 and be a young person at risk.

The evidence to support this will be provided by the City’s leaving care service and
will consist of confirmation that:
        •      The care leaver is ready to move to independent settled housing and is
               genuinely prepared for a move to independent living.
        •      The care leaver possesses the life skills to manage a tenancy including
               managing a rent account.
        •      The care leaver is in need of either long term or medium term tenancy
               support.
Ongoing support needs have been assessed and, where appropriate, a support plan
is in place.

Need to move on welfare grounds due to ill-health or disability related to old age.
These cases will have their welfare need recognised and reasonable preference
awarded should their current housing be inadequate. An assessment of an
applicant’s need to move due to ill-health or disability related to old age will be made
by the Council taking into account information provided by one or more of the
following:
        •      An applicant’s GP or consultant.
        •      Social Services.
        •      Occupational Therapist.
        •      Age Concern or any other voluntary sector organisation representing the
               applicant.

If an applicant has a significant need to move on welfare grounds which are not
detailed above an appeal can be made using the procedure described under section
5 part 5.

PART 2: WHAT IS ADDITIONAL PREFERENCE AND HOW IS IT
APPLIED UNDER THIS SCHEME?
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Manchester City Council can grant “additional preference” (or an extra head start) to
applicants under this scheme where the Council is satisfied that these applicants
have Reasonable Preference and also have other exceptional or urgent housing
needs. Applicants who are awarded additional preference will appear in Band 1 of
the Scheme.

The award will be made in the following circumstances

Additional Preference for Hospital Discharge
Applicants who need to be discharged from hospital will all be medically assessed
and generally fall into the following categories:
       •   Those who have somewhere suitable to live but do not want to continue
           living there upon discharge from hospital and there are no medical
           reasons for them not returning to their home. These applicants would not
           be awarded with reasonable preference for hospital discharge and will
           queue in Bands 4, 5 or 6b.
       •   Those who have somewhere to live but it is unsuitable for their medical
           needs and can not be made suitable through adaptations because of cost
           effectiveness, structural difficulties or adapted within a reasonable amount
           of time. These applicants would qualify for reasonable preference for
           medical, disability or welfare grounds. Depending on the severity of the
           impact of living in the accommodation applicants in this category may be
           awarded Band 1. These cases will be individually assessed.
       •   Those who have nowhere at all to live when they leave hospital. These
           applicants will qualify for reasonable preference for medical, disability or
           welfare grounds and may qualify for additional preference Band 1 if the
           need to move is urgent and all other reasonable housing options have
           been explored.




Additional Preference for very urgent medical reasons
An applicant who has an urgent need to move, for medical reasons or due to their
medical problems or disability, which is being exacerbated by their current housing
situation, will be awarded Reasonable Preference and additional preference and
placed in the Band 1. This would include people whose life is at risk due to their

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current housing conditions or disabled people who have restricted or limited mobility
and are limited by their accommodation and unable to carry out day to day activities
(cf Disability Discrimination Act), or have difficulties accessing facilities inside and
outside of their accommodation.

The following are examples of cases that would quality for Band 1 as they are
reasonable preference and have been awarded additional priority due to their
medical, welfare or disability needs.
       •   Where an applicant’s condition is expected to be terminal within a period
           of twelve months and rehousing is required to provide a basis for the
           provision of suitable care.
       •   The     condition   is    life   threatening   and   the   applicant’s   existing
           accommodation is a major contributory factor.
       •   The applicant’s health is so severely affected by the accommodation that
           it is likely to become life threatening for example, where an applicant has
           significant mental health problems which are exacerbated by their
           accommodation.
       •   Disabled people who have restricted or limited mobility and are limited by
           their accommodation and unable to carry out day to day activities (cf
           Disability Discrimination Act) or have difficulties accessing facilities inside
           and outside of their accommodation and require rehousing into
           accommodation suitable for their use.
       •   The applicant’s accommodation is directly contributing to the deterioration
           of the applicant’s health such as severe chest condition requiring
           intermittent hospitalisation as a result of chronic dampness in the
           accommodation and the condition of the property can not be resolved
           within a reasonable period of time – usually 6 months.
       •   Where overcrowding in the property leaves the applicant at risk of
           infection, for example, where an applicant is suffering from full blown
           AIDS.

Additional Preference for Statutory Overcrowding
An applicant who is statutorily overcrowded as defined by the statutory minimum
overcrowding standards will be awarded Reasonable Preference and additional
preference and placed in the Band 1.


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Those who are Statutory overcrowded as defined by the Housing Act 1985 (see
above). This is defined as follows:

Statutory overcrowding can be caused by having too many people in a room or by
having too many people for the size of the room.

If two people of the opposite sex have to sleep in the same room the accommodation
will be overcrowded unless the two people are:
       •   a married or cohabiting couple, or

       •   at least one occupant is under ten years old.

The number of people of the same sex (unless they are a same sex couple) who can
sleep in one room is restricted by the size of the room.

The amount of space in each room: Rooms that are counted include living rooms,
bedrooms and large kitchens. For the space and floor area calculations:
      • children under one year old are ignored
       •   children under ten years old and over one count as a half
       •   rooms under 50 square feet are ignored.

As a general rule:
       •   1 room = 2 people
       •   2 rooms = 3 people
       •   3 rooms = 5 people
       •   4 rooms = 7.5 people
       •   5 or more rooms = 2 people per room.

The floor area of a room also determines how many people can sleep in it:
       •   rooms under 50 square feet are ignored
       •   floor area 110 sq feet (10.2 sq metres approx) = 2 people
       •   floor area 90 - 109 sq ft (8.4 - 10.2 sq m approx) = 1.5 people
       •   floor area 70 - 89 sq ft (6.5 - 8.4 sq m approx) = 1 person
       •   floor area 50 - 69 sq ft (4.6 - 6.5 sq m approx) = 0.5 people.

Please note: for those applicants where their housing conditions or level of
overcrowding mean that it is not reasonable for them to continue to occupy their
overcrowded accommodation and as a result they are owed a Statutory homeless
duty under section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996, they will no longer be allocated
priority from Reasonable Preference category (c) as the Council will be under a legal
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duty to remedy the cause of homelessness through the provision of suitable
accommodation.     This will result in an award of Reasonable Preference for the
statutory homeless duty under Reasonable Preference category (b).

Additional Preference for Acute Overcrowding
Where a household is 3 bedrooms short of the bedroom standard outlined in section
3 part 1.

Additional Preference for applicants who are under-occupying
their current social housing
The Council is aware that many of homes in Manchester are currently under-
occupied and that there are many houses where only one bedroom is used. While
the Council appreciates the rights of a secure tenant it is also aware of the needs of
families registered on its Allocations Scheme who are in need of more suitable
housing.


Tenants of Landlords within the Manchester Housing Register Partnership who are
currently under-occupying a family home will be placed in Band 1 if they are
occupying a house with at least 3 bedrooms and are willing to move to a one
bedroom property or a 2 bedroom property that is designated for older people. ie:
Retirement housing, Extra Care or a bungalow. Applicants wishing to be considered
for a 2 bed general needs property or larger will be placed in Band 2 or 3 depending
on their Working Households or Community Contribution status.


Additional       Preference          for   applicants        releasing       adapted
properties
Where a tenant does not require the adaptations in their current home and will
therefore be releasing an adapted property by moving and there is a suitable
applicant queuing for the adapted property which will be released through a move.
This award is valid if the applicant still requires adaptations provided the adaptations
required are different from those in their current home.
Applicants who occupy an adapted property and want or need to move to a different
property with the same adaptations (i.e. who release their current adapted property
but are allocated an equivalent property in an alternative location) will not be placed
in Band 1 unless they meet one of the other criteria.

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Additional Preference for applicants who need to move due to
domestic abuse, extreme violence or extreme harassment
High risk victims of domestic abuse who are subject to a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk
Assessment Conference) as part of an agreed safety plan for high risk victims will be
eligible for additional preference and will be placed in Band 1. All other domestic
abuse cases will be awarded Reasonable Preference but not additional preference
and will therefore be placed in band 2 or 3.


Applicants who are suffering extreme violence or harassment and can demonstrate
to the satisfaction of Manchester City Council that it is not safe for the applicant /
household to remain in their present home will be placed in Band 1. All other cases of
harassment or violence will be awarded Reasonable Preference but not additional
preference and will therefore be placed in band 2 or 3.




Additional Preference for applicants who are or were in the
armed forces
This is any applicant who needs to move to suitable adapted accommodation
because of a serious injury, medical condition or disability which he or she, or a
member of their household, has sustained as a result of service in the UK Armed
Forces


Additional        Preference         for    applicants        in    Private       sector
unsanitary or unfit properties.
This is awarded to those applicants who are living in private sector properties that are
unsanitary conditions where the conditions pose an ongoing and serious threat to
health.


Private sector tenants and residents of dwellings where the Authorities Authorised
Officer has determined that the property poses a category 1 hazard under the Health
and Safety fitness rating and the Council is satisfied that the problem cannot be
resolved by the landlord within 6 months and as a result continuing to occupy the

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accommodation will pose a considerable risk to the applicant’s health. This includes
a property that has severe damp, major structural defects including subsidence,
flooding, collapse of roof, or has living conditions which are a statutory nuisance, and
there is no prospect of the problems being remedied within a 6 month time period.

A private sector property either owned or rented where a statutory notice has been
issued by the Environmental Health department that an unfit property is to be
demolished under the Housing Act 2004 will be awarded Reasonable Preference.

If an applicant occupies a Council property and the property is deemed to be
unsanitary or unfit the Council will redress the poor property condition. In cases
where this is not possible within a reasonable period the Council may decant the
household to a suitable alternative property while the work is carried out. The
household will then return to the original property. The household would not be
eligible for Reasonable Preference for unsanitary conditions under this scheme whilst
resident in the decant. Applicants occupying Council accommodation and claiming
the property is unsanitary or unfit will not be awarded Reasonable Preference.

Additional Preference for Child Protection
In those circumstances where there is a serious threat to the well-being of a child and
their accommodation is a contributory factor to the risk we would want to act swiftly.
Under these circumstances it is proposed that the applicant would be placed in Band
1. The level of risk caused by the child remaining in the current property would in
these circumstances be verified by the Chief Officer in Children’s Services as being
so critical that no other reasonable options are available to safeguarding the child.


Management Discretion

Where management discretion is applied due to exceptional and significant
circumstances the applicant will be placed in Band 1 as described in Section 2 part 3.

PART 3: HOW INCREASED PRIORITY IS AWARDED UNDER
THIS SCHEME
Increased priority for rehousing is given to those applicants who demonstrate a
commitment to contribute to the City’s economic growth as Working Households or
who make a contribution by their Contribution within Communities. Before being

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awarded increased priority applicants must have a current positive residency in their
own right. The criteria for this are as follows:
        •   No active Rehousing Review List entries (see appendix 3 for an
            explanation of Manchester’s Rehousing Review List.      Overridden RRL
            entries should be reviewed when assessing eligibility for Community
            Contribution.
        •   No on-going culpable involvement in anti-social behaviour or criminal
            activities.
        •   No breaches of tenancy within the last 3 years
        •   No outstanding housing-related debt over £100.
        •   Not have an outstanding assessment under the Serious Offenders
            procedure or have been refused rehousing by the Serious Offenders
            Panel.

Applicants can access increased priority for rehousing in two ways via the Working
Households award or a Community Contribution award.



Working Households
Economic Contribution – why it matters

This policy aims to support the economic growth of our city.

We want to encourage people who can, to work and want to raise levels of aspiration
and ambition. We will offer increased priority to applicants who are working and who
are therefore making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. This would be
particularly advantageous for "working" applicants who have reasonable preference
since they could receive increased priority to Band 2 by virtue of their "working"
status. An earlier allocation of accommodation due to Band 2 status should both
resolve their "reasonable preference" housing need, e.g. overcrowding, and provide
an enhanced housing environment to enable them to maintain and develop their
employment and career. The increased priority gained by being a Working
Household will apply to rehousing across the city and is not linked with a specified
area.




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This award will also be used to prioritise applicants without Reasonable Preference,
who want to move. Therefore those applicants without a reasonable preference and
with this award will be placed in Band 4

Definition of Working Households
Households where at least one adult household member is in employment. For the
purposes of this Allocations Policy employment is described as having a permanent
contract, working as a temporary member of staff or being self-employed. Applicants
will only qualify if the worker has been employed for 9 out of the last 12 months and
have been working for a minimum of 16 hours per week. Verification will be sought at
point of application as well as point of offer under the same terms. Applicants must
provide payslips, P60, bank statements or a verifying letter on headed paper in order
to qualify.



Community Contribution
Community Contribution – why it matters

People who play a part in making their neighbourhood strong, stable and healthy –
those who help make it a good place to live, work and play – are valuable people.
They are the backbone of their community, and they need to be recognised for the
good they do.

The Community Contribution priority scheme is a Manchester City Council policy
which gives an applicant increased priority for a specific rehousing area and relevant
bordering rehousing areas, in addition to any other reasonable preference they are
entitled to because of housing need. It should be noted that applicants choosing to
access this priority will restrict their rehousing options in terms of the areas in which
they are eligible for rehousing. The area to which the Community Contribution is
applied is the one specific rehousing area to which the award applies plus any
relevant bordering rehousing areas which border it. For example, an applicant with
Reasonable Preference who applies successfully for a Community Contribution
award in a specified cluster of rehousing areas will move from Band 3 queuing for
any number of rehousing areas up to Band 2 queuing in their chosen areas. It affects
an applicant’s priority under Manchester City Council’s allocations criteria – which
includes our Nominations to Registered Provider properties – so it is important that
all applicants are given the opportunity to request a Community Contribution award,
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regardless of which housing partner they originally registered with. It does not impact
upon their choices for those properties directly offered by Registered Providers,
under their own Allocations Schemes. An applicant could therefore have a
Community Contribution award for a small number of rehousing areas in
Manchester’s Allocations Policy but be queuing for a range of other areas within the
Allocations Policies of our partners.

This award will also be used to prioritise applicants without Reasonable Preference,
who want to move. Therefore those applicants without a reasonable preference and
with this award will be placed in Band 4

Community Contribution Awards – How they work in practice
It’s important to keep in mind that a Community Contribution award is additional to
the applicant’s reasonable preference status. If an applicant requests a Community
Contribution but turns out not to qualify, it won’t disadvantage their application or
cause it to be ineligible. It’s also important to make clear that only the criteria below
can be used to assess whether someone can have a Community Contribution award.

Applicants may only have one award. This will be to one rehousing area and all other
rehousing areas which border it.         If an applicant qualifies for more than one
Community Contribution award – whether under more than one criterion, or under the
same criteria for more than one rehousing area, they must choose which one they
wish to have applied.

Definition of Community Contribution
Criterion 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence history’
test (see bullet points above) they may apply for the Community Contribution award
for that area.

Who would benefit from this extra priority?
    •   Families could move back to live near grandparents willing to look after
        children so parents can work.
    •   You already live in an area, have put roots down, want to stay but your home
        is not suitable.
    •   People who have moved away to work could move back in future to be close
        to family, friends or support.
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Evidence required: IF RENTING: rent accounts covering the 3-year period or tenancy
agreements accompanied by details of the landlord.

Criterion 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area a Community Contribution award
may be applied for in the area in which they volunteer.

Volunteers must have been volunteering for a continuous period of at least 6 months
up to the point of application and the same at point of offer. Volunteering must be for
a not-for profit organisation or a charity and must be for a minimum of 10 hours per
month. N.B. Tenants and Residents Associations which are constituted are classified
as not-for-profit organisation. They must be registered with Manchester City Council
or a Registered Provider to qualify.

Why give this additional priority?

   •   We can reward, and make it easier for, community volunteers to continue
       their good work by moving them nearer.

Evidence required for VOLUNTARY WORK. Letter from Manager responsible for
Volunteers confirming applicant’s involvement in a minimum of 10 hours per month of
voluntary work in the requested area for over 6 months. This person must not be
related to the applicant in any way.

Criterion 3 – If an applicant operates a business in Manchester a Community
Contribution award may be applied for in the area in which the business is located.

Why give this additional priority?

   •   If we can encourage employment by helping someone move with their
       business we should provide this incentive.

Evidence required for PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT. Proof of business ownership
and/or contract for business premises.

Exceptional Circumstances
There may be exceptional circumstances that prevent applicants taking advantage of
the Community Contribution Awards through no fault of their own. This Scheme
predicts that these are likely to relate to people fleeing violence and/or threats of
violence. In such cases it would not be appropriate to restrict the Community
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Contribution Award to the area to which the Community Contribution qualification
was achieved or rehousing areas which border it.

In such cases, provided the applicant meets the criteria to qualify for Community
Contribution Awards, the application of that award to a re-housing area will be
decided on a case by case basis by the Council, delegated as appropriate, taking
into account the circumstances of the case.

An example of an exceptional circumstance would be applicants fleeing abuse, and
having to move to refuge accommodation, who are unable to return to their original
place of residence. They are also unlikely to seek to be rehoused in their original
housing area. This means that they will in the majority of cases be unable to meet the
Community Contribution criteria.

Applicants could access the additional priority via the Young People’s Tenancy
Training course although this is only appropriate for a very small number of these
cases.

Typically applicants who are rehoused from this background would be receiving
formal support in a Supporting People accredited accommodation based service. It is
therefore appropriate for the manager, in discussion with the relevant housing office,
to decide on a suitable area to which the Community Contribution will apply.

A further difficulty exists in identifying this customer group and ensuring that claims
on the Community Contribution award are genuine and ensure that the process is not
being abused. For example, residents in refuges and hostels could potentially claim
that the reason they are residing there is due to fear of violence. However, we need
to be sure that the fear of violence is of such an extent that the customer faces the
difficulties described above in terms of accessing priority in the usual way.

The process for mitigating against this potential disadvantage is therefore that for
applicants fleeing violence, abuse or harassment in Supporting People accredited
accommodation based services:
Evidence is required that the applicant meets the difficulties described. The proof
which would be acceptable is confirmation from the Refuge/Oaklodge Manager that a
MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) referral has been completed or
other evidence which satisfies the Council that the applicant cannot return to the area
from which they have fled.
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Evidence that the Community Contribution standard criteria are met at point of entry
to temporary accommodation i.e. good resident test. This is to be carried out in the
same way as for any other applicant
Discussion between manager, applicant and the office assessing the application to
agree a suitable area to which the Community Connection will be applied (N.B. the
assessing housing office should be involved to ensure that good prospects advice is
given).

PART 4: HOW REDUCED PRIORITY IS AWARDED UNDER
THIS SCHEME
The Council has a right to reduce an applicant’s priority under this Scheme.

This part of the Scheme describes those circumstances under which priority will be
reduced. In doing so, due regard has been given to the requirement to give
reasonable preference to those categories outlined in the Housing Act 1996 (as
amended). The reasonable preference categories are listed in section 3 part 1.

Those applicants that are eligible under the scheme will be assessed to determine if
they are owed a reasonable preference or not. If they are, they will be allocated a
Band according to the Council’s allocation priority as set out in section 3 part 2 of this
Scheme. However, where an applicant would have been awarded a specific Band
due to assessed need but one or more of the factors listed below apply to their case,
their application will be given a reduced priority (allocated a lower band) until the
issues relevant to their circumstances has been resolved.

Applicants with Reasonable Preference will be subject to reduced priority for
rehousing and placed in Band 6a for one of the reasons described below. Such
applicants with no Reasonable Preference, who want to move, will be subject to
reduced priority in the same way but will be ranked below in Band 6b.

Bands 6a and 6b have significantly reduced prospects for Allocations within this
scheme (See section 2 part 2) Bands Structure.

Reduced priority will apply under the following circumstances:

Reduced priority due to the Local Connection Policy



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Applicants are able to apply for social housing within Manchester from anywhere
within the United Kingdom. However, in order to ensure that the Council meets the
needs of the local community, reduced priority will be given to those people without a
local connection. “Local connection” will be assessed in accordance with the
definition of local connection contained in Section 199 Housing Act 1996 Applicants
without a local connection will have their priority reduced to Band 6 until they acquire
a local connection with the Council.

The following factors as set down in s199 Housing Act 1996 will be taken into
account in determining whether or not an applicant has a local connection with the
Manchester City Council area. An application is awarded a local connection if an
applicant or a member of their household included in their application that he/she
       •   currently resides in the City in either temporary or permanent
           accommodation.
       •   has lived in Manchester by choice for a certain time (usually for six
           months out of the last 12 months or for three years out of the last five
           years);
       •   has close family living in Manchester, who have lived in the City for at
           least the previous five years;
       •   has settled employment in the Manchester City Council area;
       •   has special circumstances that give rise to a local connection
       •   is a serving member of the armed forces and is posted in the Manchester
           City Council Area

For the purposes of determining local connection, living in Manchester will not
include the following:
       •   Occupation of a mobile home, caravan or motor caravan which is not
           placed on a residential site; or
       •   Occupation of a holiday letting which includes a permanent building, hotel
           or bed and breakfast accommodation for the purposes of a holiday.
       •   Resident of HMP Manchester, Bail Hostels or other such accommodation
           if no ‘city status’ exists.
       •   In-Patient of Hospitals/specialist centres

Exceptions for Special Circumstances



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There may be occasions not predicted by this Allocation Scheme where the
application of the Local Connection Policy is deemed inappropriate by the Council
and accordingly there is a Managers Discretion available not to invoke the Policy in
these Special Circumstances. One example might be someone who has been placed
out of Manchester for a period of time, whilst being looked after by Children’s
Services – although each case would need to be considered on its merits.


Applicants who do not have a local connection with Manchester but to whom
Manchester City Council have accepted a full Homelessness duty under section
193(2) by the Council because they do not have a safe local connection anywhere
else will not be subject to any reduction in their priority (as the Council is under a
statutory duty to provide long term settled housing regardless of local connection).

Reduced priority due to rehousing and rent arrears/housing
related debt
This   would   include    current    or   former   rent   arrears   (including   temporary
accommodation arrears), damage to a former social housing property or legal costs
arising from court action in connection with a current or former tenancy.

This will be assessed at the point when the applicant’s priority is being assessed
unless new information comes to the Council’s attention after their initial assessment.
The following procedure will apply:
       •   The Council will consider whether the applicant still owes arrears/debt,
           and if they do, the extent of the arrears/debt.
       •   The Council will consider whether there are exceptional circumstances,
           described below. If there are exceptional circumstances then the applicant
           may not be subject to reduced priority despite the arrears/debt.
       •   The Council will consider whether the claimant has taken debt advice
           acted on it, and entered into and begun to implement any arrangement to
           clear the arrears.
       •   The Council will consider whether an arrangement has been made, the
           amount of arrears paid off, any debt outstanding, and the regularity of any
           payments made.

After applying the above procedure concerning rent arrears or housing related debt,
the Council may reduce the applicant’s priority to Band 6. If a payment plan is made

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but the applicant fails to adhere to the terms agreed the applicant will be considered
ineligible and removed from the scheme. Manchester City Council will carry out a
periodic review of applicants within Band 6 to ensure that applicants who fail to
redeem themselves from the cause of their demotion are rendered ineligible.

Applicants are recommended to contact their Housing Officer if/when they believe
their circumstances have changed appropriately. The Council will review the case at
the request of the applicant and if the Council is satisfied that appropriate action has
been taken by the applicant to address the arrears, the Council may decide to
remove the reduced priority and place the applicant in the Band relevant to their
housing need. Upon entering the new Band, the queue date will be the date the
applicant entered the new Band and NOT the date the applicant previously entered
Band 6. The only exception to this is where an applicant is assessed as being eligible
for a higher Band. See section 5 part 4 which explains moving up and down Bands.

All applicants are registered for rehousing in the usual way and a rent account check
undertaken.

The decision to reduce priority is made immediately after registration. If, having
checked, the applicant falls into any of the following arrears categories, the officer
should take the appropriate action set out below:

       1. Applicants who owe £100 or over but less than £500 in rent arrears will be
           have their priority reduced and be demoted to Band 6. Before they can be
           reinstated to a higher band they must have signed an undertaking to
           repay the outstanding debt.
       2. Applicants who owe between over £500 and £1000 in rent arrears will
           have their priority reduced and be demoted to Band 6. Before they can be
           reinstated to a higher band they must sign an undertaking to repay the
           outstanding amount and make regular payments over a 13 week period.
           These may be weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly or monthly payments as
           agreed but must not be missed.
       3. Applicants owing over £1000 rent arrears will be deemed ineligible save
           only for exceptional personal circumstances that will be considered on a
           case by case basis.

If an applicant makes an arrangement in relation to (1) above or keeps to the
arrangements set out in (2) then their application should be returned to the
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appropriate Band. During any period of reduced priority, an applicants’ housing need
should continue to be investigated and updated.

Reduced priority in all cases will be for a minimum of 13 weeks, even if the debt is
cleared before the expiry of the period. The only exception to this would be where a
tenant cleared their arrears in full. In such a situation reinstatement to the appropriate
Band should be made as soon as the relevant account becomes clear. Should there
be more than one debt, this policy must be applied to all debts owed.

The only exceptions to the policy of reduced priority for such applicants who owe a
debt to the Council with arrears over £100 are:
        •     Those who can demonstrate that either they or their family face life
              threatening circumstances and as a consequence require immediate
              rehousing.
        •     Applicants in need of temporary rehousing (decant) as a consequence of
              fire or flood damage, together with other tenants we may agree to decant
              for other reasons, from time to time.
        •     Applicants requiring permanent rehousing as a consequence of Housing
              Investment Activity. (However such lettings are outside of Part VI and
              therefore made outside of this policy).
        •     Applicants with medical needs, and have a priority to reflect that.
        •     Applicants awarded priority for Domestic Abuse.

Council officers, delegated as appropriate, on receipt of sufficient supporting
evidence, place an applicant in the appropriate Band according to their
circumstances. If other exceptional circumstances occur Managers Discretion may
be exercised.

For ongoing housing applications it is possible that for a current tenant, arrears or a
rechargeable amount will arise while waiting for rehousing. Organisations registering
council tenants for rehousing (MCC, ALMO, PFI etc) must undertake monthly checks
to ensure that where necessary an application has its priority reduced or made
ineligible.

In circumstances where the applicants’ debt is over £1000 then this would, subject to
any overriding exceptional personal circumstances, constitute “unacceptable
behaviour” and therefore would render the applicant ineligible for housing. In these
cases the applicant would not appear on the Council’s Allocations Scheme.
Unacceptable Behaviour is outlined at section 2 part 1 of this scheme.
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Reduced priority due to refusal of three reasonable offers of
accommodation
Applicants who have refused 3 reasonable offers of accommodation within 6 months
of the date of the first offer will have their priority for rehousing reduced for a 6 month
period. After this 6 months period the applicant will be returned to their original band
with their original date as long as a change of circumstances has not occurred. See
section 5 part 4 moving up and down Bands

Reduced priority due to non compliance with the tenancy
agreement
This applies where the Council is satisfied, having considered all available evidence,
that an applicant (or a member of their current or prospective household) has failed
to adhere to the terms of any current or previous social housing or private rented
sector tenancy agreement terms and conditions. This includes failing to maintain
any previous social rented or private sector rented property within the terms of their
tenancy agreement, or       committing acts causing or likely to cause nuisance or
annoyance to neighbours or others in the locality of where they live or where they
previously have lived. In such cases applicants will have their priority reduced and
be placed into Band 6. This will apply until the applicant (or a member of their
prospective household) has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Council, that
circumstances have changed such that the previous conduct is unlikely to reoccur.
In some cases this could include demonstrating cooperation with support agencies
leading to a substantial improvement in behaviour.

The status will be reconsidered at the request of the applicant and only where there
has been no reasonable cause for complaint or concern against the applicant (or
members of their prospective household) for a continuous period of one year. A
regular review of Band 6 will be carried out and applicants whose behaviour
continues to be unacceptable will be rendered ineligible if the behaviour has reached
an extent at which possession of the property has been or may have been achieved.

Where an applicant has reduced priority for these reasons they will be listed on the
Rehousing Review List. This is a list that is maintained by Manchester’s housing
Register Partners. This list is referred to when someone applies for housing for the
first time or applies to be rehoused. This list is used under this scheme as a trigger


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for further investigation of an application. A full explanation of Manchester’s
Rehousing Review list is appended Appendix 2.

Reduced priority due to capital assets
Owner occupiers who are adequately housed or people with sufficient financial
resources available to them to meet their housing needs will be given reduced
priority. Such applicants without “reasonable preference” will be placed in Band 6B.
Such applicants with “reasonable preference” will be placed in Band 6A.The Council
will also take into account any previous disposals of assets; capital or savings when
calculating the financial resources available which will include disposals for nil (for
example, transfer of ownership) or below market rate value. The Council considers
£75,000 total capital/asset/savings to be sufficient financial resource to buy a home
or pay market rent in our City




Reduced priority due to income threshold
The Council considers £60,000 per annum household income to be sufficient
financial resource to buy a home or pay market rent in our City Applicants with an
income higher than the stated threshold and without “reasonable preference” will be
placed in Band 6B. Such applicants with “reasonable preference” will be placed in
Band 6A.

Reduced priority due to failure of Pre Transfer Inspection (for
transfer applicants)
Every Manchester City Council home must have a Pre-transfer Inspection carried out
before any offer can be made. A property must meet the standard required so that
the property can be re-let within 3 days. Manchester City Council tenants will have
reduced priority given to their application for rehousing should their home, on
inspection, not meet the standard required to be re-let within 3 days. In any
circumstances where the standard of the property is such that a possession order
would be awarded against the tenant the application will be deemed ineligible.

At the point of registration a home visit is undertaken by an officer and a decision
taken in line with the procedure as to whether the property could be re-let within 3
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days. The applicant will be advised accordingly. The inspection will relate to both the
inside and outside of the property including the garden.

If the property passes this inspection the tenant will be informed of this and no further
inspection will be carried out before an offer is made. However should any
information be received that a property may have deteriorated, a further inspection
may be carried out. Should the property not pass this inspection the applicant will be
informed as to what they need to do to put this right. Until the work has been carried
out by the tenant the application will have reduced priority and appear in Band 6. The
tenant should be informed in writing of the reasons that the property failed the PTI
and what they need to do to put this right. They should also be notified of their right of
appeal.

The onus is on the tenant to contact the organisation should they subsequently
resolve any issues identified during the Pre Transfer Inspection and a further visit will
be carried out to verify this.

Once a property meets the correct standard the application can be reinstated to the
appropriate band.

Before a transfer applicant is made an offer the application will be checked to see
when the last PTI inspection was carried out. If this is more than 6 months ago then a
further PTI check must be carried out before an offer is made. Should the property on
this inspection not pass the PTI then no offer will be made and the application will be
given reduced priority and placed in Band 6 until any identified issues are rectified.

The following reasons allow an exemption from the existing PTI procedures:
        •   Domestic Abuse.
        •   Fear of violence where the applicant is granted Band 1.
        •   If Band 1 is awarded for medical needs.
        •   Where the moving tenant is under-occupying their current home by 2
            bedrooms or more and has been given Band 1 priority, is over 60 and also
            has medical or welfare grounds to move which do not enable them to
            address the outstanding issues identified in the PTI. E.g.; decorating.

Notification of reduced priority



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Any applicant whose priority is reduced will be provided with written notification of the
decision that will contain the following information:
       •   The reasons for the decision to reduce priority
       •   The Band that their housing circumstances would have warranted and the
           Band that they have been placed in as a result of the Council’s decision
           (This will normally be Band 6A or 6B)
       •   The applicant’s right to appeal against the decision
       •   What they have to do before they can be considered again for any higher
           Band warranted by their housing needs.
       •   That any appeal against the decision must be made in writing within 21
           days of written notification of the decision
       •   That any appeal will be dealt with by a Senior Officer not involved in the
           original decision. All appeals will be dealt with within 8 weeks, and the
           applicant advised of the outcome.
       •   That an applicant may request that their application be removed from the
           reduced priority Band at any time. The request for removal of the reduced
           priority must be made in writing and must set out how why the applicant
           believes that the removal of the reduced priority is now justified.




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PART 5: WHAT IS RESTRICTIVE LABELLING AND HOW IS IT
APPLIED UNDER THIS SCHEME?

Manchester City Council reserves the right to apply restrictive labelling in order to
identify suitable applicants in particular circumstances. Restrictive labelling will take
the form of Local Lettings Policies or corrective action to meet the Annual Lettings
Plan (see Appendix 6). Where a property is advertised with restrictive labelling, the
letting will be made to the bidder with the earliest priority date in the highest Band.

The Council, delegated as appropriate (see delegated authority section 1 part 2),
reserve the right to apply any criteria while meeting the statutory obligations for
Reasonable Preference. The Council may, in the interests of promoting balanced and
sustainable communities agree with participating Housing Providers local lettings
plans for specific areas, estates, or blocks. This is to ensure that there are local
lettings policies which are tailored to the needs of an area, which protect the interests
of existing residents and the wider community.


The principles in applying Local Lettings Policies (LLPs)
       •   Local Lettings Policies may be developed to meet the particular needs of
           a local area.
       •   LLPs must be evidence-based and there must be a clear need (this may
           take the form of recurring antisocial behaviour issues, high child densities
           or a concentration of older residents – see examples provided below.
       •   LLPs must be subject to a clear consultation with all stakeholders, which
           must be evidenced to show that this has taken place.
       •   LLPs must be developed and approved in accordance with an agreed
           procedure that must have specific aims and will be reviewed on an annual
           basis.

The decision to implement a local lettings policy will be developed and approved
either solely by Manchester City Council or jointly by both the Senior Officer
responsible for the Manchester City Council’s Allocations Scheme and a Senior
Manager of the relevant Housing provider for whom the Council has nomination
rights for properties held by that Registered Provider. The procedure for authorisation
is appended at Appendix 5 Any decision to implement a local lettings policy will
always take into account the implications for equal opportunities and the need to
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ensure that the Council is able to meet the allocation needs of those owed a
reasonable preference.

Where a property is advertised in accordance with a Local Lettings Policy (LLP), the
letting will be made to the bidder with the earliest priority date in that group who
meets the eligibility criteria of the LLP and also meets the entitlement rules around
size eligibility.

Examples of Possible Local Letting Policies:
The following are examples of local letting policies that could be employed in
Manchester covering an area, estate, or block:
         •   Age restrictions.
         •   Transfer applicants with a positive tenancy history in respect of no rent
             arrears and exemplary behaviour.
         •   Policies that are geared towards encouraging applicants who work or
             volunteer to live in an area.
         •   Applicants who are key workers as defined by the Council.
         •   Lettings to employed persons where there is a high concentration of
             existing residents who are out of work.
         •   Restrictions on lettings to vulnerable households where there are already
             a concentration of supported tenants/residents.
         •   Lettings to childless households where there are high concentrations of
             children and young people living on a specific estate or scheme.

Local Lettings Schemes will be subject to a review at least every 12 months, or as
and when changes to an estate, area or block, necessitate such a review.




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SECTION 4

In this section of the document we explain areas of the scheme
under which specific criteria are applied

Part 1: How we allocate to homeless households under the
scheme

Part 2: How Serious Offenders are dealt with under the scheme

Part 3: How Medical Assessment and Adapted Homes are dealt
with under the scheme

Part 4: How Retirement and Extra Care Housing is dealt with
under the scheme

Part 5: How Low Demand properties are dealt with under the
scheme

Part 6: How Tenancy Succession is dealt with under the scheme

Part 7: How Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant
organisations, Council Members, Co-optees and relatives of these
groups are determined and how we determine the size and type of
property for which applicants are eligible

PART 1: HOW WE ALLOCATE TO HOMELESS HOUSEHOLDS
UNDER THE SCHEME
This part applies to applicants who are considered to be homeless under Part VII of
the 1996 Housing Act (as amended). The Local Authority has a legal duty to secure
permanent accommodation for households who are homeless or at risk of becoming
homeless (unless certain exceptions apply). The City Council and its partners will do
all they can to prevent homelessness.

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If this is not possible an assessment will be carried out by the Council’s
homelessness team and if appropriate the homeless household will be rehoused in
accordance with the Allocations Scheme as it applies to homeless people.
Reasonable Preference will be awarded and an applicant will be placed in Band 2 or
3 depending on whether they meet the criteria for increased priority outlined in this
scheme.

If an applicant is found to be intentionally homeless they will be placed in Band 6a for
the period that the homeless duty is owed. . If the reason the applicant is found to be
intentionally homeless constitutes “unacceptable behaviour” as defined in Section 2
Part 1 of this Scheme then the applicant will be deemed ineligible for the Council’s
Allocations Scheme.

It is recognised that social rented housing is not the only tenure available to
homeless households and where appropriate they will be encouraged to accept
rehousing in the private sector. If an applicant already has an application for housing
with the Council with a Reasonable Preference award, the date of the original
Reasonable Preference award will stand even if a subsequent positive homeless
decision is made about the applicant although no extra priority will be awarded

Choice and homelessness

For cases for which the Council has accepted a full homeless duty under sections
193(2) or 195(2) of Part VII Housing Act 1996 (as amended) applicants can exercise
choice for a “bidding period” of 6 months through the Choice Based Lettings Scheme.

After this time period a homeless support worker or equivalent will bid on behalf of an
applicant (proxy bidding) for up to 3 suitable offers a week. Properties that the
support worker bids on may be outside of the areas of choice that an applicant
wishes to live in. The worker will bid for the properties where the applicant will stand
the best chance of being made an offer. There may be areas that are excluded by
agreement that are unsuitable for an applicant and an offer will not be made in these
areas. Such areas will be named on the households housing application.

This “bidding period” may be extended at the discretion of the Council in the following
circumstances:
       •   Where it becomes clear that nothing suitable has been advertised during
           the bidding period;

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        •   Where the Council accepts that the applicant has not fully understood
            what he or she was expected to do under the Scheme.
        •   Where the Council accepts that the applicant was incapable of accessing
            the scheme without advice and assistance and this advice and assistance
            was not given.
        •   “Nothing suitable” being advertised means that none of the property type
            that the household requires has been advertised anywhere in their
            preferred area(s) during the 6 month period.



The above 6 month “bidding period” for the exercise of choice by applicants who are
owed the full homelessness duty is not applicable to those applicants who occupy
Bed and Breakfast accommodation provided by the Council pending permanent re-
housing. The Council can make a direct offer of housing accommodation to such
applicants under this Allocation Scheme at any time (subject to their priority in the
Scheme).

The following outcomes of this Allocation Scheme will end and discharge any full
homelessness duties the Council may owe to applicants:
        •   Where an applicant successfully bids for accommodation, and accepts the
            offer of the accommodation.
        •   Where an applicant is offered suitable accommodation under this Scheme
            where a proxy bid has been made by a homeless support worker following
            the expiry of their “bidding period” and refuses that offer.
        •   Where an applicant currently residing in temporary Bed and Breakfast
            provided by the Council is offered suitable accommodation directly under
            this Scheme and refuses that offer.
        •   In relation to bullet points 2 and 3, this will be subject to the applicant
            having reasonable opportunity to consider the offers (and their Part VII
            Housing Act 1996 right to review the suitability of the accommodation as
            discharge of the Council’s full homelessness duty).

Where a homeless applicant bids for suitable accommodation and is successful, the
offer will be the applicant’s final offer and will end the Council’s homelessness duty if
the offer is accepted or refused. The offer will always be confirmed in writing stating
that this is the final offer that will end the Council’s duty to the applicant under part VII

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of the 1996 Housing Act (as amended). Any offer will normally last for 5 days from
the date of the letter but this may be extended at the discretion of the Council or
relevant Registered Provider.

Where a property is refused the Council’s homelessness team will be informed
immediately by the relevant organisation, a decision will be made on the suitability of
the offer within 5 working days during which time the property must remain available.

Statutory Homeless applicants will be entitled to one reasonable offer under the
scheme.

If an applicant has the duty discharged by this one offer and refuses the offer they
are entitled to remain on the Allocations Scheme and their priority will be re-assessed
accordingly. If their housing circumstances still qualify them for reasonable
preference then the original date of the award can be kept.

Whether or not a homeless applicant accepts an offer of accommodation made under
the scheme, they have the right to request a review of the suitability of the
accommodation they have been offered in discharge of the Council’s Part VII duty.
Homeless Applicants are therefore encouraged to accept the offer that has been
made to them, even if they intend to request a review of its suitability. If the applicant
has been accepted as being owed a statutory duty by the Council, this duty, subject
to a right of review, will have ceased if the property is refused. In such circumstances
an applicant will no longer be entitled to any duty, will have to leave any temporary
accommodation provided and make alternative accommodation arrangements.

If the “proxy bidding” process results in a homeless family with a child in primary
school being offered a property outside of the rehousing “cluster” where the primary
school is situated the homeless family may choose to refuse the offer and this offer
will not be counted as a reasonable offer of accommodation and therefore the duty
will not be discharged. The proxy bidder should discuss the refusal with the applicant
and make efforts to bid for properties in more suitable areas. However , if there are
no suitable properties available in the applicant’s preferred areas and a subsequent
offer of accommodation is made for which the household is eligible in terms of size
and type of property this will be counted as a reasonable offer and duty will be
discharged.



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This policy ensures that homeless families have reasonable opportunity to access
suitable accommodation but that the priority is to move the household from
temporary accommodation to a permanent settled home. It is expected that this
policy will rarely be applied due to the opportunity to bid for accommodation via
Choice Based Lettings for a 6 month period.

Intentional Homelessness

If an applicant is assessed under Part VII of the Housing Act as intentionally
homeless (non-statutory) then the applicant will be placed in Band 6a or ineligible if
the reason they are deemed intentionally homeless satisfies the criteria of
“unacceptable behaviour”.

Homelessness and rent Arrears / housing related debt

If an applicant presents as homeless and there is a statutory duty to rehouse them
then in exceptional circumstances and only with the consent of the Head of
Homelessness the Council may disregard an entry on the RRL for tenancy related
debt when assessing eligibility or priority under this Allocation Scheme. This does
not write the debt off and there will still be an expectation that the applicant
undertakes to repay the debt at the earliest possible opportunity. If the Statutory
Duty to rehouse is withdrawn, for example the applicant refuses a reasonable offer,
the RRL will be enforced and entries made on it for any reason will be considered
when making offers.

Local Connection and Homelessness Policy
Homeless applicants owed a full homelessness duty by Manchester City Council
under Section 193 (2) will be subjected to a reduction in their priority as a result of
not having a local connection unless they cannot be referred to another authority due
to them having no local connection with any local housing authority or because they
are fleeing violence from the area where they have a local connection.




PART 2: HOW SERIOUS OFFENDERS ARE DEALT WITH
UNDER THIS SCHEME
Manchester City Council will make an assessment of risk to the community of any
applicant who has been convicted of a community offence and is considered to


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present a significant risk to potential neighbours and/or communities. This
assessment will determine whether;
        •    either the risk is too great and therefore the applicant is ineligible to
             appear on this scheme, or
        •    the risk is such that the applicant will be rehoused provided an
             undertaking is signed to document an agreed cooperation and the
             applicant is placed in a Band appropriate to the applicant’s need
        •    the risk is such that the applicant will be eligible for the scheme but the
             application will have reduced priority placing the application in Band 6.


At the time of registration, an applicant is asked if s/he or anyone who will be residing
with them has a conviction of a criminal offence or anti-social behaviour order.


The list of community offences that Manchester City Council will take into account on
a case by case basis is below.
Aggravated Burglary                       Rape
Aggravated vehicle taking                 Robbery
Any offence where racial motivation Second or subsequent offences of burglary
has been proved
Arson       and    criminal      damage Serious offences against children including sex
endangering life                          or violence
Breach of anti social behaviour           Three or more serious motor vehicle crimes
order                                     which will include taking without consent,
                                          criminal damage to vehicles
Dealing, being concerned in the Use of firearms
supply or intending to supply any
controlled drug
False imprisonment                        Wounding/GBH with intent (Section 18)
Homicide and attempted murder             Wounding/GBH without intent (Section 20)
Indecent Assault
Convictions that have been 'spent' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
cannot be taken into account.

A table showing the criteria for spent convictions is below.




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Sentence                                       Rehabilitation period and likely exclusion period,
                                               depending on age at the time of conviction. This time
                                               runs from the date of conviction
                                               Over   18    at
                                               the Date of Under 18 at the Date of Conviction
                                               Conviction
Prison (including suspended sentence) 10 Years                   5 Years
or youth custody or detention in a young
offender’s institution.
MORE       THAN       6   MONTHS       NOT
EXCEEDING 2½ YEARS
Prison (including suspended sentence) 7 Years                    3½ Years
or youth custody or detention in a young
offender’s institution.
6 MONTHS OR LESS
Fine,     Probation    Order,     Community 5 Years              2½ Years
Service     Order,    Combination     Order,                     or until the order ceases to have effect,
Community            Punishment       Order,                     whichever longer
Community Rehabilitation Order.
Supervision      Order,     Care      Order, 1 Year
Conditional Discharge or Binding Over.         or the expiry of the order, whichever is longer
Attendance Centre Orders                       1 year after order expires
Hospital Orders                                5 Years
                                               or 2 years after the order expires, whichever is longer
Detention Centre                               3 Years
Borstal                                        7 Years


If the sentence was for 2½ years or more, or was a Life sentence, we need to know
about the offences. Or if it is an offence listed in Schedule One of the Children and
Young Persons Act 1933, regardless of the sentence or conviction it will never be
spent.


In the case of secure Council tenants seeking to transfer, the question is only
applicable:

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       •   Where the interviewer is aware that a member of the moving group have
           only recently joined or rejoined the household and there is a possibility
           that this person may be a serious offender.
       •   Where the applicant's tenancy agreement has been supplemented by
           additional undertakings specified by the Serious Offenders' Panel (see
           below).
       •   Where there is legal action against the tenant for anti social behaviour or
           giving false information or there are other estate management concerns
           e.g. non-payment of rent.


Otherwise, during the registration interview with a secure tenant the applicant will be
advised that the question is not applicable.


The question is asked of all introductory tenants and new applicants. If the applicant
answers yes, a supplementary questionnaire and declaration is sent to the applicant
asking for more details and for permission from the applicant to contact the Police
and/or Probation Service.

Rehousing applications from offenders are currently assessed for eligibility through a
multi agency risk assessment panel that comprises of senior representatives from the
National Probation Service, Greater Manchester Police, Children’s Families and
Social Care, Registered Provider’s and Manchester City Council Officers at a very
senior level (called the Serious Offenders Panel).

Some of these applicants will be assessed as ineligible for rehousing due to evidence
of past unacceptable behaviour that would warrant an outright possession order
through the courts. In such cases, these applicants will be treated as ineligible.

Some applicants will be deemed lower risk providing they agree to and sign up to a
supervised compliance tenancy and others will be deemed no risk and be considered
for a general tenancy, where they are eligible and have provided two satisfactory
references.

For those applicants that pose a lower risk, providing they adhere to a supervised
tenancy, additional conditions of tenancy are in place to ensure that there is
transparency and consistency in decision-making and a balanced distribution of such
tenancies in the city.
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Therefore, offers will only be made to these applicants when the appropriate package
of support /supervision is available, when the applicant has agreed to the additional
terms of the tenancy and in accordance with housing need and length of time
registered for rehousing.     Priority for these offers will be given to Manchester
applicants and the applicants’ need will be assessed according to the Scheme.
Review of any serious offenders placed in Band 6 must be carried out by the Serious
Offenders’ Panel.

Additionally, for certain individuals, offers will only be made when serious
consideration has been given to child protection issues and where accommodation is
an integral part of the risk management plan. A central team of staff monitor where
such offers are made.

Serious Offenders and Review of Decisions
Any applicant has the right to request a Review of any of the following decisions:
       •   That they are not eligible under the Allocation Scheme, this includes
           decisions where the Council has deemed an applicant ineligible due to
           unacceptable behaviour.
       •   The categorisation of an application as a reduced priority case or where
           reduced priority has been given due to behaviour, current or former rent
           arrears, local connection, or an applicants financial resources.
       •   The facts of an applicant’s case which have been, or are likely to be taken
           into account in considering whether to make an allocation to him/her.

Any applicant wishing to request a Review of a decision must do so by contacting the
Council in writing seeking a review. All Reviews will be dealt with by an officer of the
Council within 56 days of the request. All decisions following Reviews will be notified
to the applicant in writing giving the reasons for the decision.

PART 3: HOW MEDICAL ASSESSMENT AND ADAPTED
HOMES ARE DEALT WITH UNDER THE SCHEME

Adaptations
Properties which are adapted or which are suitable for adaptation or which are
otherwise potentially suitable for applicants with a               disability where other
accommodation may create barriers for a disable applicant or other special reasons
may be allocated directly to the most appropriate applicant and outside any strict
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Band date order. Specially adapted properties may also be labelled so that only
applicants who meet specific criteria may bid. This may, depending on the
characteristics of the property, include cases where a ground floor flat is available
and an applicant with very high priority requires such accommodation. Rather than
select an applicant with general needs to the property the Council reserves the right
to allocate to a high priority applicant in need of such accommodation.

Medical Assessment
Applicants who have a medical need will be asked to complete a Medical Form,
which will be assessed by the Council. Applicants will only be offered additional
preference (Band 1) if their medical condition significantly affects their need for
accommodation

The criteria to be considered relate to the extent that the health of an applicant, or an
immediate member of the applicant’s family, will significantly improve by a move to
alternative accommodation. The assessment is not based on the seriousness of an
applicant’s condition, but is solely based on the impact of their current housing on
that condition and whether this would improve significantly through a move to
alternative housing.

Following assessment either Band 1, or one of the Reasonable Preference Bands
(Bands 2 or 3) or no priority will be awarded.

In circumstances where more than one member of the household suffers from a
medical condition, the Council will take the needs of the entire household into
account when making a decision.

Following assessment, the Council will decide whether to award priority or not on the
basis of the information provided in the medical form and where appropriate, any
additional information requested from the GP, hospital, or consultant.

PART 4: HOW RETIREMENT AND EXTRA CARE HOUSING IS
DEALT WITH UNDER THE SCHEME

Retirement housing (Sheltered Housing)

Retirement housing comprises properties designed especially for older people.
These schemes offer independent living with security and peace of mind.

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To be eligible for retirement housing Applicants must be
       •   aged 60 or over or
       •   55 or over and in receipt of high level Disability Living Allowance.
       •   Be eligible for housing as per the published Allocations Scheme of
           Manchester City Council and appear in the appropriate Band within the
           Allocations Scheme.
       •   Be assessed for support that is provided by the Scheme Manager during
           working hours where appropriate. Applicants must be deemed suitable for
           the scheme and confirm they do not have support needs that are unable
           to be met or would be detrimental to the Scheme itself or other tenants.
       •   Be made aware of the costs of moving into the Scheme before a letting is
           carried out. This is especially in regard to Supporting People costs where
           these are not covered by Housing Benefit.

Therefore restrictive labelling see section 3 part 5 will be applied to vacancies
advertised through choice based lettings. It is a condition of all tenancies in sheltered
housing schemes that tenants agree to take the Care Line and Warden Service.
Separate charges are made for these services on top of the rent.

Extra Care
In addition to retirement housing Manchester City Council provides Extra Care
Housing Schemes. The purpose of Extra Care Housing is to provide older people
with their own home and tenancy within a support and care environment ensuring
that appropriate personal and housing support are available as required. A tenant
may move into a scheme with no or low needs but can access further care as and
when the needs arises as they get older and more frailer. Extra Care Housing should
remove the need for Residential Care for older people in many cases.

People who have assessed care needs will have them provided for by a Personal
Care Support Team who will be based on site 24 hours a day and will be able to give
care to tenants when this is required. The team will be able to adapt a person’s care
plan to suit their changing needs. Extra Care Services can also be accessed by
people who live in the scheme with no care needs for short periods as well, for
example, due to illness.

An Extra Care scheme should contain a balance of needs – it is not a residential care
home and does not want to feel as if it is one. Any scheme needs to have a vibrant
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and active feel to it – and therefore the balance of care and support needs is key to a
successful Extra Care environment. There is no exact formula to create this
environment and the allocations panel will have to take a number of things into
consideration   when    offering     a   property.   These   factors    include   individual
circumstances, available care hours, existing needs and numbers of tenants with
dementia in the Scheme etc.

All applicants will be registered and assessed for rehousing in line with Manchester
City Council’s Allocations Policy and be eligible to access Local Authority Housing.

The Scheme Manager is responsible for maintaining a waiting list of all people
considered suitable for the scheme who require a care plan, with a dedicated number
of hours of care to be provided (care hours). The Scheme Manager is to ensure that
they are registered and all eligibility housing checks are made along with an
assessment should care hours be required. All other applicants with no current care
needs but who want to apply for housing in the scheme will be registered by the
rehousing team.

A medical assessment will be requested as per Manchester City Council’s policy and
procedures for housing applicants where an applicant says they have a medical
need.

To be eligible for Extra Care schemes all potential tenants must:
        •   Be over 60 years of age.
        •   Be eligible for housing as per the published Allocations Scheme of
            Manchester City Council and appear in the appropriate Band within the
            Allocations Scheme.
        •   Be assessed for support that is provided by the Scheme Manager during
            working hours where appropriate. Applicants must be deemed suitable for
            the scheme and that they do not have support needs that are unable to be
            met or would be detrimental to the scheme itself or other tenants.
        •   Be prepared to agree to the scheme requirements and consider use of the
            contracted care provider to meet any care needs either at the letting or if
            needed in the future.
        •   Be made aware of the costs of moving into the scheme before a letting is
            carried out. This is especially in regard to Supporting People costs where
            these will are not covered by Housing Benefit.
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        •   Where there are care hours available within the scheme, priority will be
            given to applicants that need these hours over other applicants that may
            have a higher priority for housing need.
Residents in the Scheme will be offered the opportunity to have their care provided
by the contracted care provider.


It should be noted that couples, where one partner is below 60 years of age, a
tenancy may be granted but will be a sole tenancy only in the name of the person
who is over 60 and therefore meets the criteria above. The younger partner would
not be granted succession to the tenancy unless the partner meets the criteria
detailed above at the point at which an application for succession is made.



Extra Care Housing Allocations Panel
The Extra Care Housing Allocations Panel will require an up to date social care
assessment in an appropriate format outlining the prospective tenants housing and
social care needs and a medical/social history to enable the panel to arrive at an
informed decision as regards whether their needs can be met within the scheme.

The Allocations Panel should comprise of:
        •   The appropriate Team Manager of the Locality Customer Support Team.
            who will chair the panel.
        •   A Scheme Manager.
        •   The Rehousing Manager.
        •   The Care Provider Team Leader.
        •   A representative of Adult Social Care.

An allocation will only be made via this team where there are care hours to be
allocated. The panel will meet at least monthly to ensure that timely decisions are
made.

If there are no care hours then an allocation will be made in line with the Manchester
City Council’s Allocations Policy for Extra Care Housing as outlined above. A
potential tenant must meet all these criteria. These allocations will be made by the
rehousing team and pre offer interview with the Scheme Manager. However, all these
lettings will need to be noted by the Panel for information and so any emerging or
future care needs are noted.
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A potential tenant must also undertake a pre-offer interview with the Scheme
Manager and be shown the facilities at the scheme to ensure that all parties are
comfortable with the responsibilities and expectations of a tenancy within an Extra
Care Housing scheme. This also gives the prospective tenants an opportunity to find
out more about the scheme and to make an informed decision about moving.

When considering a referral the panel will take into account as a minimum:
       •   The housing and support need of the applicant.
       •   Care hours available in the care contract and the balance of needs within
           the scheme.
       •   Which property size is more appropriate for an applicant.
       •   Whether an applicant has a local connection to the area.

A provisional decision will be reached at the Panel meeting, subject to a Scheme (or
hospital) visit with the Care Provider Team Leader and the Scheme Manager. It is
appropriate that the applicant visits the Scheme to decide if they would like to live
there. This is the opportunity to meet the Scheme manager and maybe other
residents. This visit should take place within 5 days of the panel meeting or of a
vacancy becoming ready to let.

On completion of a successful Scheme visit a tenancy is offered and paperwork
completed by the Scheme Manager.

If this visit raises issues as to the suitability of a tenancy, every step will be taken to
resolve the situation in discussion with all parties. A further assessment or Panel
discussion may be requested or further housing related support may be necessary.

If identified issues cannot be resolved (or resolved within an agreed timescale), the
tenancy will be offered to the next suitable person identified by the panel or
rehousing officer – again subject to a successful home or scheme visit.

The chair of the panel will inform all applicants refused the offer of a tenancy and will
give reasons for the decision. This will be done by the Rehousing Manager when it is
an offer not requiring the allocating of care hours.

An appeals process can be invoked where any party wishes to dispute the decision
reached by the allocation panel or rehousing team. This will be in line with Allocations
scheme standards and procedures.

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Property type and size

All applicants are eligible for a one or two bedroom property at their own choice.




Manchester Equipment and Adaptations Partnership (MEAP)

Where appropriate a property may be let via MEAP. If an applicant also has care
needs as well as a need for certain adaptations then this letting would be made via
panel. MEAP will be invited to allocation panel meetings when necessary and may be
requested to put forward information regarding an applicant where necessary.

PART 5: HOW LOW DEMAND PROPERTIES ARE DEALT WITH
UNDER THE SCHEME
On occasions properties will be advertised through Choice Based Lettings and there
will not be any applicants who bid or all applicants who do bid will have refused the
property. On these occasions the property will be re-advertised for a second time.

On the second cycle the property will be labelled to encourage those in lower bands
to express an interest. The advert will also state that if there are no applicants then it
will then be advertised as “1st come, 1st served” on the next cycle. This will ensure
that the property has the best opportunity to be let to an applicant with Reasonable
Preference.

If a property has been advertised twice on the Choice Based Lettings system and
has not been let as again there is no shortlist or a shortlist is exhausted then it can be
advertised as “1st Come, 1st Served”. This will enable a property to be added to the
CBL system on any day of the week and be offered to the first eligible applicant who
bids and meets the size entitlement for the property.

All size entitlement rules continue throughout this process and must continue to be
applied i.e. it is not appropriate to offer a three-bedroom house to a childless couple.

If a property is advertised as “1st Come 1st Served” and not let in the first week the
organisation may need to think about other marketing methods to generate interest in
the property or area. The property should remain advertised on CBL for as long as is

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necessary and all lettings still made in this way for transparency. The relevant office
may need to place a bid on an interested applicants behalf should they not be able to
bid themselves.




PART 6: HOW TENANCY SUCCESSION IS DEALT WITH
UNDER THE SCHEME
The law on succession rights is found at Sections 87 to 89 of the Housing Act 1985
and Sections 131 to 133 of the Housing Act 1996. Succession rights apply to both
secure and introductory tenancies. This scheme considers the following types of
succession:
       •     Statutory tenancy succession
       •     Contractual Tenancy succession
       •     Discretionary Tenancy Succession

Statutory tenancy succession

There can only be one succession of a tenancy. To decide whether a person can
succeed to a tenancy, first we need to know if the person who has died is a
successor.

A tenant is a successor if:
       •     The tenant inherited the tenancy under the provisions of the Housing Act
             1985.
       •     The tenant used to be a joint tenant but has become a sole tenant.
       •     The tenant became a tenant by assignment.
       •     The tenant became a tenant on inheriting the tenancy under the terms of
             a person’s will.

       •     The tenant was previously a successor to an introductory tenancy.

If the person who has died was a successor, then there can be no further statutory
successions.

In order to inherit the tenancy you must be eligible. An eligible person is considered
to be the existing joint tenant, the deceased tenant’s husband/wife or civil partner, the
deceased tenant’s partner (including same sex partner) and then certain other



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members of the deceased tenant’s family. Family members that are considered
eligible are:
    • Parent                            • Sister               • Half brother
    • Grandparent                       • Uncle                • Half sister
    • Child                             • Aunt                 • Foster child
    • Grandchild                        • Nephew
    • Brother                           • Niece

A person is qualified to succeed if:
        •     S/he was married to the tenant and living in the property as his/her only or
              principal home when the tenant died.
        •     S/he is a family member and was living in the property as his/her only or
              principal home when the tenant died AND residing with the tenant
              throughout the twelve months ending with the death of the tenant. Family
              Members include heterosexual couples living together as husband and
              wife or same sex partners and living together in the property as his/her
              only or principal home.

For statutory successions, family members include heterosexuals living together as
husband and wife.
When there is only one person qualified to succeed:
The tenancy automatically passes to that person. This means that there is no need
to sign the successor up to a new tenancy. The successor becomes responsible for
the tenancy from the date of the death of the old tenant. If the successor does not
want the tenancy, they should take the necessary steps to terminate it.
If there is more than one person qualified to succeed:
        •     If one of them is a spouse, s/he automatically inherits the tenancy from
              the date of the death of the old tenant.
        •     If none of them are a spouse, the family members must decide between
              themselves who is to inherit the tenancy, but if they cannot decide the
              Council will decide and will apply its usual Allocations Policy criteria to
              determine priority between the claimants as far as is possible.
        •     If a succession results in a property becoming under-occupied, the
              Council may think it reasonable to seek possession of the property where
              reasonable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant. This
              must be done no sooner than six months after the death of the tenant but

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           before 12 months from the death of the tenant.        In deciding this, the
           Council will take into account circumstances such as how long the
           successor has lived there and how old they are.

Contractual Succession

As stated in the Tenancy Agreement, the Council will extend the rights of certain
relatives/partners to be granted a new tenancy following the death of a tenant, where
a tenancy succession has not previously occurred.            Specifically, the tenancy
agreement states that this right will be extended to gay partners and to
spouses/family members where they have resided at the property as their principal
home for a minimum of six months immediately prior to the death of the tenant. This
involves the creation of a new introductory tenancy rather than a transfer of the old
one. The right to contractual succession will not be extended to partners; spouses or
family members of a tenant occupying Extra Care accommodation due to the
specialist nature of this type of accommodation.

Discretionary Successions

Local Service Managers may grant a new introductory tenancy in the following
circumstances:
       •   To surviving relatives/partners of deceased tenants where they are left in
           a property they occupied for a minimum of 10 years as their principal
           home with the deceased tenant, immediately prior to the death of the
           tenant, and a statutory or contractual succession has previously taken
           place, and the individual is not on the Rehousing Review List or
           successfully had their entry removed and the individual has successfully
           completed a Serious Offenders check and the individual should not be
           under occupying a larger family type property (house with 4 bedrooms or
           more).   Where the successor is under occupying a larger family type
           property (house with 4 bedrooms or more), then they can be offered a
           three-bedroom house in the same rehousing neighbourhood.
       •   Successions will be limited to a maximum of 2.
       •   To fulltime live in non-paid carers where verification checks with
           Manchester Children, Families and Social Care Department/Benefits
           Agency etc. have confirmed the carer’s status, and s/he has lived in the
           property as his/her principal home for 2 or more continuous years
           immediately prior to the death of the tenant, is not on the Rehousing

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          Review List or has successfully had their entry removed, has successfully
          completed a serious offenders check and would not be under-occupying
          the property by 2 bedrooms or more.
Discretionary succession will not be exercised for the occupants of Extra Care
accommodation due to the specialist nature of these schemes.




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Part 7 How Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant
organisations, Council Members, Co-optees and relatives of
these groups are determined and how we determine the size
and type of property for which applicants are eligible

Size and type of property for which applicants are eligible –

Type of accommodation
Retirement housing and Extra Care housing will normally be available only for
applicants aged 60 or over, or who are over 55 and in receipt of Higher rate Disability
Living Allowance.

Accommodation that is designated as supported housing will be available only for
applicants who are eligible for that particular accommodation. For example, some
supported housing is provided exclusively for people with learning difficulties, or for
young people leaving care.

Where accommodation is available only for applicants who satisfy such special
criteria, this will be clearly labelled.

Size and type of property for which applicants are eligible
In order to make the best use of the available housing stock, it is essential to let
vacancies to those who need that size and type of property.         Examples include
houses with two or more bedrooms to be let to families with young children,
retirement housing to be let to older people and properties that have been built or
adapted for a person with a physical or sensory disability.

When deciding the size and type of property for which applicants are eligible, the
Governments Bedroom Standard will normally be used. A definition of this is outlined
in section 3 part 1.

In exceptional circumstances the Council, delegated as appropriate, may exercise
discretion in deviating from the Bedroom Standard. Examples are:
        •   For those applicants who are separated or divorced and sometimes care
            for their children, the Council officer will consider how often and for how
            long the children stay with them. If appropriate, that officer may exercise
            discretion and award additional bedrooms for the children in accordance
            with national guidance.
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       •   Where applicants require larger accommodation on health grounds. This
           will be considered on a case by case basis, taking into account the advice
           of a qualified medical advisor.
       •   Where there is little or no demand for a particular vacancy and it is
           therefore difficult to let.
       •   Where no suitable applicants can be identified to make the best use of
           larger accommodation.
       •   Where the applicant has been approved as a foster carer by Children’s
           Services, and so will need a larger property than normally required by the
           household.
       •   Where the applicant or a member of the household needs the support of a
           carer who will need to sleep in the home and cannot reasonably be
           expected to share a bedroom with another member of the household.
           See paragraph below for more information about including a carer in a
           housing application.

Including a Carer in the application

A carer is someone who, with or without payment, provides help and support to a
partner, relative, friend or neighbour, who would not manage without their help. This
could be due to age, physical or mental health, addiction, or disability. In all cases the
carer must have been identified by the applicant as the person who is primarily
responsible for providing them with care and the need to live with them or near them.

Even if a carer is in receipt of Carer’s Allowance this does not necessarily mean that
it is necessary for them to reside with the person who is being cared for. An
application to include a carer in a housing application will be considered if the carer
has been assessed by Social Care and Health as needing to provide overnight
support. In these circumstances the applicant must provide supporting evidence from
other agencies e.g. Social Care or a Health professional.
In some limited circumstances it may be possible to consider cases where the carer
is not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. Under these circumstances it will still be
necessary for the applicant to demonstrate that the person looked after is in receipt
of one of the following benefits:
       •   Carers Allowance
       •   Disability Living Allowance – paid at either the middle or higher rate for
           personal care.

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       •   Attendance Allowance
       •   Constant attendance Allowance
       •   Disablement benefit.



Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant organisation,
Council Members, Co-optees and relatives of these groups.
This policy is designed to ensure that Manchester City Council (and any relevant
organisation) is transparent and equitable when letting homes to staff or Board
Members or Co-optees and their relatives.

The Part VI Allocations Scheme is open to any eligible applicant and there are
stringent checks in place that all applicants must follow. These include checks on
current circumstances and collecting 2 valid references for each applicant.

Staff, Board Members, Council Members and Co-optees and their relatives are
treated as any other applicant and must be seen to not be gaining any advantage or
any preferential treatment in the course of their application, nor shall they be
disadvantaged.

Therefore, the following procedure must be undertaken to ensure that any letting can
be subject to a high level of scrutiny:
       •   The staff member who is applying for housing must have no direct input
           into any decisions regarding their rehousing. This includes not inputting
           the original application onto the Housing Management system or adding
           any priority at any time onto the application.
       •   Staff members must also not have any involvement in the inputting of the
           application or awarding of priority for any relative.
       •   Applications should be clearly marked on the housing management
           system that the application is that of a staff member, Board Member,
           Council Members, Co-optee or relative.
       •   When such an applicant has bid for a property and is showing at the top
           of a queue the relevant form must be completed and signed off before any
           offer of a property is made. The details of the offer must be scrutinised
           and detailed on the form and signed off by the appropriate Manchester
           City Council Head of Service

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      •   If an offer of a property is to be made to an officer at Head of Service level
          or above then the offer must be countersigned by the Chief Officer.
      •   Attached to the form must be copies of the computer screens of all the
          appropriate information from the housing management system including
          the Choice Based Lettings advert and dates it was advertised, the groups
          and dates on which the last 10 offers for that property type and area were
          made and the queue that the applicant is being offered from, together with
          reasons for any applicants above them being not made the offer.




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SECTION 5

In this section of the document we explain the administrative
processes that support the application of the scheme

Part1:       Manchester City Council’s Service Standards for
administering this scheme.

Part 2:      How to make an application, How to bid and how
applicants are assessed

Part 3: Advice and Assistance

Part 4: How changes in circumstances are dealt with

Part 5: Additional legal duties, confidentiality and how to make a
complaint

PART       1:     MANCHESTER              CITY       COUNCIL’S        SERVICE
STANDARD FOR ADMINISTERING THIS SCHEME

Our Customer Commitment to all Applicants

The Council will consider every application received and:
       •   Make sure the Council meets its legal obligations when nominating people
           to accommodation owned by Registered Providers.
       •   Provide free advice and information about the right to apply for
           accommodation.
       •   Provide free assistance to applicants who may have difficulty when
           making an application.
       •   Make sure any information provided is easy to understand and is readily
           accessible.
       •   Outline how we offer choice and the ability for applicants to express
           preference.


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       •   Provide information to all applicants of what types of accommodation are
           available throughout the district.
       •   Provide information about how long applicants are likely to have to wait
           before being nominated to accommodation.
       •   Provide a full copy or a summary of this Allocation Scheme to all
           households who request them and will always provide a summary of the
           scheme to all who are accepted as being owed a full duty as statutorily
           homeless.
       •   Treat each applicant equally in accordance with their need and where
           possible their choices, regardless of race, religion or creed, ethnic or
           national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation or marital status or
           age
       •   Regularly monitor age, ethnic origin and disability of applicants who apply
           for accommodation.
       •   Where the Council seeks to allocate Registered Provider accommodation
           made available to the Council pursuant to a Nomination Rights
           Agreement the Council will nominate applicants to the Registered
           Provider as quickly as possible and not more than 8 working days from
           receipt of notification by the Registered Provider that the accommodation
           is available. The nominations of applicants to the Registered Provider will
           be dealt with pursuant to the Nomination Rights Agreement. Under the
           nominations agreement a Registered Provider has the right to investigate
           a nominated housing applicant.
       •   Ensure that all information provided by applicants will be treated in
           strictest confidence. The Council will comply fully with the Data Protection
           Act in relation to all information it holds about applicants.

PART 2: HOW TO MAKE AN APPLICATION, HOW TO BID FOR
A PROPERTY AND HOW APPLICANTS ARE ASSESSED

Who will administer the Council’s Allocations Scheme?

The Council has transferred ownership and management of the vast majority of its
housing stock to Registered Providers. It retains ownership over the stock managed
for it by Northwards Housing, a Council led team and a small number of PFI



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landlords.    The Council nevertheless remains subject to a number of statutory
housing obligations including the requirement to have an Allocations Scheme.

There is no statutory requirement to maintain a Housing Register. However the
Council and its partners in the Manchester Housing Register ( which will be renamed
Manchester Move during 2010) believe there are significant benefits for the people of
Manchester in maintaining a common housing register that provides a single point of
entry to tens of thousands of homes owned and/or managed by a wide variety of
social landlords.

Applications for Housing are made under the Council’s Allocations Scheme using a
standard form which is available in a paper format and online via the CBL website.
Having received the application in full, including required supported information then
the assessment and awarding of any priority in recognition of the applicant’s housing
needs will be carried out by staff from both the Council and from the partners to the
Manchester Housing Register Partnership.

The Council has “nomination” rights over Registered Provider stock in the City. This
confers the right to promote applicants from the Manchester Housing Register for the
purpose of securing lettings with Registered Providers. The application of these
rights will be undertaken strictly according to this Allocation Scheme.

Application Pack
Applications for this scheme can be made in person, via a paper application form or
online. Applicants will be encouraged to apply online through the choice based
lettings website. A full list of locations at which applications forms and support can be
accessed can be found at appendix 1 (full list of housing register partners). Every
applicant who requests an application pack will receive:
       •     An application form with guidance notes on completing it.
       •     A summary of this Allocation Scheme, including the review and
             complaints procedure, and information regarding how to access available
             properties.

All information will also be available through Manchester City Council choice based
lettings website which can be accessed via links at www.manchester.gov.uk.

Completing the application form

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Applicants are encouraged to complete the form themselves. However, if completed
at a Council or partner office, staff will go through the form with the applicant to
ensure that the required information is collected. Staff will give support in completing
the form if requested by telephone and translation services will be made available
should they be needed.

Making bids and allocating properties
The Council lets the vast majority of its homes and its nominations through its Choice
Based Letting Scheme. For all advertised properties, the eligibility of bids received
will be checked against the labelling used in the advertisement. Any ineligible bids
will be discarded. Where properties are advertised the allocation of a property will be
based on the priority of bids received, with Band 1 applicants having the highest
priority and Band 6 applicants having the lowest priority.

If more than one bid is received from applicants with the same priority, then the
person who has been registered longest will be offered the property. If two or more
applicants have the same priority and registration date, the applicant with the earliest
bidding date within the cycle will be awarded the property.

In circumstances where an applicant has successfully bid but refused 3 reasonable
offers of accommodation within a 6 month period, their priority for re-housing will, be
downgraded to Band 6 for a 6 month period from the point of third refusal (see
section 5 part 4 ‘Moving Up and Down Bands ). The exception to these rules is for
Homeless applicants owed a full homelessness duty under section 193(2) or 195(2)
of the Housing Act 1996 where only one reasonable offer will be made (See section 4
part 1) and refusal of that offer will result in the discharge of the Council’s
homelessness duty.

Assessing Applications - our customer service standard

Once an Application for Accommodation under this Scheme has been submitted to
the Council it will:
        •   Allocate the applicant to a Band within 15 working days from either (a)
            receiving ALL the information required to process the application, or (b)
            reaching a decision that the Council owes the applicant a full
            homelessness duty. Where there is a need to visit an applicant or make
            further enquiries to confirm an applicant’s circumstances, any Band


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           awarded will be provisional pending that a successful visit or other full
           confirmation of circumstances.
       •   Ιf there is a need to visit an applicant, or for an interview to be arranged to
           clarify details contained on the form, arrangements will be within 7 days of
           receipt of the application.
       •   Confirm any final allocation to a Band in writing within 28 days of any such
           interview, visit, or the completion of further enquiries.

If an applicant is found to be eligible then an assessment is made to identify the
appropriate Band in which to place the applicant. This will include checking the
rehousing review list. If an applicant is found to be registered on the rehousing review
list then the applicant will be placed in Band 6 until such a time as the reason for
demotion has been rectified.
In the case of an applicant who occupies a Council property a pre-transfer inspection
will also be required.



References
The taking up of two satisfactory references is a method the Council adopts to seek
assurance that rehousing applicants who move into properties are likely to conduct
their tenancies in an appropriate manner as part of measures to maintain and protect
communities.     The assessment of eligibility, Reasonable Preference and any
additional priority awards will take place without references being received.


Two references will be requested at the time an offer. This is to be made to ensure
that references are as up to date and as accurate as possible.                 An offer of
accommodation will not be made until two satisfactory references are received.


It is the applicants’ responsibility to provide two satisfactory references within a
reasonable amount of time. Failure to provide two satisfactory references will either
render the application ineligible to appear on the scheme OR the application will
appear in a lower Band until satisfactory references are received.                In such
circumstances, no offer of accommodation will be made.


To ensure that applicants are aware of their responsibility to provide up to date
references and understand the risk of losing a potential offer of accommodation, they
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will be prompted to gather information via the Choice Based Letting’s website when
they place bids.
Two satisfactory references will be sought from all rehousing applicants, excluding
applicants who are current Manchester Council tenants, as we already have access
to their tenancy history.


For rehousing applicants living within Manchester, references must always be
provided by a referee also living in Manchester.         Applicants who live outside
Manchester should also, wherever possible, provide references from referees living
within the Manchester area. Specifically:
   •   Where the applicant lives in rented accommodation, one of the references
       must be provided by their current landlord.
   •   References will remain valid for 6 months and upon expiry of the 6 month
       validity date, applicants will be prompted on what to provide / re-provide as
       they bid on CBL and become likelier to be successful. Again, it is the sole
       responsibility of the applicant to provide any information requested.
   •   Applicants who live in accommodation provided by the National Asylum
       Support Service (NASS), and who have been granted exceptional or
       indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, (or Discretionary Leave or
       Humanitarian Protection) and, as a consequence of their leave being granted,
       have to vacate the accommodation, do not have to provide references.
   •   If an applicant has already left NASS accommodation and lives in a private
       sector tenancy, a reference is required from their current landlord.
   •   For asylum seekers or refugees who have indefinite or exceptional leave to
       remain, and have been resident in the United Kingdom for a while, and are
       lodging with friends, a reference should be provided. However, the Council
       Officer has discretion in such cases, as it is possible that the applicant has
       not known anyone in the United Kingdom for 12 months.
   •   For anyone else who is unable to provide references, a council officer will
       consider each case on its own merits.
   •   Homeless applicants do not need references as Part VII decision looks at
       previous tenancies and associated issues.

Information Requests



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An applicant will, on request, be shown and given a copy of his/her entry on the
Allocations Scheme. The Council will also, on request from the applicant, provide
such information that is practicable and reasonable to supply, to explain their position
and priority on the Allocations Scheme in relation to when an offer of suitable
accommodation might be made. An applicant has the right to be informed of any
decision about the facts of their case which is likely to be taken into account when
considering whether to allocate housing to them.

It is important to note that information provided by the Council in relation to an
applicant’s prospects of re-housing under this Scheme is only a “snapshot” of their
status within the Scheme at that time. An applicant’s prospects of re-housing under
this Scheme is subject to variation due to the constant changes in the number and
status of applicants to the Scheme and the number and type of homes available for
Allocation.

Applicants are encouraged to bid for properties over a wide area of choice and to
consider properties in the private rented sector if they require a specific area where
demand is high.

PART 3: ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
The Council acknowledges that (except in certain circumstances) this Allocations
Scheme requires the active participation of housing applicants and to reflect this the
Council aims to provide advice and assistance to ensure that no person is
disadvantaged by the way the Scheme operates.

General Information about the scheme will be made available as follows:
       •      Information about the procedures for applying to go onto the scheme and
              for applying for advertised vacancies;
       •      Information about how applicants are prioritised under this scheme;
       •      How successful applicants will be selected;
       •      Rules on how properties will be advertised including bidding cycles and
              restrictive labelling;
       •      Information about review procedures;
       •      Information about the Registered Providers that have vacancies
              advertised through choice based lettings as nominations;



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Applicants will also be provided with information regarding their own application
which will include:
       •   What Band they are awarded under this scheme;
       •   What properties they are entitled to bid for.
       •   What their chances are of bidding successfully on the property types and
           areas in which they are interested.
       •   What information they need to supply in regard to verification and
           references and when this information will need to be provided.
       •   If they are awarded reduced priority or are found to be ineligible what they
           need to do to rectify this.

Properties are advertised through the choice based lettings scheme. Information
provided in the advertisements will endeavour to be as comprehensive as possible.
The choice based lettings scheme promotes informed choices and expects to guide
applicants to bid only for properties they can realistically expect to secure.
Advertisements will include as many of the following as possible:
       •   Location
       •   Property type, size and floor level
       •   What type of heating it has and whether it has a heating charge payable
           that is not covered by housing benefit
       •   Whether such things as a garden or parking are available with the
           property
       •   The amount of rent and any other charges that are payable
       •   Photos of the property and links to guides about the local area

Applicants who have any difficulty reading or understanding this Allocations Scheme
will be offered the following services:
       •   An interpretation service if their first language is not English.
       •   Signing if speech or hearing is impaired.
       •   Provision of documents in large print if an applicant is visually impaired.
       •   An interview to explain the content of this document and information about
           where independent advice can be obtained about the Council’s scheme.

As there are likely to be many more applicants than properties available, the Council
will also provide information about other housing options. This will include:


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        •     Advice on Registered Providers, many of which will advertise their non-
              nomination vacancies through the choice based lettings scheme
        •     Advice and help on renting in the private sector if there are few homes
              available in the areas where they wish to live.
        •     Advice on available low cost home ownership options.

PART 4: HOW CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE DEALT
WITH

Review of Applications
Each application on the Allocations Scheme will be reviewed at least every 6 months,
an applicant will be notified of the review. Failure to respond to correspondence in
relation to the review will result in the applicant being deleted from the Scheme.
Applicants who are deleted will be notified in writing. If good reason can be shown
why there was a failure to respond to the review then the application may be
reinstated.

Change of Circumstances
All applicants are required to notify the relevant Manchester Housing Register
partner, with whom they are registered, immediately of any change to their
circumstances which may affect their priority for housing. Applicants who have had a
change of circumstances and have not informed the Council may have their
application status changed to ‘application pending’ whilst an investigation takes place
in order to determine eligibility.

Applicants should notify the Council or an MHR Partner of any change in their
circumstances either in writing, or online, using a secure log-in. For example:
        •     A change of address, for themselves or any other person on their
              application.
        •     Any additions to the family or any other person they would wish to join the
              application (Please note it is for the council to decide whether they will
              allow a person/s to join the application).
        •     Any member of the family or any other person on the application who has
              left the accommodation.
        •     Any change in income, assets or savings.


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The most likely change of circumstances is a change to an applicant’s Community
Contribution or working status. Applicants are encouraged to update these details
promptly if a change occurs.




Moving Up and Down Bands
The following rules will apply to applicants on the Allocations Scheme:

When an applicant first applies to the Allocations Scheme their application will be
accepted once all information is received they will be assessed and placed in a Band
with the date of acceptance as their queue date. This is the date that will be used for
any offers to be made to the applicant.

If the applicant subsequently has a change of circumstances the application will be
reassessed and one of following four outcomes will occur:
           •   An applicant may gain greater priority on the scheme and enter a higher
               band.
           •   An applicant may lose priority or preference due to their circumstances
               and enter a lower band.
           •   An applicant may be assessed as being in the same band.
           •   An applicant may become ineligible for the Council’s Allocations Scheme.

If an applicant provides information which places them in a higher band following
assessment their queue date in the new band will be the date on which they were
assessed and accepted for that band. e.g.: if an applicant entered Band 5 on the 1st
    January 2006 and then is reassessed and placed in Band 3 on the 1st January 2009
    their date in Band 3 will be 1st January 2009.


 If an applicant provides information which places them in a lower band following
assessment their queue date in the new band will be the same as the queue date
from the band they were in previously. E.g.: if an applicant entered Band 3 on the 1st
    January 2006 and then is reassessed and placed in Band 5 on the 1st January 2009
    their date in Band 5 will be the 1st January 2006.



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If an applicant stays in the same band their queue date does not change even if new
information has been assessed. Exceptions to this are as follows:
       •   If an applicant has their priority reduced due to refusing 3 reasonable
           offers in a 6 month period then they will enter Band 6 and their queue
           date will be the same as the queue date from the band they were in
           previously. After 6 months they will be reinstated back to their original
           band with their original higher Band date (as long as there has been no
           change of circumstances).
       •   If an application is placed back at “Application Pending” stage during
           investigations into an applicants’ circumstances but the result of the
           investigation is that the applicant is assessed as being in the same Band
           they were in prior to investigation they will be reinstated into the Band with
           the queue date they had previously.

Deletion of Applications

Applications will be deleted for one or more of the following reasons:
       •   An applicant requests cancellation;
       •   An applicant’s circumstances change and they are no longer eligible
           under this Allocations Scheme;
       •   An applicant fails to respond to a review;
       •   An applicant has been housed in a secure or assured tenancy by another
           Local Authority or a Registered Provider in or outside of the Manchester
           area.
       •   Where an applicant leaves temporary accommodation without a
           forwarding address.

PART 5: ADDITIONAL LEGAL DUTIES, CONFIDENTIALITY
AND HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT

Equality and Diversity
Our aim is to implement and maintain services which ensure that no potential or
current applicant is treated less favourably on the grounds of gender, marital status,
race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation, nor is
disadvantaged by the application of a rule, condition, or requirement, which has a
discriminatory effect which cannot be justified by law. Allocations will only be made
to those persons who are eligible.
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This scheme will be subject to periodic equality impact assessments.

Confidentiality
The fact that a person is an applicant on the Allocation Scheme will not be disclosed
(without their consent) to any other member of the public.

Data protection and information sharing
All information held is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. The Council will seek
the express consent of applicants joining the Allocation Scheme to share personal
information about the applicant, and any member of their household.

Information sharing without consent
Information may be shared about the individual and their history irrespective of
whether their consent has been obtained in exceptional circumstances which will
include:
         •     In accordance with the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998
               (Section 115).
         •     Where there is a serious threat to the other party’s staff or contractors.
         •     Where information is relevant to the management or support duties of the
               proposed landlord or support organisation to ensure the health and safety
               of the applicant, a member of his or her household, or a member of staff.

False statements or withheld information
It is a criminal offence for applicants and/or anyone providing information to this
Scheme to knowingly or recklessly make false statements or knowingly withhold
reasonably requested information relevant to their application (s171 Housing Act
1996).       This includes but is not limited to information requested on the housing
registration form, in response to correspondence at the renewal of the application, or
relating to any other review of the application. An offence is also committed if a third
party provides false information whether or not on the instigation of the applicant.
This would apply at any stage of the application process.

Where there is suspicion or an allegation that a person has either provided false
information or has withheld information, the application will be given the status
‘application pending’ during the investigation and will be excluded from this Allocation
Scheme until an outcome is reached.

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If the outcome of any investigation is that they did not provide false information or
there was no withholding of information or such was not found to be withheld
knowingly, then the application will be reinstated from the date of registration
meaning the relevant applicant should not suffer prejudice. However, where the
investigation shows that false information was provided on the application form, or
was deliberately withheld, this would render the applicant ineligible.

Ground 5 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 (as amended by the 1996 Act,
s.146) enables the landlord to seek possession of a property where it has been
granted as a result of a false statement by either the tenant or a person acting at the
tenants instigation.

If the Council determines that an applicant directly, or through a person acting on his
or her behalf, has given false information or withheld required information it will result
in an applicant being removed from the Scheme and rendered Ineligible.

Reviews and Appeals

General Information
       •   Applicants have the right to request such general information as will
           enable them to assess:
       •   how their application will be treated and whether they will be given any
           preference
       •   whether housing accommodation appropriate to their needs is likely to
           become available and how long they may have to wait for an allocation of
           such accommodation

Information about decisions and reviews
Applicants have the following further and specific rights to information about
decisions and rights of review of decisions:
       •   the right, on request, to be informed of any decision about the facts of
           their case which has been, or is likely to be, taken into account in
           considering whether to make an allocation to them

       •   the right, on request, to review a decision mentioned above, or a decision
           to treat them as Ineligible due to unacceptable behaviour serious enough
           to make them unsuitable to be a tenant

       •   the right to be informed of the decision on the review and grounds for it..
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(Note: The Council’s Allocation Scheme does not remove preference for
“unacceptable behaviour” but instead renders such applicants as ineligible. As such
the right to information pursuant to s167(4A)(b) and related right to request a review
under s167(4A)(d) Housing Act 1996(as amended) are not applicable in this Scheme
and no applicant is prejudiced in relation to those statutory rights not being included
herein)


Applicants should request a review in writing within 21 days of being notified of a
decision. The Council will determine the review within 56 days of the request or such
longer period as may be agreed with the applicant. The Council will notify the
applicant of the outcome of the review including the reasons if the original decision is
confirmed. The Council’s decision on review is final and any challenge to that
decision can only be made through judicial review proceedings.


Reviews will be carried out by a senior member of staff at Manchester City Council or
delegated to an appropriate organisation or officer who was not involved in the
original decision.



Review of Band 6 Applicants
An applicant who has been entered onto the Rehousing Review List (RRL) will
remain on the list and their application in Band 6 until such a time as the applicant (or
a member of their prospective household) has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of
the Council that circumstances have changed such that the previous conduct is
unlikely to reoccur. An applicant may request that their application be removed from
the reduced priority Band at any time. The request for removal of the reduced priority
must be made in writing and must set out how why the applicant believes that the
removal of the reduced priority is now justified. In some cases this could include for
example demonstrating cooperation with support agencies leading to a substantial
improvement in behaviour. The status will be reconsidered at the request of the
applicant and only where there has been no reasonable cause for complaint or
concern against the applicant (or members of their prospective household) for a
continuous period of one year.



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A regular review of Band 6 will be carried out and applicant’s whose behaviour
continues to be unacceptable will be rendered ineligible if the behaviour has reached
an extent at which possession of the property has been or may have been achieved.


Review of Suitability – Homeless Applicants

Whether or not a homeless applicant accepts an offer of accommodation
made under the scheme, they have the right to request a review of the
suitability of the accommodation they have been offered. Homeless
Applicants are therefore encouraged to accept the offer that has been made
to them, even if they intend to request a review of its suitability. If the applicant
has been accepted as being owed a statutory duty by the Council, this duty,
subject to a right of review, will have ceased if the property is refused. In such
circumstances an applicant will no longer be entitled to any duty, will have to
leave any temporary accommodation provided and make alternative
accommodation arrangements.



Extra Care Applications

An appeals process can be invoked where any party wishes to dispute the
decision reached by the allocation panel or rehousing team.

Complaints
An applicant who is not satisfied with the service that they receive may register a
complaint with the Council’s Complaint procedure by telephone, e-mail or in person.
Complaints. All complaints will be acknowledged and investigated.

The Council wants to know if you have a complaint about any of the services it
provides. However, if your complaint relates to a Councillor, please follow the link to
the Standards Committee web page. Here you will find information concerning the
Code of conduct for Members and what you can do if you feel that they have been
breeched.




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The best way to make a complaint is to do it directly. Making a complaint locally to
the department or office in question will give the quickest results and get a response
from those who are fully aware of the issues surrounding your complaint.

A complaint can be made in person, by telephone, by post or by online form. Your
complaint will be answered within fifteen working days, or an explanation given if it
will take longer.

You can ask someone else or an organisation such as Citizen's Advice Bureau to
make a complaint on your behalf, and you can ask a Council officer if you need some
help in preparing your complaint. For those whose first language is not English,
assistance can be obtained from the Council's Translation and Interpretation Service
on 0161 234 3193.


To help you, key contact details of addresses, telephone numbers and an online form
for each service are given below:

Housing Services

Quality / Customer Services Team
PO Box 531
Town Hall Extension
MANCHESTER
M60 2JX
Telephone: 03000 112211
Textphone: 0161 953 2526
Housing Services online complaint form

If you have a complaint about any of the Housing Services including council
tenancies, private sector housing and homelessness


If the applicant remains dissatisfied following the outcome of their complaint they may
also make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.




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                                     APPENDICES




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Appendix 1
List Of Manchester Housing Register Partners And How To Contact Them
Housing            Building         Address 1         City/Town    Post   Phone       Email                                Web Address
Association        Name                                            Code   number
Name
Adactus Housing    Parkways         Princess Road     Manchester   M14    0161 232    info@adactushousing.co.uk            www.adactushousing.co.uk
Association Ltd.   Business                                        7HR    6031
                   Centre
Arcon Housing                       12 Lloyd Street   Manchester   M2      0161 214   enquiries@arcon.org.uk               http://www.arcon.org.uk
Association Ltd.                                                   5ND    4120
Ashiana Housing                     3-11 Drake        Rochdale     OL16   01706 712   info@greatplaces.org.uk              http://www.greatplaces.org.uk
Association Ltd.                    Street                         1RE    252
City South         Turing House     Archway 5         Hulme        M15     0800 840   info@citysouthmanchester.co.uk       http://www.citysouthmanchester.co.uk
Manchester                                                         5RL    1444
Housing Trust
Contour Homes                       Quay Plaza 2,     Salford      M50    0845 602    mail@contourhousing.co.uk            http://www.contourhousing.co.uk
Ltd.                                1st Floor -                    3AH    1120
                                    Lowry Mall
Eastlands Homes    Eastlands        Victoria Street   Manchester   M11     0161 274   eastline@eastlandshomes.co.uk        http://www.eastlandshomes.co.uk
                   House                                           2NX    2390
Great Places                        Southern Gate     Manchester   M20    0845 850    mmha@greatplaces.org.uk              http://www.greatplaces.org.uk
Housing Group                                                      2LT    1966
Grove Village      5 Guide Post     Ardwick           Manchester   M13    0161 274    grovevillage@harvesthousing.org.uk   www.grovevillage.co.uk/
(Ardwick PFI)      Square                                          9EA    1180
Guinness           Bower House      1 Stable Street   Oldham       OL9     0845 605   customerservice@ncha.co.uk           http://www.ncha.co.uk
Northern                                                           7LH    9000
Counties
Irwell Valley      Paragon          5th Floor         Manchester   M16    0161        info@irwellvalleyha.co.uk            http://www.irwellvalleyha.co.uk
Housing            House                                           0LN    6101000
Association Ltd.
Manchester City    Town Hall        Lloyd Street      Manchester   M60    03000 11    city.council@manchester.gov.uk       http:www.manchester.gov.uk
Council                                                            2LA    22 11
Manchester &       St Christopher   217 Wellington    Stockport    SK2    0161 419    info@harvesthousing.org.uk           http://www.harvesthousing.org.uk
District Housing   House            Road South                     6TZ    6400

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Association Ltd.
(Part of Harvest
Housing Group)
Mosscare                           101 Great         Manchester     M14   0161 226     information@mosscare.org.uk         http://www.mosscare.org.uk
Housing Ltd.                       Western Street                   4AA   4211
Northwards                         Hexagon Tower     Manchester     M9     03000 123   info@northwardshousing.co.uk        http://www.northwardshousing.co.uk/
Housing                                                             8ZS   123
(Managing
Manchester City
Council Homes in
North
Manchester)
Parkway Green       Parkway        460 Palatine      Manchester     M22   0300 111     info@parkwaygreen.co.uk             http://www.parkwaygreen.co.uk
Housing Trust       Green House    Road                             4DJ   0000
People First                       179 Royce         Manchester     M15    0161 226    adminweb@peoplefirsthousing.co.uk   http://www.peoplefirsthousing.co.uk/
Housing                            Road                             5TJ   1917
Association Ltd.
Places for People                  4 The Pavilions   Preston        PR2   01772 897    enquiries@placesforpeople.co.uk     http://www.placesforpeople.co.uk
Homes                                                               2YB   200
St. Vincent's       1st Floor      20 Brindley       Old Trafford   M16    0161 865    enquiry@svha.co.uk                  http://www.svha.co.uk
Housing             Metropolitan   Road                             9HQ   6565
Association Ltd.    House
Southway            Aspen House    825 Wilmslow      Manchester     M20   0161 448     info@southwayhousing.co.uk          http://www.southwayhousing.co.uk
Housing Trust                      Road                             2SN   4200
(Manchester) Ltd.
William Sutton                     12 Elstree Way    Borehamwood    WD6    0845 217    enquiries@affinitysutton.com        http://www.williamsutton.org.uk
Homes                                                               1JE   8601
Willow Park                        Hollyhedge        Manchester     M22   0800 633     enquiries@willow-park.co.uk         http://www.willow-park.co.uk
Housing Trust                      Road                             9UF   5500
Ltd.




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APPENDIX 2

Lettings to Staff, Board Members of relevant organisation, Council
Members, Co-optees and relatives of these groups

This policy is designed to ensure that Manchester City Council (and any relevant
organisation) is transparent and equitable when letting homes to staff or Board
Members or Co-optees and their relatives.

The Part VI Allocations Scheme is open to any applicant and there are stringent
checks in place that all applicants must follow. These include checks on current
circumstances and collecting 2 valid references for each applicant.

Staff, Council Members, Board Member of relevant organisation and Co-optees and
their relatives are treated as any other applicant and must be seen to not be gaining
any advantage or any preferential treatment in the course of their application.

Therefore, the following procedure must be undertaken to ensure that any letting can
be subject to a high level of scrutiny.

1) The applicant who is applying for housing must have no direct input into any
decisions regarding their rehousing. This includes not inputting the original
application onto the Housing Management system or adding any priority at any time
onto the application.
2) Staff members must also not have any involvement in the inputting of the
application or awarding of priority for any relative.
3) Applications should be clearly marked on the housing management system that
the application is that of a staff member, Council Member. Board Member of relevant
organisation, Co-optee or relative.
4) When such an applicant has bid for a property and is showing at the top of a
queue a disclosure form must be completed and signed off before any offer of a
property is made. The details of the offer must be scrutinised and detailed on the
form and signed off by the appropriate Manchester City Council Head of Service
5) If an offer of a property is to be made to an officer at Head of Service level or
above then the offer must be countersigned by the Chief Officer.
6) Attached to the form must be copies of the computer screens of all the
appropriate information from the housing management system including the Choice
Based Lettings advert and dates it was advertised, the groups and dates that the last
10 offers for that property type and area were made and the queue that the applicant
is being offered from, together with reasons for any applicants above them being not
made the offer.




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APPENDIX 3

Rehousing Review List (RRL)

The RRL is a joint database that shares information between all members of the
Manchester Housing Register. However different organisations involved have
different exclusion policies.

When an applicant is placed on the RRL by a partner other than MCC (or an
organisation managing MCC owned stock) this does not necessarily affect their
application under the MCC Allocations Scheme. All appropriate checks must be
carried out to assess whether an applicant is eligible or reduced priority is required to
an application. Applicants should only be deemed ineligible or have reduced priority
given to their application if their circumstances have been fully investigated by staff of
MCC (or an organisation managing MCC owned stock) and there is evidence that
they meet the criteria where this action can be taken.

Action should not be taken against an application under this allocations scheme
solely on the basis that they have been placed on the RRL by a Registered Provider.

An associated staff guide is available for officers on how to operate the Registered
Provider.

The RRL enables staff to identify those individuals whose behaviour may have an
impact on their housing application in some way. The RRL is a name and address list
of people who may either be ineligible for rehousing under the Council’s (and other
partners) Allocations Scheme or be subject to further investigation as to whether an
application should have its priority reduced. The RRL is used by the Council and its
partners to record behaviour of individuals that may have a future impact on
rehousing. The RRL is not a list of people who are automatically ineligible for
rehousing under the Council’s scheme.

The following behaviour will place an individual on the RRL:

A) Any of the behaviour outlined in section xx of this policy document which would
render an applicant ineligible for rehousing under this scheme.

B) Anyone who owes a Council or partner Registered Provider a housing related debt
and had not made satisfactory payments to reduce it.

C) Anyone who has not ended their tenancy agreement with the Council or a
Registered Provider in accordance with that agreement and has not satisfied the
relevant partner that they would now keep to their tenancy agreement.

D) Anyone whose behaviour has spoilt the peaceful enjoyment of any residential
area, or anyone who has been violent to or threatened staff, or agents, or those
employed by the applicant’s previous landlord and who has not satisfied the Council
or Registered Provider that they will keep to a tenancy agreement.

A Head of Service must be involved in the decision as to whether an
application should be deemed ineligible or overridden regarding ASB or
Violence to Staff.

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E) Anyone with an unspent conviction for a community offence or who is subject to
an Anti Social Behaviour Order or other civil restraining orders and whom the Council
or Registered Provider is satisfied that they pose a significant risk to the well being of
any resident of Manchester by re-offending or breaching civil order.

Decisions about individuals in this category require the input of a Head of
Service; however the serious Offender’s Panel will consider most cases.

F) Anyone intending to live with a person who falls into one of the above categories.

Rules for when the RRL should be checked:

The RRL must be checked for all adult members of an application at the point of
registration. Applicants should be checked by name, current and former addresses,
date of birth and National Insurance number. If an applicant appears on the RRL this
will trigger the need to further investigate the household to ensure that if they are
ineligible or need to have their priority reduced then this is instigated. Often, further
investigation over and above just checking the RRL will be necessary. This may
involve contacting the officer who created the RRL entry, checking of rent accounts
and payment patterns and/or interviewing the applicant.

An application will be held at “Application pending” stage until all investigations are
complete as to whether any RRL entry will have an impact on a rehousing
application. The relevant RRL reference number must be recorded on the
application.

The RRL should also be checked before an offer is made to ensure that any entries
made since an application was made live can be considered.

A further check must be made at the letting interview. No tenancy agreement should
be signed until this check has been completed. If it is found that an applicant or a
member of their family moving with them are on the RRL then an offer should be
withdrawn and the application returned to “pending” stage while investigations are
undertaken. All adult members of the moving group must be checked.

An appeals procedure is in place for an individual to use should they not agree with
their inclusion on the RRL. Any review must be conducted by an officer at a senior
level who was not involved in the original decision.




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Appendix 4
List of Registered Providers, Council and Management Agents in Manchester and How to Contact Them
Housing         Building     Address 1     Postal Area      Post   Phone     Email                       Web Address
Association     Name                                        Code   number
Name and
type
Adactus         Parkways     Princess      Manchester       M14    0161      info@adactushousing.co.uk   www.adactushousing.co.uk
Housing         Business     Road                           7HR    232
Association     Centre                                             6031
Ltd.
Adullam         Walter       34 Dudley     West Midlands    B70    0121      info@adullam.org.uk         http://www.adullam.org.uk
Homes           Moore        Street                         9LS    500
Housing         House                                              2828
Association
Aksa Housing    Aksa House   2 Medtia      Greater          OL1    0161      infoaksa@newcharter.co.uk   http://www.newcharter.co.uk/
Association                  Square        Manchester       1AN    620
Ltd.                                                               2992
Anchor Trust                 2nd Floor     Greater London   WC2E    020      enquiries@anchor.org.uk     http://www.anchor.org.uk
                                                            9ES    7759
                                                                   9100
Arawak          Margaret     23 Manor      Lancashire       M12     0161                                 http://www.arawakwalton.com
Walton          House        Street                         6HE    272
Housing                                                            6094
Association
Ltd.
Arcon Housing                12 Lloyd      Greater          M2     0161      enquiries@arcon.org.uk      http://www.arcon.org.uk
Association                  Street        Manchester       5ND    214
Ltd.                                                               4120
Arena Housing                14            Merseyside       L3     01744     arena@arena-housing.com     http://www.arena-housing.com
Group                        Columbus                       4DB    670 221
                             Quay




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Ashiana                      3-11 Drake     Lancashire       OL16   01706     info@greatplaces.org.uk          http://www.greatplaces.org.uk
Housing                      Street                          1RE    712 252
Association
Ltd.
Beech           Turner       56 King        Lancashire       WN7    01942     info@adactushousing.co.uk        http://beech.adactushousing.co.uk
Housing         House        Street                          4LJ    608 715
Association
Ltd.
Birch Housing                Flat 1, 143    Greater          M13     0161                                      http://beech.adactushousing.co.uk
Co-operative                 Hamilton       Manchester       0PL    224
Ltd                          Road                                   2011
Carr-Gomm       Duke House   6-12           Greater London   SE1    020       info@carr-gomm.org.uk            http://www.carr-gomm.org.uk
Society Ltd.                 Tabard                          4JU    7397
                             Street                                 5300
Christian                    2 Exton        Greater London   SE1     020      mail@caha.org.uk                 http://www.caha.org.uk
Alliance                     Street                          8UE    7593
Housing                                                             0470
Association
Ltd.
City South      Turing       Archway 5      Greater          M15    0800      info@citysouthmanchester.co.uk   http://www.citysouthmanchester.co.uk
Manchester      House                       Manchester       5RL    840
Housing Trust                                                       1444

Commonplace                  c/o 19         Merseyside       L8     0151                                       http://www.citysouthmanchester.co.uk
Housing Co-                  Devonshire                      3TX    726
op Ltd.                      Road                                   2224

Contour                      Quay Plaza     Greater          M50    0845      mail@contourhousing.co.uk        http://www.contourhousing.co.uk
Homes Ltd.                   2, 1st Floor   Manchester       3AH    602
                             - Lowry                                1120
                             Mall
Eastlands       Eastlands    Victoria       Greater          M11    0161      eastline@eastlandshomes.co.uk    http://www.eastlandshomes.co.uk
Homes           House        Street         Manchester       2NX    230
                                                                    1000



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English                    2 Estuary       Merseyside        L24    0151      enquiries@echg.org.uk        http://www.echg.org.uk
Churches                   Boulevard                         8RF    295
Housing                                                             6518
Group (ECHG)

Equity          Armitt     Monmouth        Cheshire          SK8    0161      info@equityhousing.co.uk     http://www.ehg.co.uk/
Housing         House      Road                              7EF    486
Association                                                         9911
Ltd.
Equity          Armitt     Monmouth        Cheshire          SK8     0161     info@equityhousing.co.uk     http://www.ehg.co.uk
Housing         House      Road                              7EF    486
Group Ltd.                                                          9911
Frontis Homes              Amberley        Greater           M23     0161     info@outlookhomes.com        http://www.harvesthousing.org.uk
Ltd.                       Drive           Manchester        2RW    437
                                                                    8786
Great Places               Southern        Manchester        M20     0845     mmha@greatplaces.org.uk      http://www.greatplaces.org.uk
Housing                    Gate                              2LT    850
Group                                                               1966
Guinness        Bower      1 Stable        Greater           OL9    0845      customerservice@ncha.co.uk   http://www.ncha.co.uk
Northern        House      Street          Manchester        7LH    605
Counties                                                            9000

Guinness                   17 Mendy        Buckinghamshire   HP11   01494     info@guinness.org.uk         http://www.guinnesspartnership.com
Partnership                Street                            2NZ    535 823
Haig Homes      Alban      Green Lane      Greater London    SM4    020       haig@haighomes.org.uk        http://www.haighomes.org.uk/
                Dobson                                       5NS    8685
                House                                               5777

Hanover         Hanover    1 Bridge        Surrey            TW18   01784     help@hanover.org.uk          http://www.hanover.org.uk
Housing         House      Close                             4TB    446 000
Association




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Hillel Housing                 Greenheys     Greater           M15    0161                                          http://www.hillelmanchester.co.uk
Association                    Lane          Manchester        6LR    226
(Manchester)                                                          1139
Ltd
Home Group                     2 Gosforth    Tyne & Wear       NE12    0845     home@homegroup.org.uk               http://www.homegroup.org.uk
                               Park Way                        8ET    155
                                                                      1234
Homes For                      Unit 25, 41   Greater           M15     0161                                         http://www.wevh.org.uk/showcase/hfc
Change                         Old Birley    Manchester        5RE    232
                               Street                                 9801
Housing 21       The           Baring        Buckinghamshire   HP9    0370      enquiries@housing21.co.uk           http://www.housing21.org
                 Triangle      Road                            2NA    192
                                                                      4000
Irwell Valley    Paragon       5th Floor     Greater           M16     01616    info@irwellvalleyha.co.uk           http://www.irwellvalleyha.co.uk
Housing          House                       Manchester        0LN    101 000
Association
Ltd.
Johnnie          Astra House   Spinners      Cheshire          SK12   0845      general.enquiries@jjhousing.co.uk   http://www.jjhousing.co.uk
Johnson                        Lane                            1GA    604
Housing Trust                                                         1095
Ltd.

Livability                     50 Scrutton   Greater London    EC2A    020      info@livability.org.uk              http://www.livability.org.uk/
Housing                        Street                          4XQ    7452
                                                                      2000
Manchester &     St            217           Stockport         SK2    0161      info@harvesthousing.org.uk          http://www.harvesthousing.org.uk/
District         Christopher   Wellington                      6TZ    419
Housing          House         Road South                             6400
Association
Manchester                     85            Greater           M8     0161      info@mjha.co.uk                     http://www.mjha.org.uk/
Jewish                         Middleton     Manchester        4JU    740
Housing                        Road                                   0001
Association
Ltd


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Mosscare                   101 Great       Greater          M14     0161     information@mosscare.org.uk               http://www.mosscare.org.uk/
Housing Ltd.               Western         Manchester       4AA    226
                           Street                                  4211
Nacro                      Park Place      Greater London   SW8    020       helpline@nacro.org.uk                     http://www.nacro.org.uk/
Community                                                   1UD    7840
Enterprises                                                        7200
Ltd.
New Longsight              Longsight       Greater          M13    0161                                                http://www.nacro.org.uk/
Housing Co-                Business        Manchester       0PD    256
operative Ltd              Park                                    4226

Northwards                 Hexagon         Greater          M9     03000     info@northwardshousing.co.uk              http://www.northwardshousing.co.uk/
Housing                    Tower           Manchester       8ZS    123 123
Parkway         Parkway    460             Greater          M22    03000     info@parkwaygreen.co.uk                   http://www.parkwaygreen.co.uk
Green           Green      Palatine        Manchester       4DJ    111
Housing Trust   House      Road                                    0000
People First               179 Royce       Greater          M15    0161      adminweb@peoplefirsthousing.co.uk         http://www.peoplefirsthousing.co.uk/
Housing                    Road            Manchester       5TJ    226
Association                                                        1917
Ltd.
Places for                 4 The           Lancashire       PR2    01772     enquiries@placesforpeople.co.uk           http://www.placesforpeople.co.uk/pfphomes/
People Homes               Pavilions                        2YB    897 200
Raglan          Wright     12-14           Dorset           BH15   01202     info@raglan.org                           http://www.raglan.org/
Housing         House      Castle                           1BQ    678 731
Association                Street
Richmond                   80              Greater London   N7     020       marise.willis@richmondfellowship.org.uk   http://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk/
Fellowship                 Holloway                         8JG    7697
Ltd.                       Road                                    3300
Riverside                  1 Walton        Merseyside       L4     0845      enquiries@riverside.org.uk                http://www.riverside.org.uk/riverside/riversideh/
Housing                    Road                             4AD    111
                                                                   0000




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Salvation                        1A            Greater London   EC2Y   0845      General.EnquiriesCSC@saha.org.uk   http://www.saha.org.uk/
Army Housing                     Monkwell                       5BL    3000
Association                      Square                                008
(SAHA)

Sanctuary        Sanctuary       Chamber       Worcestershire   WR1    01905     enquiry@sanctuary-housing.co.uk    http://www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk
Housing          House           Court                          3ZQ    338 600
Association

Servite                          2 Bridge      Greater London   W6     02083     webmaster@servitehouses.org.uk     http://www.servitehouses.org.uk/
Houses                           Avenue                         9JP    073 300
Southway         Aspen           825           Greater          M20    0161      info@southwayhousing.co.uk         http://www.southwayhousing.co.uk
Housing Trust    House           Wilmslow      Manchester       2SN    448
(Manchester)                     Road                                  4200
Ltd.

Space New        4th Floor, St   Pendleton     Greater          M6     0161      space@greatplaces.org.uk           http://www.greatplaces.org.uk/
Living Ltd       James's         Way           Manchester       5FW    737
                 House                                                 5276

St. Vincent's    1st Floor       20 Brindley   Greater          M16    0161      enquiry@svha.co.uk                 http://www.svha.co.uk
Housing          Metropolitan    Road          Manchester       9HQ    865
Association      House                                                 6565
Ltd.
Tung Sing        Victoria        119           Greater          M1     0161      info@tungsing.co.uk                http://www.tungsing.co.uk
Housing          House           Princess      Manchester       7AG    234
Association                      Street                                0260
Ltd.
West Pennine     St. Chad's      Limegreen     Greater          OL8    0844      info@regendafirst.org.uk           http://www.regenda.org.uk/
Housing          Centre          Parade        Manchester       3HH    736
Association                                                            0066
Ltd.
William Sutton                   12 Elstree    Hertfordshire    WD6    0845      enquiries@affinitysutton.com       http://www.williamsutton.org.uk
Homes                            Way                            1JE    217
                                                                       8601
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Willow Park                34 Benchill     Greater      M22   0800   enquiries@willow-park.co.uk   http://www.willow-park.co.uk/
Housing Trust              Road            Manchester   8LF   633
Ltd.                                                          5500

Zah Housing                36 Oak          Greater      M20   0161                                 http://www.regenda.org.uk
Co-operative               Road            Manchester   3DA   434
Ltd                                                           0339




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APPENDIX 5

Local Lettings Policies



Where there is agreement between Manchester City Council and the relevant
Housing Provider(s) that a Local Lettings Policy is required across a specified area a
report must be produced to justify the application of the Policy. This report should be
submitted to the Council designated for approval and must specify;

       •   The location of the policy and its geographical spread
       •   The period of time for which the policy will be operational
       •   Analysis of the suitability of the selected site
       •   The aims and objectives of the policy
       •   Suitability of the eligibility criteria
       •   Detail of the selection process and any additional selection criteria
       •   Consultation on the proposed policy
       •   An Equality Impact Assessment
       •   Details of how the properties will be advertised and how applicants will be
           sourced and verified
       •   Review structures
       •   Additional considerations
       •   Details of Manchester City Council’s current performance against the
           annual lettings plan (see page X of the policy) at the time of writing the
           report and the likely impact of the policy.

Once the report has been submitted and approved consultation must be held with
Elected Members whose constituencies are affected by the policy, prior to
implementation. If agreement is reached with the relevant Elected Members then the
consultation activities described in the report may commence. Where feedback from
the consultation is not in support of the proposals the officer responsible for the policy
must consider the feedback in consultation with the Head of Housing Strategy and
respond or amend the proposal as appropriate. Elected Members and the
Departmental Managers Team must be consulted on any amendments and may be
involved in responding to consultees if necessary.




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Appendix 6

Annual Lettings Plan
An annual lettings plan will be published on an annual basis and lettings made will be
monitored against this. The annual lettings plan is devised to ensure that the Local
Authority meets its statutory obligations. All lettings made under Part VI, are counted
for the purposes of the lettings plan.

The plan will be monitored and reviewed annually. If monitoring shows that outcomes
are not as per the lettings plan, the Council reserves the right to implement a quota
system to ensure that it meets its statutory obligations.

The Housing Act 1996 requires each housing authority to determine, and publish, an
Allocations Scheme setting out how it will prioritise applications for social housing. In
doing so, the Council must accord Reasonable Preference to specific groups of
applicants including for example the homeless and overcrowded households. A key
element of the Allocations scheme is the annual Lettings Plan that should be agreed
and reviewed annually by the Council. Such a plan is a strategic tool that enables
lettings practice to be linked to wider strategic issues.

The recent major allocations review has identified the need for this strategic tool to
make the assessment of need and the allocation of housing more transparent and
effective.

This plan outlines how the anticipated supply of lettings over the coming year
between different Bands should be shared. This is a performance tool to enable
regular monitoring of the Scheme to ensure that all Bands are broadly receiving their
stated share of lettings. If this is not the case then action must be taken to ensure
that the Council is meeting its statutory obligations.

To complement the new Allocations Scheme Manchester City Council is also
launching an improved Choice Based Lettings scheme through which the majority of
lettings will be made. All lettings made under the Allocations Scheme however will be
used in monitoring the Lettings Plan.

As Manchester’s new Allocations Scheme will be substantially different from its
current one it is difficult to use current data to set out a new Lettings Plan. However,
the need for the majority of lettings to go to the Reasonable Preference groups has a
significant influence on the plan..

The Council is also committed to ensuring that households who are working or have
a Community Contribution are rewarded; both those with and without Reasonable
Preference. This Lettings Plan makes a clear statement as to the priorities of the
Council in not only meeting housing need but also acknowledging residents who
make a positive contribution to their neighbourhood and the economy of the City.

Broad targets that are to be set and agreed can be monitored and adjusted (if
necessary) to ensure that priorities are delivered, and the needs of those groups with
Reasonable Preference are met.



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The lettings planned for the different Bands have been configured to reflect current
priorities of the Council which include:

       •    Overcrowding and under-occupation (making best use of stock)
       •    Statutory homeless households (and reducing the need for temporary
            accommodation)
       •    Working households and community contribution applicants (in line with
            the priorities of the Community Strategy).

Demand from the identified priority categories can be evaluated and a target % of
lettings established.

In Manchester, a Lettings Plan for the first year of the new Allocations Scheme has
been devised as follows:

   Band 1                     10%
   Band 2                     20%
   Band 3                     50%
   Band 4                     15%
   Band 5                     4%
   Band 6                     1%
   Total                      100%

Actual lettings outcomes will be measured against the plan to monitor the
effectiveness of the Allocations Scheme in meeting identified needs. This is not only
for actual lettings to Bands but also, as far as is possible, a split of property types
within lettings areas.

If felt desirable, the Lettings Plan can be further refined to achieve a distribution of
the most desirable properties across the priority Bands. In addition, the Lettings Plan
can, in the future, set an agreed target for lettings to transfer cases to ensure that
there is movement within the stock should these applicants be disadvantaged in any
way.

Clearly the Allocations Scheme should be effective in meeting the most serious
housing need and therefore the majority of lettings should go to cases in the 3 higher
Bands where all applicants will have Reasonable Preference. In Manchester lettings
to Band 4 are also of strategic importance and Members have expressed a strong
wish for applicants in this Band to be acknowledged. Therefore a target of 15% of
lettings has been set against this Band.

A total of at least 80% of all other lettings will be to those in Bands 1-3, ensuring that
overall the Allocations Scheme provides Reasonable Preference to those statutory
groups the law says must be given provided with Reasonable Preference .

This Lettings Plan does not include any lettings made outside of this Scheme
(outlined in the Allocations Scheme). The 100% is split only between lettings made
under the Scheme, excluding retirement housing. Therefore, lettings made to such
groups as those where their home is being demolished are not included.

The Lettings Plan is intended to set broad targets that can be monitored and
adjusted, if necessary, to ensure that the needs of priority cases are being met.

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Monitoring

The Lettings Plan will be monitored regularly to ensure performance against targets
and desired outcomes. This will be reported in a number of ways:
      • To designated MCC Housing
      • By exception to the Councils Executive Committee allowing any changes
           to be made to ensure that the Council is meeting its statutory obligations.

Equality and Diversity monitoring will be a key part of this plan. This is to ensure that
groups are broadly accessing properties in line with their City profile. Where it is
necessary to address any issues this can be done by engagement with community
groups and the monitoring of bidding patterns through Choice Based Lettings (CBL)
to identify and resolve any gaps. Information from this Lettings Plan will also be used
in developing further Equality Impact Assessments in regards to the Allocations
Scheme.

The improved Choice Based Lettings scheme will allow enhanced monitoring over
and above what is already available. The need to continue to develop IT systems to
ensure readily accessible data and analysis on lettings activity in the following area is
critical. A sample of reports that will be produced will be:
          • Number of offers made outside of the Allocations Scheme and therefore
             that do not count towards this lettings plan.
          • The number of direct offers made outside of CBL.
          • High and low demand areas
          • Number of lets to BME groups in line with standard definitions
          • Numbers on the Allocations Scheme by BME groups
          • Voids information.

Monitoring will also show how properties are split between Bands and areas so it can
bee seen if a fair split is occurring across the City. For example, it would be unfair if
every house in a lettings area was being let to a Band 1 applicant. If this was the
case, the Council could choose to apply a label to a property so that applicants from
a particular Band were given priority. In other cases a Local Lettings Plan may be
developed to ensure that the Scheme is also able to have fair outcomes and that
those in lower Bands are receiving a fair share of the vacancies, in line with this plan.

The Allocations Scheme allows the Council to restrictively label properties or to
invoke a quota system should it need to do so to meet its statutory obligations or the
required outcomes of this lettings plan.

Future Lettings Plans

After the first year of this plan, accurate data will be available on lettings made under
the new Scheme that will help to inform subsequent plans. This will include:
        • Live applicants on the Council’s Allocations Scheme – split by Band and
             ethnicity.
        • The split of need within Band i.e. how many applicants have Reasonable
             Preference, for which reasons and how many applicants have increased
             priority for being a working household etc.



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       •   How many properties are let through the Council’s Allocations Scheme
           and to which Band, and to which Reasonable Preference group within a
           Band?
       •   The percentage of a particular Reasonable Preference group that has
           been rehoused within the year.
       •   The outturn of which properties across areas have been let to which
           Bands.
       •   Full bidding activity on the CBL system.

All of the above will be reported annually with a recommendation for the next years’
plan and therefore ensure that the lettings process within Manchester is transparent.




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                                               APPENDIX 2




         Manchester City Council Part VI
     Allocations Scheme Consultation Draft
          October 2009-February 2010



                  Equality Impact Assessment




                             1
Manchester City Council                                              Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                10 March 2010


                                      Contents


                          Background
    Background            Report Structure
                                                                                       3



                                        Recommendations
       Section
        One




                          Assessing the Impact                                       4–5
                          Equality Record Keeping and Monitoring
                          Communication Strategy
                          Choice Based Letting


                                                 Introduction
       Section
        Two




                          Aims of the Equality Impact Assessment
                                                                                      6-8
                          Limitations of the Report
                          Consulting Affected Groups
                          Publication


                          Background to the Allocations Scheme and
       Section




                                          Rational
        Three




                          Aims of the Allocations Scheme                             9 - 20
                          The Role of the Council
                          Desired and Specific Outcomes
                          Summary of the New Banding System


                            Summary Of Impacts and Mitigation – All
                                      Equality Groups
       Section
        Four




                          Race (p.22-26)
                          Disability (p.27-31)                                      21 - 43
                          Age: Children and Young People (p 32-35)
                          Age: Older People (p.36-38)
                          Gender (p.39-41)
                          Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (p.42)
                          Religion and Belief (p.42-43)
       Section




                                                 Appendix:1
        Five




                                                                                    44 - 46
                          Equality Record Keeping and Monitoring (ERKM)




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  1.1 Background

  1.1.1      This document refers to the Councils proposed changes to its Part VI
  Allocations Scheme upon which consultation took place between October 2009-
  February 2010. The revised Allocations Scheme aims to allocate properties
  through a fair and transparent service to all persons eligible for registering for
  housing under the Council’s scheme and to allocate accommodation, in the
  majority of cases, to those households with the greatest need. In doing so the
  Council is also endeavouring to ensure that the Allocation of homes is done in
  such a way as to promote social cohesion and balanced sustainable communities.

  1.1.2       One of the key changes in the proposed Scheme is to give additional
  priority to applicants who are working households or are engaged in supporting
  their local community through activities such as volunteering using a new Banding
  System. From the initial analysis presented here there does not appear to be any
  serious areas of concern. It will be necessary to revisit this assertion following
  implementation. A review to check impacts (a reality check) will be carried out
  once we are clearer about the numbers and types of applicants in each band of
  the new scheme. The reality check cannot take place until new information that is
  required to support the proposed Allocations Scheme has been collected from all
  existing and any recent applicants.

  1.1.3      This report only considers those changes assessed as most relevant to
  the duties placed on Councils to promote equality of opportunity and good
  relations and does not consider every proposed policy change or those aspects of
  the new Scheme that are considered to be of low impact. Where potential adverse
  impact has been identified the report makes recommendations to mitigate for this.
  For example, a number of ways have been proposed to ensure people who are
  unemployed suffer no overall disadvantaged by the Scheme. A number of other
  factors need to be assessed to underpin this analysis. This can only be achieved
  when applicants begin responding to the new system and reporting additional
  information they feel should be taken into account.

  1.2 Report structure

  1.2.1      The report begins with a list of recommendations (pp4-5). These have
  been informed by consultation. Section two (pp6-8) is a general introduction to our
  approach to carrying out the assessment, including some of the limitations of using
  test data and our approach to consultation. Section three (pp9-21) discusses the
  background and rationale to the proposed changes. This section primarily argues
  that there are important socio-economic considerations that are driving the need
  for change and briefly highlights some of the operational weaknesses of the
  existing approach. In section four we identify the potential adverse impacts of key
  policies on each strand of equality and provide the specific rationale, key drivers
  and desired outcomes (pp22-44). Appendix One (pp45-47) discusses the current
  approach to Equality Record Keeping and Monitoring (ERKM) and recommends
  improvements to enable the Council to effectively monitor the actual impact of the
  Allocations Scheme following implementation.



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                          Section One: Recommendations


                                      Recommendations


      1.1    Assessing the actual impact of the Allocations Scheme

   1.1.1 The Council does not currently hold details of which applicants are working or
   engaged in voluntary activity. It is therefore recommended that the implications of
   volunteering be reviewed once residents have registered this information. This
   information is to be compared to the test data to check initial assumptions. For
   example, this will include exploring with Registered Providers how we can support:

        Training with the Voluntary and Community Sector


      1.2   Equality Record Keeping and Monitoring Framework

   1.2.1 The Council will need to develop a comprehensive allocations monitoring
   framework capable of monitoring the specific outcomes of the Allocations Scheme as
   indicated in Section 5, (Appendix One) and of capturing the full range of issues
   identified. For example consideration should be given to:

         Extending the existing Equality Record Keeping and Monitoring framework to
          include all equality groups

         Ensuring a Partnership approach to monitoring with the Voluntary and
          Community Sector, Manchester Equipment and Adaptations Partnership,
          Supporting People User Groups, Age Concern and Age UK

         Increasing understanding of the Scheme concerning disabled applicants or
           applicants with a disabled household member, particularly mental health.

         Ensuring the impact of the Allocations Scheme can be continually assessed.
          For example, routine analysis of data and reporting to the Departmental
          Management Team and Housing Access Board. The Executive will also
          receive a report on the impact of the Allocations Scheme at the end of the first
          year of the new Allocations Scheme. Publishing data on an annual basis in an
          appropriate format.

         Improving the quality of monitoring data. For example, 25% of online applicants
          do not currently provide ethnic monitoring data.

      1.3   Communication Strategy

   1.3.1 It is recommended that a communication strategy be developed and rolled out
   prior to implementation of the proposed Allocations Scheme, an explicit aim of which
   should be demonstrating fairness, promoting equality, good race relations and
                                          4
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   community cohesion. This will be accompanied by a Plain English version of the
   Allocations Scheme produced in consultation with partners.



      1.4   Choice Based Lettings

   1.4.1 It is also recommended that a further strategic EIA of Choice Based Lettings
   be carried out in partnership with Registered Providers involving disabled people and
   their representative groups beginning in 2010. This will include training to groups
   supporting various communities of interest.




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                              Section Two: Introduction
  2.1 Introduction

  2.1.1      An Equality Impact Assessment of any policy the Council is proposing
  to introduce is required by equality legislation including the Race Relations
  (Amendment) Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Equality Act (which amended
  the Sex Discrimination Act). Equality impact assessments are also required by
  corporate policy and are a regulatory requirement.

  2.1.2      The primary purpose of an EIA is to determine whether a function,
  policy or service has the potential to have a differential impact on any community
  or group by:

               1.   Race
               2.   Disability
               3.   Gender (including transgender)
               4.   Sexuality
               5.   Age
               6.   Religion or Belief

  The requirement to carry out EIAs for race, disability and gender are all Specific
  Duties under relevant legislation. Additionally, it is City Council policy to include
  sexuality, age and religion and belief.

  2.1.3        There are seven elements in an equality impact assessment:

          1. Defining the aims of the policy
          2. Consideration of available data and research
          3. Assessment of impacts
          4. Consideration of measures that might mitigate any adverse impacts
             and alternative policies to achieve the promotion of equality of
             opportunity
          5. Formal consultation
          6. Decision by the Council
          7. Publication of results of the EIA and monitor actual impact following
             implementation.

  2.1.4      Consultation on the proposed Allocations Scheme ended on February
  19th 2010. This document therefore incorporates changes where necessary as a
  result of this consultation. It is an integral part of the process of considering
  whether to adopt the proposed policy.

  2.2 Limitations of the Report

  2.2.1      No single policy can erase discrimination or adverse impact. Moreover
  the Allocations Scheme does not operate in isolation. It is supported by a number
  of additional tools and policies all of which help to mitigate the impact of changes


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  on all groups. The most important of these is the Choice Based Lettings (CBL)
  System.

  2.2.2      CBL is the process by which homeseekers apply the priority awarded to
  them by the Allocations Scheme to identify and bid for accommodation that is
  available for letting. This is the major gateway in Manchester for the advertising
  and letting of social housing and, increasingly, homes in the private rented sector,
  to people who want to live in the city.

  2.2.3       CBL will provide a housing options calculator that homeseekers can
  use to:

            a. identify the housing options most suitable for them, reducing the
               number of inappropriate bids made for social housing
            b. investigate their housing prospects for social and private rented
               properties in a given area, and
            c. find out how they can increase their housing options.

  2.2.4        Homeseekers will be able to view and bid for social housing properties
  that meet their needs and are available to applicants in their banding. Real time
  bidding feedback will tell them about their chances of getting the homes they have
  bid for, giving them the opportunity to withdraw a bid and choose another property.

  2.2.5       The website will signpost homeseekers to employment support,
  financial inclusion services and providers of low cost home ownership options and
  promote informed choice by all residents.

  2.2.6      Plans are in place to ensure Manchester’s CBL is accessible to
  applicants who find web-based services difficult to use, using a broad range of
  support mechanisms, training and proxy bidding. Monitoring of accessibility will be
  a governance priority.

  2.2.7     The review of Allocations has therefore included a review of our whole
  approach. Further equality impact assessments will be carried out on:

              1.   Choice-based Lettings
              2.   The Housing Strategy
              3.   Homelessness Provision
              4.   MCC Housing Resident Involvement Strategy

  2.3 Consulting affected groups

  2.3.1      In the context of an equality impact assessment it is important to ensure
  unequal welfare outcomes are not exacerbated by the failure to differentiate
  between structural inequalities and human agency. For example, the propensity
  for those on low incomes to experience greater levels of under employment and
  unemployment as a result of labour market volatility. The result is that many policy
  proposals could inadvertently exacerbate unequal welfare outcomes if mitigating
  actions are ineffective. In addition to those organisations and stakeholders
  previously identified in the Allocations Review Consultation Plan key organisations

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  and stakeholders have been identified specifically to be consulted about this
  equality impact assessment.

  2.3.2     The focus of consultation was with those groups for whom monitoring
  data is most readily available and/or where anecdotal or other evidence strongly
  suggests the potential for adverse impact or public concern.

  2.3.4      This approach supports both the need to consider equality and
  community cohesion outcomes and the need for proportionality. Where
  consultation did not identify public concern systems will be put in place to monitor
  the impact of the Allocations Scheme post-implementation. This will also aid the
  formal review of the Scheme going forward.

  2.4 Publication

  2.4.1      This impact assessment will be published on 19th March 2010.




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      Section Three: Background To The Allocations Scheme And
                              Rational

  3.1 Background

  3.1.1 Aims of the Allocations Scheme

  3.1.2      The Allocations Scheme describes the criteria used to prioritise housing
  applicants for the social housing that we allocate; homes owned by Manchester
  City Council; PFIs (Private Finance Initiatives): homes managed by Northwards
  (Manchester’s Arms Length Management Organisation) on behalf of the council;
  and a proportion of homes owned by Registered Providers in the city (these
  allocations are known as nominations).

  3.1.3       Social housing is housing owned by local authorities and registered
  providers for which guideline rents are determined through the national rent
  regime. It may also include rented housing owned or managed by other persons
  and provided under equivalent rental arrangements, as agreed with the local
  authorities or with the Homes and Communities Agency as a condition of grant.

  3.1.4      The Allocations Scheme is part of our affordable housing strategy,
  which focuses on increasing the amount and range of new housing for Manchester
  residents. By ‘affordable housing’ we mean social rented and intermediate
  housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met in the
  market. It should meet the needs of eligible households, including availability at a
  cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and
  local house prices.

  3.1.5       In Manchester the demand for social housing outweighs the number of
  homes available. The Allocations Scheme describes how we prioritise housing
  applicants to ensure that those in greatest housing need are given a head start to
  access available social housing, compared with those who have no housing need
  but want to move. It also sets out details of the Director’s Discretion which enables
  us to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand and address any emerging
  priorities. We have designed the policy to meet all legal requirements, and to
  support and contribute towards the objectives of Manchester’s Community
  Strategy by promoting economic growth and social wellbeing. The key objectives
  of the Allocations Scheme are to:


            • Provide housing applicants in Manchester with a fair and transparent
              system by which they are prioritised for social housing.
            • Help applicants most in housing need.
            • Promote the development of sustainable mixed communities and
              neighbourhoods of choice.
            • Encourage residents to access employment and training.
            • Recognise residents who make a contribution to a local community.
            • Make the best use of Manchester’s social housing.


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            • Make efficient use of our resources and those of our partner
              Registered Providers.

   3.1.6     We will allocate the vast majority of housing for which we have access
  through a choice based lettings system, which permits applicants to view available
  properties and express interest by making bids. The system will be supported by a
  housing options calculator giving applicants realistic prospects advice and
  promoting other housing options, such as low cost home ownership options and
  private sector renting. It will also link to complementary services, such as a sub-
  regional choice based lettings service supporting applicant mobility by facilitating
  moves across Greater Manchester.

  3.2 Reasonable Preference

  3.2.1      The Council proposes to use a Banding System to measure housing
  need and allocate accommodation. In assessing housing need the Council will
  give reasonable preference to those applicants who fall into one or more of the
  following categories: (in line with the Homelessness Act 2002):

          1. Homeless people owed a full duty under part VII of the Housing Act
              1996 (as amended)
          2. Homeless people who are owed a duty by any local housing authority
              under section 190(2), 193(2) or 195(2) (or under section 65(2) or
              68(2) of the Housing Act 1985) or who are occupying accommodation
              secured by any such authority under section 192(3).
          3. Applicants occupying unsanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise
              living in unsatisfactory housing conditions.
          4. Applicants who need to move on medical or welfare grounds or
              grounds of disability.
          5. Those who need to move to a particular locality in the district where
              failure to meet that need would cause hardship (to themselves or
              others).

  3.3 The Allocations Scheme

  3.3.1      The Council’s Allocations Scheme has been devised to ensure that it
  meets its legal obligations in respect of reasonable preference and the desired
  outcomes of Manchester’s Community Strategy. The Council will therefore
  allocate the housing available within a framework that reflects this duty and which
  ensures that offers of accommodation are made to those with the greatest need,
  alongside those allocations that will benefit local communities.

  3.3.2       The Allocations Scheme has an important role in ensuring that the City
  can offer Neighbourhoods of Choice based on individual self-esteem and mutual
  respect, and can assist Manchester residents to reach their full potential in
  Education and Employment thereby contributing to the following key strategic
  objectives:

            • help those most in housing need; 81% of properties will still go to those
               with a RP

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            • create sustainable communities; mixed income estates and
              communities are more successful than those where most residents are
              unemployed

            • reduce the need for large levels of homeless households in Temporary
              Accommodation as per national targets; this scheme identifies
              homeless households as in housing need.

            • reward a commitment to a local community; by establishing a
              community contribution award to replace and broaden the community
              connection award: this will foster strong and cohesive communities by
              rewarding Community Contribution.

            • raise residents aspirations by incentivising employment and training; by
               introducing an Working Households award: this scheme rewards
               positive Working Households.

            • make best use of stock in both the Private and Public sectors; by
               introducing broader changes to widen housing opportunities

  3.3.3      It should be noted that the revised Allocations Scheme will operate
  within a choice based lettings (CBL) framework, and the Scheme has been
  structured to complement this approach. CBL is about the applicant putting
  themselves forward for vacancies they have identified based upon informed
  choice.


  3.3.4     The Allocations Scheme has been designed with equality legislation in
  mind. For example, applicants resident in the City for 3 years who can pass the
  good residency test could also receive a Community Contribution award ensuring
  those who are unable to carry out voluntary work are not disadvantaged.

  3.4 The Role of the Council

  3.4.1      The crucial role for the Council is that of empowering people by giving
  them comprehensive information and advice about the full range of options and
  services available to them. We are aware of the need to ensure that the needs of
  the most disadvantaged residents are not overlooked within a choice based
  lettings model. A specific piece of work is underway which examines the access
  pathways of these groups.

  3.4.2       As indicated above significant improvements to the Choice Based
  Lettings System are underway to support the changes proposed in the Allocations
  Scheme. This is part of a wider and stronger approach to widening and enhancing
  housing options. A number of projects are underway to improve customer
  functionality and choice. They include projects designed to update Manchester’s
  Choice Based Lettings systems, improve the delivery of housing prospects advice,
  improve access to private sector and affordable home ownership and focus on
  particular issues such as overcrowding and subletting fraud.
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    3.5 Desired outcomes of the new Allocations Scheme

    3.5.1 Overview

    3.5.2      The Allocations Scheme is a way of ensuring that the affordable rented
    homes that are available are distributed as fairly as possible, in line with objectives
    set for the scheme; and that the resources available are used as efficiently as
    possible. To ensure that this continues to be the case the Council has identified
    and is seeking to tackle a number of socio-economic and operational issues where
    improving the current Scheme will make a difference. These issues are discussed
    in more detail below. Providing equality of opportunity for all households registered
    under the Scheme remains a key principle.

    3.5.3       The Scheme therefore sets out the Council’s commitment to treat
    applicants equally according to their need regardless of race, religion or creed,
    ethnic or national origin, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status
    or age. The Scheme sets out who should have priority for the housing that is
    available, and meets statutory requirements in that it gives ‘reasonable preference’
    to people who have the highest levels of housing need.

    3.6 The Socio Economic Case for Change

    3.6.1 Nationally

    3.6.2      The Hills Report1 sets out the rational for a reform of social housing
    allocations. The report highlighted that ‘Employment rates of those living in social
    housing with particular disadvantages or with multiple disadvantages are
    substantially lower than those of people with similar disadvantages but living in
    other tenures’. The effect of this is that current Allocations policies create
    concentrations of poverty with a detrimental impact on both community cohesion
    and sustainability. Hills recommended an examination of “the way allocations and
    access policies work to try to reduce the extent to which they are sometimes an
    engine of polarisation, even within the social housing stock. The positive
    experience with choice-based lettings could contribute further to this’. The revised
    allocations scheme is in part a response to the issues identified by the Hills
    Report.

    3.7 The Manchester Context

    3.7.1      In recent years, Manchester has experienced continued employment
    growth at the core of the Manchester City Region, which has led to an increase of
    in-migration of workers and the provision of employment opportunities for existing
    residents.

    3.7.2     This has been matched by household growth as a reflection of social
    and demographic changes that have taken place. Supporting this economic
    growth remains a key objective of housing policy at every level. It is imperative that


1
 Hills, J. (2007). ‘Ends and Means: The Future Roles of Social Housing in England’ Communities and
Local Government
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  the housing offer is able to meet the aspirations of new and existing Manchester
  residents to maintain progress in regenerating the city.

  3.7.3       However, the economic benefits afforded to many Manchester
  residents over the past decade or more have had an uneven impact. Many local
  areas remain stubbornly deprived and educational disparities and housing
  inequalities have embedded deprivation.

  3.7.4     The recession threatens renewed worklessness and deprivation and
  the progress we have made to date in transforming neighbourhoods. In this
  context, market restructuring and the creation of a more balanced housing offer in
  the conurbation core remains an unfinished task. The Allocations Scheme and
  Housing Opportunities Programme are some of the ways the Council can continue
  to make a difference.

  3.8 The Operational Case for Change

  3.8.1       The existing Allocations Scheme has become a competitive rationing
  system that many applicants feel they have to accumulate priorities within, this
  raises the risk of challenge. It is not transparent and easy to use which is
  frustrating for applicants and expensive to operate for the Council and its partners.
  All of these issues have been considered in the redesign of the Allocations
  Scheme.

  3.9 Specific Outcomes

  3.9.1      A revised Scheme is proposed with 6 Bands which works inside of the
  stringent legal framework for allocations schemes, is easier to understand and
  designed around the Community Strategy drivers of tackling disadvantage and
  rewarding economic and/or community contribution. Specifically it will contain
  measures to:-

            •   ensure that urgent housing needs can be met swiftly
            •   provide those with a reasonable preference with a head start
            •   promote balanced and sustainable communities
            •   promote community cohesion
            •   tighten up criteria to improve the transparency of Allocations Scheme
            •   differentiate between those households that are making a contribution
                 either to the local community or economy and those that are not
            •   develop, improve and broaden the current community connection
                 policy by introducing a new community contribution policy
            •   expand the use of Local Lettings Policies to allow for the creation of
                 allocations specifically for economically active housing applicants
            •   promote greater choice
            •   ensure continued vigilance in relation to fraud and anti social behaviour
                 and people who do not honour their Tenancy Agreement; and
            •   retain a Common Housing Register. This remains relatively unusual
                 and is beneficial to residents as it allows applicants to apply for social
                 housing via the Council or any Registered Provider of Social Hosing
                 operating within the City.
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  3.10 The Allocations Schemes of Registered Social Landlords (Registered
  Providers)

  3.10.1     Manchester City Council’s waiting list operates in partnership with the
  other social landlords operating within the City. The Council currently allocates to
  100% of stock where it is the landlord through the Allocations Scheme, this
  includes stock managed by Northwards Housing in the North of the City and stock
  managed under Private Finance initiatives. For all other social housing the Council
  has 50% nomination rights with the remaining 50% being allocated directly by the
  landlord.

  3.11 The Proposal

  3.11.1     The table below sets out a summary of the new Banding System. The
  new system for housing applicants is designed to be as transparent and fair as
  possible. The Bands enhance access to social housing to people contributing to
  their communities either through voluntary work, positive residency history or
  through the wider economy. Applicants wanting to increase their opportunities for
  being re-housed are therefore incentivised towards playing a more active role in
  their community. The Bands are set out below. The new system is designed to
  ensure those with reasonable preference are prioritised accordingly. This is the
  case even for those applicants in Band 2 (applicants who work or have received a
  community contribution award).

                          Summary of the new Banding System

Band 1: Urgent Need to Move Band
due to Reasonable Preference PLUS                       Summary of Criteria
additional priority
                                        Where an applicant’s condition is expected to be
Emergency     medical,    welfare    or
                                        terminal within a period of twelve months and
disability
                                        rehousing is required to provide a basis for the
All of these awards will be made by the provision of suitable care.
Council’s medical rehousing team.       The condition is life threatening and the
                                        applicant’s existing accommodation is a major
                                        contributory factor.
                                        The applicant’s health is so severely affected by
                                        the accommodation that it is likely to become life
                                        threatening.
                                        Disabled people who have restricted or limited
                                        mobility and are limited by their accommodation
                                        and unable to carry out day to day activities (cf
                                        Disability Discrimination Act) or have difficulties
                                        accessing facilities inside and outside of their
                                        accommodation and requires rehousing into
                                        accommodation suitable for their use.
                                        The applicant’s accommodation is directly
                                        contributing to the deterioration of the applicant’s
                                        health such as severe chest condition requiring
                                        intermittent hospitalisation as a result of chronic

                                            14
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Band 1: Urgent Need to Move Band
due to Reasonable Preference PLUS                      Summary of Criteria
additional priority
                                        dampness in the accommodation and the
                                        condition of the property can not be resolved
                                        within a reasonable period of time – usually 6
                                        months.
                                        Where overcrowding in the property leaves the
                                        applicant at risk of infection, for example, where
                                        an applicant has an immune deficiency e.g.
                                        AIDS, undergoing chemotherapy etc.
                                        A full list of the exceptional circumstance cases is
                                        detailed in the main policy document at section 3
                                        Part 2
                                        Applicants who need to move due to domestic
Exceptional need to move
                                        abuse, extreme violence or extreme harassment.
                                        Extreme violence or harassment will be verified by
                                        the Police and/or other agencies as necessary.
                                        This may include where a move is necessary to
                                        protect a witness to criminal acts. High risk victims
                                        of domestic abuse who are subject to Multiple
                                        Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
                                        as part of an agreed safety plan for high risk
                                        victims will be placed in Band 1.
                                        Band 1 will be agreed in exceptional
                                        circumstances due to significant problems
                                        associated with the tenant’s occupation of a
                                        dwelling in the social or private rented sector and
                                        there is a high risk to the tenant or their family’s
                                        safety if they remain in the dwelling/area. For
                                        social housing tenants transfers will be to
                                        properties of the same size or smaller if they are
                                        under-occupying.
                                        Where a tenant does not require the adaptations
Release of adapted property
                                        in their current home and will therefore be
                                        releasing an adapted property by moving and
                                        there is a suitable applicant queuing for the
                                        adapted property which will be released through a
                                        move. This award is valid if the applicant still
                                        requires adaptations provided the adaptations
                                        required are different from those in their current
                                        home.

                                        Tenants who are statutorily overcrowded or
Statutory Overcrowded
                                        whose property is unsatisfactory or unfit as
                                        defined by the Housing Act 1985 and determined
                                        by an Environmental Health Officer. See section 3
                                        part 2 for definition on statutory overcrowding.
                                        Where a household is 3 bedrooms short of the
Acute Overcrowding
                                        bedroom standard outlined in the main policy
                                        document - section 3.
Private sector properties unsanitary or Those living in unsanitary conditions where the
unfit.                                  conditions pose an ongoing and serious threat to

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Band 1: Urgent Need to Move Band
due to Reasonable Preference PLUS                     Summary of Criteria
additional priority
                                        health;
                                        Private sector tenants and residents of dwellings
                                        that the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team
                                        has determined that the property poses a
                                        category 1 hazard under the Health and Safety
                                        fitness rating and the Council are satisfied that
                                        the problem cannot be resolved by the landlord
                                        within 6 months and as a result continuing to
                                        occupy the accommodation will pose a
                                        considerable risk to the applicant’s health. This
                                        includes a property that has severe damp, major
                                        structural defects including subsidence, flooding,
                                        collapse of roof, or have living conditions which
                                        are a statutory nuisance, and there is no prospect
                                        of the problems being remedied within a 6 month
                                        time period.
                                        A private sector property either owned or rented
                                        where a statutory notice has been issued by the
                                        environmental health department that an unfit
                                        property is to be demolished under the Housing
                                        Act 2004.
                                        Where a Social Rented tenant will release a 3
Under-occupation
                                        bedroom or larger house and will move to a one
                                        bedroom property or a 2 bed property that is
                                        designated for older people. i.e. Retirement
                                        Housing, Extra Care or a bungalow.
                                        Serious threat to the well-being of a child and
Child Protection
                                        their accommodation is a contributory factor to
                                        the risk.


Band 2 Need to Move – Reasonable
Preference    plus    Community
                                                      Summary of Criteria
Contribution or is a working
household
Homeless Households owed a full         All homeless people as defined in Part VII of the
homeless duty under section 193(2) or   Housing Act 1996
195(2)
Reasonable     Preference  categories   People who are owed a duty under section, 193
s167(2) (a) and (b)                     (2) 0r 195 (2) of the 1996 Act (or under section 65
                                        (2) or 68(2) of the Housing Act 1985) or who are
                                        occupying accommodation secured by any
                                        Housing authority under section (192 (3).

                                     Except where:
                                     1. the applicant is intentionally homeless
                                     2. where someone doesn't have local connection
                                     and the exceptions preventing us referring them
                                     to another authority do not apply.
Overcrowded by the Bedroom standard. Applicants overcrowded by 1 or 2 bedrooms
Reasonable    Preference    category according to the Bedroom standard for
                                          16
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s167(2)(c)                                 overcrowding.
                                           Applicants without access at all to any of the
Applicants living in unsatisfactory
                                           following facilities. No access to:
housing lacking basic facilities.               • a bathroom or kitchen
Reasonable       Preference       category      • an inside WC
s167(2)(c)                                      • hot or cold water supplies, electricity, gas
                                                   or adequate heating

                                           Applicants who occupy a private property which is
                                           in disrepair or is unfit for occupation and is
                                           subject to a Prohibition Order and recovery of the
                                           premises is required in order to comply with the
                                           Order as defined by Section 33 of the Housing
                                           Act 2004.
                                           Applicants who only have access to shared
                                           facilities in shared accommodation will not qualify
                                           under these criteria.
Medical grounds                            Where an applicant’s current housing is
Reasonable     Preference       category   unsuitable for severe medical reasons or for the
s167(2)(d)                                 occupants specific needs related to disability, but
                                           whose present accommodation does not cause
                                           serious barriers to day to day activity or whose life
                                           is not at risk due to their current housing, but
                                           whose housing conditions directly contribute to
                                           causing serious ill-health.
Hardship / welfare/ exceptional need to    Those who need to move to give or receive care
move for care or support                   or support that is substantial and ongoing.
Reasonable      Preference     category    Those who need to access social services
s167(2)(d)                                 facilities, and are unable to travel across the City.
                                           Those who need to take up (or continue)
                                           employment, education or a training opportunity
                                           that is not available elsewhere and who do not
                                           live within reasonable commuting distance.
Housing need due to age                    Applicants aged 60 plus seeking Retirement or
Reasonable     Preference       category   Extra Care housing.
s167(2)(d)
Safeguarding Children                  If there are children who are part of the
                                       application who have a need to move and their
                                       accommodation is a contributory factor to the risk
                                       to the child. This would be in cases where a child
                                       is the subject of a CAF assessment and deemed
                                       as a child in need, and where the move would
                                       contribute significantly to the well being of the
                                       child.
Children living at height              Where there are families with children who are 16
Reasonable        Preference  category years old or younger living above the ground floor
s167(2)(c)                             in flats or maisonettes and there is no access to a
                                       garden.
Ready to move on from Council An applicant is ready to move to independent
accredited Supported Housing schemes settled housing on the recommendation of the
Reasonable        Preference  category support worker.
s167(2)(d)                             The applicant is in need appropriate tenancy
                                       support.
                                       Ongoing support needs have been assessed and,

                                             17
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                                           where appropriate, a support plan is in place.

Move on from Support                    A support leaver is ready to move to independent
Reasonable    Preference       category settled housing and is genuinely prepared for a
s167(2)(d)                              move to independent living.

                                           They possess the life skills to manage a tenancy
                                           including managing a rent account.

                                           The support leaver is in need of either a long term
                                           or medium term tenancy support.

                                           Ongoing support needs have been assessed and,
                                           where appropriate, a support plan is in place.


NOTE – Applicants will only fall into Band 2 if they have Reasonable Preference and a
Community Contribution or Working Household award as defined in section 3 part 3 of the
Scheme in the main policy document. Applicants who have a Reasonable Preference but do
not quality for Community or a Working household award will fall into Band 3 below.

Band 3 : Need to move - Reasonable
Preference     BUT      no     Community                    Summary of Criteria
Contribution or not a working household

Applicants in this Band will have the same element of housing need / Reasonable
Preference as those applicants in Band 2 BUT will not have the Community Contribution or
Working Household award as defined on page 44 of the main policy document. Once a
Community Contribution or Working Household award is given, the applicant will be moved
into Band 2. See section in main policy document on Moving Up and Down Bands at Section
5 Part 4.




Band 4: Want to Move - No Reasonable
Preference but have a community                             Summary of Criteria
contribution or working household award

Applicants who do not qualify for Reasonable All others with a Community Connection or
Preference but who would like to move to Working Household award who have not
alternative accommodation AND who have a had their priority reduced.
Community       Contribution   or    Working
Household award.


Band 5: Want to Move - No Reasonable
Preference      and    no     Community                     Summary of Criteria
Contribution or working household award

Applicants who do not qualify for   Reasonable All others without a Community Connection
Preference but who would like       to move to or Working Household award who have not
alternative accommodation BUT       who do not had priority reduced.
have a Community Contribution        or Working

                                             18
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household award.



         Band 6: Reduced Priority

6a : Need to Move - Reasonable Preference
                                                            Summary of Criteria
but with Reduced Priority
                                                  An applicant will be awarded the
Applicants owed Reasonable Preference but
                                                  Reasonable Preference that their assessed
who have been given reduced priority as a
                                                  housing needs warrant but the reasons
result of one of the demotion reasons outlined
                                                  summarised give the Council the right to
in this Allocations Scheme: arrears or other
                                                  reduce that preference to Band 6(a) until
housing related debt within the meaning of
                                                  action is taken to by the rectify the
this scheme, income above threshold, capital
                                                  applicant’s behaviour/circumstances.
asset above threshold, breach of a tenancy
agreement that is unresolved but would not
warrant a full possession order, a property not
                                                  All of these groups of applicants would
meeting the standard required for a transfer
                                                  remain in Band 6 (a) until they meet the
applicant or refusing 3 reasonable offers (on
                                                  criteria (outlined in the main policy
viewing) within a 12 month period, or are
                                                  document) whereby they will no longer have
intentionally homeless and do not have a local
                                                  their priority reduced.
connection and the exceptions preventing us
referring them to another authority apply.
6b : NO Reasonable Preference and
                                                   Summary of Criteria
Reduced Priority
As above but with applicants who have no As above but with applicants who have no
Reasonable Preference.                   Reasonable Preference


Band 6 is split into sub Bands a) and b) so that applicants with a Reasonable Preference are
given a head start within the Band over those without Reasonable Preference.


  3.12 Overview of the impacts of the new Banding System on all applicants

  3.12.1      The table below sets out the relative position of all applicants on the
  rehousing queue and indicates the potential impact of moving from the current
  group policy to the new Banding System. This is only an approximation, as the
  data used to test the new System does not contain details of which applicants are
  economically active or their voluntary activities. When the new rankings are
  applied, it is clear that the majority of applicants may have the same or no
  significant change in their position on the queue. The two policies broadly compare
  as follows:

 Table 1- Approximate position of applicants transferring from old Group System to
                             the New Banding System


      Old Policy               New Policy           Impact on Applicants position in queue
  Group 1                    Band 1                           Same or Similar
  Group 2C (With a           Band 2
                                                           Marginally higher or same
  Reasonable
                                             19
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  Preference Category)
  Group 2C (Without         Band 4
  Reasonable                                         Likely to be lower in queue
  Preference)
  Group 2 E (Without        Band 3
  community                                         Likely to be lower in the queue
  Connection)
  Group 2 E (With           Band 2
  Community                                                Same or Similar
  Connection)
  Group 2X*                 Band 2                         Same or Similar
  Group 3                   Band 5                         Same or Similar
  Suspended                 Band 6                            Same

  3.13 Assessing the impact of the scheme following implementation

  3.13.1     Assessing the impact of the Scheme is not therefore straightforward.
  For example, there is no way of knowing how many of our current waiting list
  applicants are economically active or take part in voluntary activity. As the new
  Banding System goes live and applicants start to provide this information a reality
  check will be undertaken and considered as part of ongoing evaluation of the
  Scheme going forward.

  3.14 Annual Lettings Plan

  3.14.1      In accordance with Housing legislation there is a need for the majority
  of lettings to go to the ‘Reasonable Preference’ categories as defined by Statute.
  This has had a significant influence on the plan; the table below represents the
  estimated percentage of Lets to each priority band

             Table 2- Estimated percentage of Lets to each priority band

    Band           Lettings Plan                           Criteria
                      Target
                                       Urgent need to move band due to Reasonable
   Band 1                 10%
                                       Preference PLUS additional Priority
                                       Want to move - Reasonable Preference plus
   Band 2                 20%          Community Contribution or is a working
                                       household
                                       Need to move – Reasonable Preference BUT no
   Band 3                 50%          Community Contribution or not a working
                                       household
                                       Want to move – No Reasonable Preference but
   Band 4                 15%          have a Community Contribution or working
                                       household award
                                       Want to move – No Reasonable Preference and
   Band 5                 4%           no community contribution or working household
                                       award
                                       Need to move – Reasonable Preference but with
   Band 6a
                          1%           reduced priority
   Band 6b                             No Reasonable Preference and reduced Priority
    Total                 100%

                                         20
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                          21
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     Section Four: Summary of Impact and Mitigation – All Equality
                               Groups

                Table 3 - Impact and Mitigation according to Race


                                           Race


  S4.1 Issue - The Bedroom Standard
The "Bedroom Standard" is used as an indicator of occupation density. A standard
number of bedrooms are allocated to each household in accordance with its
age/sex/marital status composition and the relationship of the members to one another.
The Standard can be found in the main Scheme.


          Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


The current Allocations Scheme provides for     All applicants will have their priority re-
a more generous definition of overcrowding.     assessed and approximately one third of
Some ethnic groups, including South Asian,      these will receive a more realistic Banding
Somali some other newer arrivals and            as a result. This is important as waiting
Gypsies and Irish Travellers tend to have       times are significant due to a shortage of
larger families and/or share a preference for   larger properties in the social rented
living in extended family households.           sector. The new policy recognises those
                                                with the most acute need, including as a
                                                result of statutory overcrowding in Band 1
                                                (the highest Band and can expect to
                                                receive 10% of lets). It will bring the
                                                authority in line with Government
                                                guidance, best practice and Housing
                                                Benefit overcrowding criteria issued by the
                                                Department for Work and Pensions. The
                                                current policy may not be targeting those
                                                in most need. The proposed policy brings
                                                social applicants and tenants more in line
                                                with those who own their own homes who
                                                often experience greater difficulties in
                                                relation to overcrowding due to being
                                                unable to move due to cost. In isolation
                                                the Allocations Scheme can not mitigate
                                                for the shortage of larger properties.


  S.4.2 Issue - Working Households
The Working Households policy will offer increased priority to a small number of
applicants who have a Reasonable Preference, are working and who are therefore
making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. Together with those applicants with a
Community Contribution award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they can
expect to receive 20% of lets.

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                                           Race


          Potential Adverse Impact                        Response/Mitigation


The lower levels of economic activity         The current policy is less able to promote
amongst some ethnic minority communities      equality for the majority of Manchester
are well documented. This is the case both    residents who work. This includes the
nationally and locally.                       majority of ethnic minority communities.
                                              The proposed policy is therefore fairer as
                                              it recognises the propensity for too few
                                              working households to be rehoused.

                                              There are wider strategic issues that need
                                              to be addressed in relation to rebalancing
                                              communities. For example, reducing
                                              inequality over the long term by
                                              encouraging employment. As a result the
                                              policy will have a positive impact on the
                                              majority of households across the City.
                                              The policy recognises those currently
                                              employed together with those who have
                                              recently been employed and therefore will
                                              not unduly penalise those affected by the
                                              recession.

                                              Residents who do not qualify under the
                                              Working Households award may receive
                                              similar additional preference under the
                                              community contribution policy.


   S4.3 Issue - Community Contribution
The Community Contribution priority scheme is a Manchester City Council policy which
gives a small number of applicants additional priority for a specific rehousing area and
those adjoining areas to it, in addition to any other reasonable preference they are
entitled to because of housing need. The policy is designed to promote voluntary activity
and good residency. Together with working households these applicants will be placed in
Band 2 where they can expect to receive 20% of lets. There are three criteria under
which a community contribution can be awarded:

  Criteria 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
  continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence history’
  test (see definition of community contribution in the main scheme) they may apply for
  the Community Contribution award for that area.

  Criteria 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area or employs local people there a
  Community Contribution award may be applied for.

  Criteria 3 – If you have a ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’ you may apply for
  a Community Contribution award. The rehousing area to which the award applies will
                                         23
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                                                   Race

     be decided jointly between the Council’s accredited provider and the awarding office.


               Potential Adverse Impact                              Response/Mitigation


   Voluntary Activity:                                     Voluntary Activity:
There is concern that insufficient voluntary            Community Contribution gives a similar
work and support exists in neighbourhoods               level of priority to Working Households
or City-wide to allow some ethnic minority              and so will help those who do not work
communities to engage in meaningful                     also gain priority. The latest MCC Place
participation with organisations they feel are          Survey2 suggests that people from BME
welcoming and inclusive, to be able to                  communities are more likely to be
effectively mitigate for this impact.                   involved in voluntary work than other
                                                        groups. Applicants can also benefit from a
                                                        community contribution award as a result
                                                        of criteria 1 (resident for 3 years or more
                                                        with a good residency history).


   Resident in area for 3 years                Resident in area for 3 years
Those fleeing hate crime and new arrivals Applicants accepted as Homeless due to
with recourse to public funds may be unable any form of hate crime are placed in Band
to pass this test.                          2, if they meet the community contribution
                                            or working household criteria. These
                                            applicants can expect to receive 20% of
                                            lets. Homeless applicants without the
                                            community      connection    or   working
                                            household award will be placed in Band 3
                                            where applicants can expect to receive
                                            50% of lets. Homeless applicants will
                                            therefore continue to be given a very high
                                            priority.

                                                        The three year rule already exists under
                                                        the current community connection policy
                                                        and is necessary to establish a reliable
                                                        history of good residency.



   S4.4 Issue - Choice Based Letting
The key features of a Choice Based Lettings Scheme are that available properties are
advertised and that applicants are expected to be active in bidding for properties, rather
than waiting upon allocation by an officer. It is proposed to extend the current Scheme to
the vast majority of future Allocations and Nominations.



2
    Manchester City Council Place Survey is available from the City Council Website.
                                                   24
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                                             Race


           Potential Adverse Impact                            Response/Mitigation


The choice based lettings system is primarily      A separate Equality Impact Assessment is
web (internet) based. This results in a            planned before this policy is rolled out
number of issues for those without easy            across the City. However, a telephone
access to the internet. There is also the          service is available and separate access
potential for choice based lettings to intensify   options for users who experience barriers
self-segregation     possibly     leading     to   are being developed. Consultation has
community cohesion issues.                         already begun with Supporting People
                                                   User Groups. Advisers and support
                                                   workers have also been trained on using
                                                   Manchester Move and this training will
                                                   now be extended to include organisations
                                                   supporting BME groups. Other access
                                                   points will be utilised. In doing so the
                                                   policy has considered the Race Relations
                                                   (Amendment) Act. A separate access
                                                   work stream has been established to
                                                   identify and introduce mitigating measures
                                                   to assist those, including White British and
                                                   BME communities for whom barriers to
                                                   accessing services exist. For example,
                                                   lack of access to computers, low level
                                                   literacy skills and language barriers.


   S4.5 Issue - Local Lettings Policies
In some parts of the City a Local Lettings Policy (LLP) may be introduced by a The Local
Authority and/or Registered Social Landlords in consultation with the Council to
rebalance the area. LLPs could be applied in any part of the City or in any
neighbourhood where there is a need for specific interventions, for example, in areas
characterised by significant unemployment, low aspirations, or where small businesses
and shops are failing. LLPs allow for the promotion of a neighbourhood to working
families. For an explanation of LLPs see the main Scheme


                                                               Response/Mitigation
           Potential Adverse Impact



Local Lettings Policies have the potential to      Ethnic minority communities often choose
significantly impact the housing options of        to live in close proximity. Reasons include,
disadvantaged groups. Registered Provider          being close to family and other cultural
partners have no legal requirement to              spaces, such as, religious and retail
conduct Equality Impact Assessments. It is         facilities. Local Lettings Policies will
therefore difficult to judge the impact of this    benefit those members of ethnic minority
policy                                             communities who are working and who
                                                   wish to exercise their choice to remain
                                              25
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                                             Race

                                                  within their communities. This also
                                                  supports the neighbourhood economy. As
                                                  ethnic minority communities are more
                                                  likely to live in deprived areas their current
                                                  choices are often restricted due to the
                                                  concentration of social rented housing in
                                                  deprived areas. The policy will therefore
                                                  also have a positive contribution to tenure
                                                  diversification         within       deprived
                                                  neighbourhoods.

                                                  Local Lettings Policies under the Council’s
                                                  scheme require the approval of a Chief
                                                  Officer within the Council and will need to
                                                  take into account Equality and Diversity.
                                                  We are recommending Registered Social
                                                  Landlords who wish to use their own Local
                                                  Lettings Policies also carry out an Equality
                                                  Impact Assessment both as part of the
                                                  business case to the Council and when
                                                  reviewing the policy annually.


   S4.6 Issue - Proposed Banding System
The New System for housing applicants is designed to be as transparent and fair as
possible. The Bands increase access to social housing to people contributing to their
communities either through positive residency, voluntary work or through the wider
economy. Applicants wanting to increase their opportunities for being re-housed are
therefore incentivised towards playing a more active role in their community.


           Potential Adverse Impact                            Response/Mitigation


It is difficult to assess the cumulative impact   When applying the new priority bands the
of the banding system. The potential impact       disparity between BME and White British
of losing priority combined with the impact of    is reduced and this suggests that the new
Local Lettings Policies cannot be fully           policy can achieve a more balanced
assessed prior to implementation.                 queue.

There is also the potential for prospects to
deteriorate post implementation of the            Despite initial analysis indicating that
scheme as a result of unexpectedly high           there are no areas of serious concern, this
numbers of applications from residents with       can    only     truly  be    tested   post
a working household award or community            implementation. Ongoing monitoring and
contribution award and for this to be             review of how the system works in
compounded by the choice based lettings           practice is a key recommendation.
system.


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                                            Race

   S4.7 Issue: Community cohesion and good race relations
There is a clear moral and legal obligation on the Council to ensure a balance is struck
between community cohesion and equality as neither can be achieved at the expense of
the other. The Council therefore needs to satisfy itself that the three strands of the
general duty to promote race equality can effectively be balanced with wider community
cohesion aims and objectives prior to implementation. The three strands of the general
duty are

      • The elimination of unlawful racial discrimination;
      • The promotion of equality of opportunity; and
      • The promotion of good race relations


          Potential Adverse Impact                           Response/Mitigation


Nationally there is widespread concern           The Allocations Scheme contains specific
about the allocation of scarce public            rules about eligibility. These rules are
resources across many ethnic groups,             enforced for all applicants. The Scheme is
particularly in relation to the allocation of    also fair as it applies to all households.
social housing. This is sometimes reflected      The Scheme incentivises voluntary work
in national and local debates. The Council is    and employment which can both help to
mindful of the potential dangers to              build     community         cohesion    in
community cohesion as a result of                neighbourhoods. It is also more
community perceptions of unfairness relating     transparent which in itself will help to
to the allocation of social housing in           communicate       its    fairness.   These
Manchester.                                      messages will form part of the
                                                 communication strategy and will be
                                                 shared with all communities.




                                            27
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                Table 4 - Impact and Mitigation according to Disability


                                         Disability


   S4.8 Issue - Proposed Banding System
The new System for housing applicants is designed to be as transparent and fair as
possible. The Bands increase access to social housing to people contributing to their
communities either through voluntary work or through the wider economy. Applicants
wanting to increase their opportunities for being re-housed are therefore incentivised
towards playing a more active role in their community.


          Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


No adverse impact has been identified.          According to test data 67% of applicants
However, the test data did not allow us to      with a disabled household member will
look at specific disabled groups and we         occupy Bands 1-3 compared with just 42%
have made provision to clarify the position     of applicants with no disabled household
when we carry out the reality check. This       member. This is an excellent outcome for
test will be carried out on applicants at the   disabled people.
point at which they re-register under the
new Allocations Scheme. We do not               Applicants with a disabled household
currently have information on disability by     member are often given the highest priority
impairment and chose not to make                with 26% of these applicants occupying
assumptions about particular disabilities at    Band 1 according to test data. This
this stage. Priority must be given to the       compares with 1% of applicants with no
needs of people with mental health              disabled household member. This is due to
problems, including relative position in the    differences in housing need.
queue and impact housing conditions can
have on health.                                 We do not currently have information on
                                                how many applicants undertake some form
                                                of voluntary activity to determine the
                                                approximate size of Band 2 with any
                                                certainty. This will be established during
                                                the reality check.

                                                The equality record keeping and
                                                monitoring (ERKM) framework will be
                                                designed in such a way as to be able to
                                                tease out impact on different impairments,
                                                in particular mental health.



  S4.9 Issue - Working Households
The Working Households policy will offer increased priority to a small number of
applicants who have a Reasonable Preference, are working and who are therefore
making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. Together with those applicants with a
Community Contribution award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they can
                                            28
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                                        Disability

expect to receive 20% of lets.


          Potential Adverse Impact                         Response/Mitigation


Applicants with a disabled household           The test data used to carry out the EIA
member are more likely to experience           includes all applicants with a disabled
economic inactivity as a result of their       household member. This does not mean
condition. This is particularly the case for   that no household member is able to work
those with serious mental health problems.     or engage in voluntary activity.

                                               As indicated above, a significant number of
                                               applicants with a disabled household
                                               member occupy Band 1 which is the
                                               highest Band. This is a reflection of their
                                               greater needs.

                                               Those in lower Bands may have fewer
                                               needs and may be more likely to be
                                               economically active or have the potential
                                               to become economically active.

                                               Applicants with a disabled household
                                               member can also benefit from Community
                                               Contribution under the good residency
                                               test. The reality check and access work
                                               stream will consider these issues in more
                                               detail so that help can be targeted at those
                                               disabled applicants who need it most. This
                                               will be supported by ongoing monitoring,
                                               again paying particular attention to the
                                               needs of people with mental health
                                               problems.


   S4.10 Issue – Community Contribution:
The Community Contribution priority scheme is a Manchester City Council policy which
gives a small number of applicants additional priority for a specific rehousing area and
those adjoining areas to it, in addition to any other reasonable preference they are
entitled to because of housing need. The policy is designed to promote voluntary activity
and good residency. Together with working households these applicants will be placed
in Band 2 where they can expect to receive 20% of lets. There are three criteria under
which a community contribution can be awarded:

  Criteria 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
  continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence history’
  test (see definition of Community Contribution in the main scheme) they may apply
  for the Community Contribution award for that area.

                                           29
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                                         Disability


  Criteria 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area or employs local people there a
  Community Contribution award may be applied for.

  Criteria 3 – If you have a ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’ you may apply for
  a Community Contribution award. The rehousing area to which the award applies will
  be decided jointly between the Council’s accredited provider and the awarding office.

                                                            Response/Mitigation
          Potential Adverse Impact

   Voluntary activity                              Voluntary activity
Applicants with a disabled household            The complexity and breadth of the needs
member may be less likely to be able to         of disabled people can not easily be tested
access voluntary activities. Often this may     in an impact assessment. This is partly
be as a result of similar barriers to           due to the fact that each individual will
accessing work opportunities. The policy        have varying degrees of ability and
could therefore fail to mitigate for the        disability which present unique barriers.
issues related to the working household         Understanding this complexity is a priority
award described above.                          for further work to assess the actual impact
                                                of the policy going forward. However, it is
                                                important to recognise that many disabled
                                                people are active in their communities
                                                regardless     of     employment      status,
                                                perceived and actual barriers and will likely
                                                benefit from a community contribution
                                                award as a result of criteria 1 (resident for
                                                3 years or more with a good residency
                                                history).

Resident in area for 3 years                       Resident in area for 3 years
Those fleeing hate crimes may be unable         Applicants accepted as Homeless due to
to pass this test. Disabled people              any form of hate crime are placed in Band
experience high levels of hate crime and        2, if they meet the community contribution
harassment. The chances of being involved       or working household criteria. These
in ASB as victim and perpetrator is             applicants can expect to receive 20% of
significantly increased if an applicant has     lets. Homeless applicants without the
mental health issues or learning difficulties   community      connection     or  working
potentially impacting on their ability to be    household award will be placed in Band 3
awarded a community contribution both in        where applicants can expect to receive
terms of good residency and the 3 year rule     50% of lets. Homeless applicants will
due to moving frequently.                       therefore continue to be given a very high
                                                priority

                                                It is important not to assume residents with
                                                a disability will cause ASB. A range of
                                                enhanced care and support packages are
                                                available for disadvantaged groups,
                                                including those suspected of ASB. Details
                                            30
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                                          Disability

                                                 can be obtained from the Anti Social
                                                 Behaviour Action Team The Council also
                                                 has a duty to consider the wider
                                                 neighbourhood and other residents.

                                                 However, in recognition of the link between
                                                 mental health issues and ASB, a multi-
                                                 agency protocol has been developed to
                                                 address these issues – this is currently in
                                                 draft.


   S4.11 Issue - Local Lettings Policies
In some parts of the City a Local Lettings Policy (LLP) may be introduced by a The
Local Authority and/or Registered Social Landlords in consultation with the Council to
rebalance the area. LLPs could be applied in any part of the City or in any
neighbourhood where there is a need for specific interventions, for example, in areas
characterised by significant unemployment, low aspirations, or where small businesses
and shops are failing. LLPs allow for the promotion of a neighbourhood to working
families. For an explanation of LLPs see the main Scheme


          Potential Adverse Impact                           Response/Mitigation


Local Lettings Policies have the potential to    Local Lettings Policies under the Council’s
significantly impact the housing options of      scheme require the approval of a Chief
disadvantaged groups. Registered Provider        Officer within the Council and need to take
partners have no legal requirement to            into account equality and diversity. We are
conduct Equality Impact Assessments. It is       recommending Registered Providers who
therefore difficult to judge the impact of the   wish to use their own Local Lettings
policy                                           Policies also carry out an Equality Impact
                                                 Assessment. LLPs could be used to
                                                 ensure disabled applicants or those with a
                                                 disabled household member are able to
                                                 remain close to family and other support
                                                 networks.


   S4.12 Issue - Choice Based Letting:
The key features of a Choice Based Lettings Scheme are that available properties are
advertised and that applicants are expected to be active in bidding for properties, rather
than waiting upon allocations by an officer. It is proposed to extend the current Scheme
to the vast majority of future Allocations and Nominations.


           Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


The Choice based lettings scheme is A separate Equality Impact Assessment is

                                             31
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                                       Disability

internet based. Applicants who are planned before this policy is rolled out
disabled and/or without internet access are across the City. However, a telephone
disadvantaged.                              service is available and separate access
                                            options for disabled users are in place and
                                            are being improved. Consultation has
                                            already begun with Supporting People
                                            User Groups. Advisers/support workers
                                            have been trained on using Manchester
                                            Move. Other access points will be utilised.
                                            In doing so the policy has considered the
                                            Disability Discrimination Act. A separate
                                            access workstream has been established
                                            to identify and introduce mitigating
                                            measures to assist those, including
                                            disabled people for whom barriers to
                                            accessing services exist.


  S4.13 Issue: Bedroom Standard
The "Bedroom Standard" is used as an indicator of occupation density. A standard
number of bedrooms are allocated to each household in accordance with its
age/sex/marital status composition and the relationship of the members to one another.
The Standard can be found in the main Scheme


          Potential Adverse Impact                       Response/Mitigation


There is concern that the Bedroom            The bedroom standard will simply bring the
Standard may have a negative impact on       authority in line with other legislation and
applicants with a disabled household         guidance. This will ensure the Council will
member who may need to have their own        be better able to help those in most need.
bedroom    and     fails   to    recognise   The current system is less able to do this.
overcrowding as a result of the need for a   The current approach also gives people
carer                                        unrealistic expectations and means that
                                             they simply sit on the waiting list for years
                                             with very little prospect of being rehoused.
                                             Housing advice will be tailored to better
                                             meeting these needs by introducing a
                                             holistic approach which will include private
                                             sector options. Where a household
                                             member is disabled they will still be
                                             assessed by the Manchester Equipment
                                             and Adaptations Partnership prior to
                                             joining the waiting list.




                                          32
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 Table 5 - Impact and Mitigation according to Age: Children and Young People


                           Age: Children and Young People


   S4.14 Issue - Child at Height
We are proposing to relax this policy to allow families who choose, to bid for properties
above ground floor. However, families with children will not be penalised should they
refuse.


         Potential Adverse Impact                        Response/Mitigation


There are concerns that children will be    Families will be able to express a choice
disadvantaged by living at height.          when bidding for properties; this will include
                                            accommodation above the first floor.
                                            Families will not be penalised for refusing
                                            this kind of accommodation. The decision
                                            will also allow families to be closer to each
                                            other providing support for parents and
                                            carers.


   S4.15 Issue - Loss of Primary School Award
The current policy has provision for assisting young children to continue to live close to
their primary school receive a stable education by applying for a Community
Connection which affords the applicant greater priority. In the revised Allocations
Scheme this award appears to have been removed.

                                                         Response/Mitigation
         Potential Adverse Impact

There is concern that the proposed loss     The current Community Connection award is
of increased priority for families with     not very effective and can be used to
children in Primary School from the         manipulate the rehousing system in order to
current Allocations Scheme under            achieve moves. This means that people may
Community Connection will impact            use the award to access moves they want
adversely on the education of children in   but they do not actually need.
primary school.
                                            In order to recognise the contribution made
                                            by residents Community Connection will still
                                            exist but will be taking on a revised form, as
                                            Community Contribution. It will be these
                                            awards and a household’s employment
                                            status which differentiates between the
                                            priority of applicants within the reasonable
                                            preference and non-reasonable preference
                                            categories.

                                            One of the original drivers for the primary
                                            school award to be included in community
                                            33
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                          Age: Children and Young People

                                         contribution was to mitigate homelessness
                                         policy within the current Allocations Scheme
                                         that limited a homeless households choice of
                                         housing and required them to take the next
                                         available offer wherever that might be in the
                                         City after one months waiting time. This at
                                         times resulted in disruption to children’s
                                         education. The new policy has addressed
                                         this issue by extending the period of choice
                                         to 6 months (to be reviewed annually) and
                                         homelessness prevention work has widened
                                         housing opportunity still further through an
                                         improved private sector housing offer for
                                         homeless families.

                                         The proposed policy widens the areas of
                                         choice from a specific rehousing area to a
                                         cluster of areas therefore is more generous.

                                         There will be circumstances when it is
                                         essential that the Allocations Scheme can
                                         support a family with vulnerable children to
                                         move in order to contribute to a child
                                         protection plan.


                                         Additionally there will be no penalty for
                                         families with reasonable preference for
                                         refusing offers outside of the cluster area,
                                         where the primary school is located.



   S4.16 Issue - Local Lettings Policies
In some parts of the City a Local Lettings Policy (LLP) may be introduced by a The
Local Authority and/or Registered Social Landlords in consultation with the Council to
rebalance the area. LLPs could be applied in any part of the City or in any
neighbourhood where there is a need for specific interventions, for example, in areas
characterised by significant unemployment, low aspirations, or where small businesses
and shops are failing. LLPs allow for the promotion of a neighbourhood to working
families. For an explanation of LLPs see main Scheme

                                                      Response/Mitigation
        Potential Adverse Impact

Age restrictions on some blocks as a All Local Lettings Policies that restrict access
result of Local Lettings Policies could to certain age groups will need to be agreed
unfairly disadvantage younger people.   in consultation with community members
                                        and clearly defined. It will be recommended
                                        that for new Local Lettings Policies an
                                         34
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                           Age: Children and Young People

                                             annual review should be made more explicit
                                             than is currently the case and there should
                                             be a need to consider the totality of housing
                                             need in an area before its application or
                                             removal. Measures to consult directly with
                                             those affected by the policy will also be
                                             made more explicit. This will include those
                                             for whom access would be restricted or
                                             denied.


  S4.17 Issue - Working Households
The Working Households policy will offer increased priority to a small number of
applicants who have a Reasonable Preference, are working and who are therefore
making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. Together with those applicants with a
Community Contribution award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they
can expect to receive 20% of lets.


         Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


16 to 19 year olds have significantly        Many of these young people will live at home
lower economic activity rates than most      with parents or other family and may be in
other age groups. Just 39.6% of this         post-compulsory education. The Young
cohort is economically active.               People     Support   Foundation     provides
                                             specialist support to young people in
It is slightly more difficult for young      housing need. Under the Community
people entering the workforce on a           Contribution policy a young person can be
temporary contract to achieve this award     referred to the Foundation to take part in a
as they are less likely to have worked for   ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’.
9 months.                                    This affords young people similar priority as
                                             a Working Households award.

                                             We accept it will still be slightly more difficult
                                             for young people entering the workforce on a
                                             temporary contract to achieve this award as
                                             they are less likely to have worked for 9
                                             months however, do not consider this to
                                             amount to a disproportionate impact.


   S4.18 Issue: Community Contribution
The Community Contribution priority scheme is a Manchester City Council policy which
gives a small number of applicants additional priority for a specific rehousing area and
those adjoining areas to it, in addition to any other reasonable preference they are
entitled to because of housing need. The policy is designed to promote voluntary
activity and good residency. Together with those with a Working Households award
these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they can expect to receive 20% of lets.
There are three criteria under which a community contribution can be awarded:
                                             35
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                            Age: Children and Young People


  Criteria 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
  continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence history’
  test (see definition of community contribution in the main scheme) they may apply for
  the Community Contribution award for that area.

  Criteria 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area or employs local people there a
  Community Contribution award may be applied for.

  Criteria 3 – If you have a ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’ you may apply for
  a Community Contribution award. The rehousing area to which the award applies will
  be decided jointly between the Council’s accredited provider and the awarding office.



         Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


Disadvantaged young people may find it        Disadvantaged young people are more likely
difficult to meet any of the criteria for a   to be supported by the Housing Support
community contribution award as they          Service or similar support organisations.
will be more likely to be economically        Disadvantaged young people can also
inactive, less likely to have accumulated     access the Pre Tenancy Qualification via the
3 years residency or be able to               Young     People’s     Support  Foundation
demonstrate positive residency and less       (formally City Centre Project).
likely to undertake voluntary work.




                                              36
Manchester City Council                                              Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                10 March 2010

           Table 6 - Impact and Mitigation according to Age: Older People


                                  Age: Older People


   S4.19 Issue - Working Households:
The Working Households policy will offer increased priority to a small number of
applicants who have a Reasonable Preference, are working and who are therefore
making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. Together with those applicants with
a Community Contribution award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they
can expect to receive 20% of lets.



        Potential Adverse Impact                       Response/Mitigation


Some older people are less likely to       Many older people are now working
satisfy the Working Households criteria.   beyond traditional retirement age. This is
Economic participation rates vary          also mitigated by the community
amongst older people falling off           contribution award, particularly through
significantly post 50.                     positive residency test. For example, older
                                           people are more likely to have lived in the
                                           City for 3 years. For those who choose,
                                           age restricted accommodation is also
                                           available widening the choices available to
                                           some older people. The impact of the
                                           policy will also be monitored carefully.
                                           Importantly monitoring will be able to tease
                                           out specific issues for different segments
                                           of the older population. For example, those
                                           over 85 and single men. Finally, there are
                                           a range of enhanced care and support
                                           packages available via Supporting People.


   S4.20 Issue – Community Contribution:
The Community Contribution priority in the scheme is a Manchester City Council
policy which gives a small number of applicants additional priority for a specific
rehousing area and those adjoining areas to it, in addition to any other reasonable
preference they are entitled to because of housing need. The policy is designed to
promote voluntary activity and good residency. Together with those with a Working
Households award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they can expect to
receive 20% of lets. There are three criteria under which a community contribution
can be awarded:

  Criteria 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
  continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence
  history’ test (see definition of community contribution in the main scheme) they
  may apply for the Community Contribution award for that area.

  Criteria 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area or employs local people there a
                                           37
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                                  Age: Older People

  Community Contribution award may be applied for.

  Criteria 3 – If you have a ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’ you may apply
  for a Community Contribution award. The rehousing area to which the award
  applies will be decided jointly between the Council’s accredited provider and the
  awarding office.


         Potential Adverse Impact                      Response/Mitigation


Many older people are isolated             A community contribution award will be
introducing a danger that community        available to all residents who meet criteria
contribution awards become increasingly    one (residency). It is not necessary to
difficult to achieve.                      either work or volunteer to meet this
                                           criteria. We anticipate the vast majority of
                                           older people will meet criteria one. This
                                           was explicitly designed with these factors
                                           in mind. We will also work with Age
                                           Concern and Age UK to better understand
                                           the potential impact of the policy on
                                           different groups of older people. This will
                                           be supported by detailed monitoring.


   S4.21 Issue - Child at Height:
We are proposing to relax this policy to allow families who choose to, to bid for
properties above ground floor. However, families with children will not be penalised
should they refuse

                                                       Response/Mitigation
         Potential Adverse Impact


During earlier consultations about this    We are not expecting large numbers of
policy there were some concerns            people to select this option beyond Walk
specifically from older people regarding   Ups. Age-related Local Lettings Policies
the potential for increased anti social    can also be used to mitigate against this.
behaviour and reduced community            There are well established mechanisms for
cohesion if children are housed in high    dealing with anti social behaviour operating
rise accommodation.                        across the City. Specific (fears of young
                                           people's) crimes/Anti-Social Behaviour
                                           may be counteracted by more inter-
                                           generational contacts.


   S4.22 Issue - Choice Based Letting:
The key features of a Choice Based Lettings Scheme are that available properties are
advertised and that applicants are expected to be active in bidding for properties,
rather than waiting upon allocation by an officer. It is proposed to extend the current
Scheme to the vast majority of future Allocations and Nominations.
                                           38
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Executive                                                                    10 March 2010



                                   Age: Older People



          Potential Adverse Impact                         Response/Mitigation


The choice based lettings scheme is             A separate Equality Impact Assessment
primarily internet based. Applicants who        is planned before this policy is rolled out
are    without    internet    access      are   across the City. However, a telephone
disadvantaged. This is particularly pertinent   service is available and separate access
to older people as large numbers still don't    options for disabled users are being
have access to the internet and may need        developed. Consultation has already
extra support to use web-based systems.         begun with Supporting People User
                                                Groups. Advisers/support workers have
                                                been trained on using Manchester
                                                Move. Other access points will be
                                                utilised.

   S4.23 Issue – Cross Cutting Issues
As with all equality groups at times there are cross-cutting issues that may affect
individuals. These are difficult to tease out with any certainty as each individual is
unique. In general, the nature of adverse impact is such that it cannot always be
sensibly compartmentalised into discrete categories.


         Potential Adverse Impact                         Response/Mitigation


Older people are not a homogenous           It is not possible to test for every
group. Some are fit, healthy and active     eventuality in an impact assessment of a
whilst others will have complex needs at    strategic nature. We will work with Age
times associated with the ageing            Concern and Age UK to better understand
process. Often these needs are cross-       the potential impact of the policy on
cutting. For example, incapacity due to     different groups of older people. This will
frailty. There is a danger that an impact   be supported by detailed monitoring,
assessment that does not reflect this       including of cross cutting issues, such as
diversity will be fundamentally flawed.     the impact of frailty. The current Equality
                                            Bill is due to become law by Spring. It
                                            proposes to create a new public duty
                                            covering all strands, including age. This
                                            duty is to come into force in 2012.
                                            Preparation for this will include a review of
                                            all policies.




                                            39
Manchester City Council                                              Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                10 March 2010



                   Table 7 - Impact and Mitigation according to Gender


                                         Gender


   S4.24 Issue - Working Households:
The Working Households policy will offer increased priority to a small number of
applicants who have a Reasonable Preference, are working and who are therefore
making a contribution to Manchester’s economy. Together with those applicants with
a Community Contribution award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they
can expect to receive 20% of lets.

                                                      Response/Mitigation
        Potential Adverse Impact


Gender is an issue in relation to        In practise, comparing the gender of single
economic status with women being         person households there is very little
adversely impacted. Monitoring data      difference in terms of whether the applicant
suggests that women experience lower     will move up or down the priority queue.
levels of economic activity than men     Slightly more female applicants than male
across all age groups. There are         applicants will find they are in a better
clearly a number of reasons for this     position.
including parenthood.
                                         The test data used for this analysis included
Evidence suggests that women are         single parent families. However, the reality
disproportionately represented in low    check will be able to determine whether
skilled occupations which tend to have   single headed households with children fare
less job security and they experience    better or worse than those without.
more       frequent     periods     of
unemployment.                           Residents who do not qualify under the
                                        Working Households policy may receive
Single parents with pre school children similar additional preference under the
may be particularly affected by this community contribution policy.
policy.

   S4.25 Issue - Community Contribution
The Community Contribution priority scheme is a Manchester City Council policy
which gives a small number of applicants additional priority for a specific rehousing
area and those adjoining areas to it, in addition to any other reasonable preference
they are entitled to because of housing need. The policy is designed to promote
voluntary activity and good residency. Together with those with an Working
Households award these applicants will be placed in Band 2 where they can expect to
receive 20% of lets. There are three criteria under which a community contribution
can be awarded:

  Criteria 1 - If an applicant, over the age of 18 has lived in an area for three years
  continuously, now or in the past and can pass our ‘current positive residence
  history’ test (see definition of community contribution in the main scheme) they
  may apply for the Community Contribution award for that area.

  Criteria 2 – If an applicant volunteers in an area or employs local people there a
                                           40
Manchester City Council                                                  Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                    10 March 2010



                                             Gender

  Community Contribution award may be applied for.

  Criteria 3 – If you have a ‘Young person pre-tenancy qualification’ you may apply
  for a Community Contribution award. The rehousing area to which the award
  applies will be decided jointly between the Council’s accredited provider and the
  awarding office.


        Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


Women fleeing domestic violence may   We have applied discretion to allow for
                                      exceptional circumstances in the community
find it difficult to meet this requirement
particularly if they have children andcontribution criteria to capture particular
can not undertake voluntary work.     issues, such as these where women have to
                                      leave their home or enter a refuge or other
Concern has been raised that single accredited temporary accommodation.
(predominantly female) parents with
young children who are unable to work Incentivising work and making other
or volunteer because of childcare     community contributions is an explicit aim of
                                      the policy. We anticipate that many families
                                      will have some form of support, including
                                      parents and other family members.

                                             Being a single parent should not necessarily
                                             prevent many people from carrying out 10
                                             hours of voluntary work per month. The 10
                                             hour rule was explicitly designed with these
                                             factors in mind.

                                             A community contribution award will be
                                             available to all residents who meet criteria
                                             one (residency). It is not necessary to either
                                             work or volunteer to meet this criterion.


   S4.26 Issue: Specific Issues for trans people
Taking account of the particular needs trans people have when accessing goods,
facilities or services in situations where being trans makes them vulnerable because
of personal safety issues or risks of harassment.


        Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation



Trangendered        people     may      be   Applicants accepted as Homeless due to
particularly at risk of housing crisis and   any form of hate crime are placed in Band 2,
homelessness arising from transphobic        if they meet the community contribution or
reactions and harassment by family,          working household award criteria these
                                               41
Manchester City Council                                                  Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                    10 March 2010



                                             Gender

neighbours and members of their local        applicants can expect to receive 20% of lets.
community. This may make it difficult to     Homeless applicants without the community
obtain or maintain work, undertake           connection or working household award will
formal voluntary work or live in an area     be place in Band 3 where applicants can
for 3 continuous years.                      expect to receive 50% of lets. Homeless
                                             applicants will therefore continue to be given
                                             a very high priority.

                                             Trans     issues   are    also   considered
                                             strategically with Homelessness services
                                             and colleagues from the Organisational
                                             Improvement and Service Inclusion Team.
                                             This has led to a number of specific projects
                                             and consultation events. As a result
                                             bespoke guidance for the trans community
                                             will be produced detailing where to get help
                                             and support.


   S4.27 Issue - Local Lettings Policies
In some parts of the City a Local Lettings Policy (LLP) may be introduced by a
Registered Provider in consultation with the Council to rebalance the area. LLPs
could be applied where the neighbourhood needs specific interventions, for example,
in areas characterised by significant unemployment, low aspirations, or where small
businesses and shops are failing. LLPs allow for the promotion of a neighbourhood to
working families. For an explanation of LLPs see the main Scheme


        Potential Adverse Impact                          Response/Mitigation


Local Lettings Policies have the             Local Lettings Policies under the Council’s
potential to significantly impact the        scheme require the approval of a Chief
housing options of the economically          Officer within the Council and need to take
inactive. Registered Provider partners       into account Equality and Diversity. . We
have no legal requirement to conduct         are recommending Registered Social
Equality Impact Assessments. It is           Landlords who wish to use their own Local
therefore difficult to judge the impact of   Lettings Policies also carry out an Equality
the policy                                   Impact Assessment.




                                               42
Manchester City Council                                               Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                 10 March 2010

         Table 8 - Impact and Mitigation according to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual


                               Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual


  S4.28      The EIA and subsequent consultation did not identify any specific issues
  in relation to the LGB community. This may be as a result of a lack of monitoring
  data in relation to the specific housing needs of the LGB community. The section
  below on equality record keeping and monitoring (ERKM) explicitly recognises this
  and the need for additional work around this issue.

                                                       Response/Mitigation
        Potential Adverse Impact


Manchester City Council policy does        Equality record keeping and monitoring
not currently recommend systematic         (EKRM) of LGB housing issues and access
monitoring of sexuality, and this is not   will be taken forward during implementation.
currently recorded on the CORE logs,       There is a need to understand the impact
therefore no quantitative data is          of the Allocations Scheme on the LGB
available relating to sexuality both in    communities and this will be monitored by
relation to registrations for social       other methods including focus groups,
housing and at the point of offer. This    surveys, pilot projects and user feedback.
presents challenges to understanding       Consideration will also be given to the
the impact of current and future           benefits of establishing formal monitoring
Policies    in     relation   to   LGB     arrangements with our partners to aid
communities. The lack of data for LGB      future reviews and as a statement of
communities may lead to adverse            public policy and support.
impact that is not addressed.



           Table 9 - Impact and Mitigation according to Religion and Belief


                                  Religion and Belief


  S4.29      The EIA and subsequent consultation did not identify any specific issues
  in relation to Religion and Belief. This may be as a result of a lack of monitoring
  data in relation to the specific housing needs of different religious groups. The
  section below on equality record keeping and monitoring (ERKM) explicitly
  recognises this and the need for additional work around this issue.

                                                       Response/Mitigation
        Potential Adverse Impact


Religion is not currently monitored for    This is in part mitigated by analysis of
Rehousing applicants and little is         ethnicity data and as a result of a
known about the impacts of our             preference for private sector solutions; the
policies on different religious groups.    Council does not believe that this lack of
For example, Sikh, Hindu and some          data     will  undermine      the    impact
                                             43
Manchester City Council                                      Appendix 2 - Item 16
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                              Religion and Belief

Muslim religious groups are likely to assessment. ERKM of the housing and
be underrepresented in relation to access issues of specific religious groups
monitoring     data     and    this   is will be considered
compounded       by the        generally
preferred option for the South Asian
communities continuing to be owner-
occupation or the private rented
sector. Additionally, national CORE
lettings data does not currently record
Religion or Belief. The lack of ERKM
data for specific religious groups may
lead to adverse impact that is not
addressed.




                                      44
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Executive                                                              10 March 2010


                          Section Five: Appendix1
              Equality Record Keeping And Monitoring (ERKM)
  5.1 ERKM Overview

  5.1.1       A key part of carrying out an equality impact assessment is the analysis
  of existing data. This is necessary to:

             • inform the analysis, including identifying potential adverse impact;
             • identify gaps in knowledge;
             • help target consultation, particularly where there are gaps in data
                collection.

  5.1.2     There are also important legal and regulatory reasons why ERKM is
  necessary, including the specific duties that form part of equalities legislation and
  meeting the expectations of the Audit Commission.

  5.1.3      A key part of monitoring is the need to understand the actual impact of
  the Allocations Scheme following implementation. This will allow the authority to
  monitor whether the Scheme is achieving its stated aims and objectives. Where
  necessary existing data sets will be supplemented with new monitoring information
  during implementation to enable the Council to monitor the actual impact of the
  Scheme going forward and to test any assumptions reached as part of the impact
  assessment process.

  5.1.4      The following section therefore presents the current position within the
  Council and identifies areas for improvement going forward. Where improvements
  relate to more than one equality group this is also indicated.

  5.2 Race

  5.2.1       Race is currently recorded in several areas. However, there is a need to
  continually assess the impact of all relevant services on equality groups and to
  address disparities in access, experiences and outcomes. There is also a need to
  periodically review the scope of monitoring to ensure new areas of service delivery
  are captured. The following areas for improvement will be taken forward:

            • There has been insufficient attention paid to encouraging on-line
  applicants to register their ethnicity. Around one quarter of rehousing applications
  do not have any ethnicity data. This relates both to direct applicants to the Council
  and its partners.

            • Although a relatively small group, ethnic monitoring data relating to
  Gypsies and Irish Travellers is incomplete. There are a number of reasons for this,
  including an unwillingness to self-identify for fear of discrimination and actual or
  perceived lack of appropriate services that might help to encourage improvements
  in the rate of self-identification. The vast majority of Travellers in Manchester are
  thought to be Irish Travellers living in bricks and mortar housing and although
  there is a need to increase awareness and understanding. This is being taken
  forward via the emerging Gypsy and Traveller accommodation strategy.
                                           45
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            • Other groups for whom there is very little data are South Asian
    communities; however, this is largely due to a preference for owner-occupation
    and the private rented sector rather than social rented housing3 meaning their
    numbers on the Common Housing Register are relatively small.

    5.2.2      We recognise that an assessment of impact combines both quantitative
    and qualitative analysis. However, we are confident that as indicated, the relatively
    small number of applicants these factors relate to do not significantly undermine
    the impact assessment.

    5.3 Disability

    5.3.1       The Council has a strong evidence base of need in relation to physical
    disability. Indeed, applicants requiring equipment and adaptations are
    automatically referred to the Manchester Equipment and Adaptations Service.

    5.3.2      This is supplemented by an equally strong evidence base developed by
    the Supporting People (SP) team in relation to non-physical barriers.
    Notwithstanding this, targeted consultation has taken place with SP User Groups
    and this will be supplemented by further consultation specifically about this
    equality impact assessment

    5.4 Gender and Transgender

    5.4.1       The rehousing system currently records the gender of each member of
    the household, and the remaining members where a household would wish to
    divulge this information. Data to support the assessment of impact on different
    gender groups is therefore robust and comprehensive.

    5.4.2      The system does not currently have provision for monitoring
    transgender applicants although this would be relatively easy to implement should
    consultation identify this as an issue. The CORE Lettings log similarly does not
    have provision for recording gender other than Male or Female. However, the
    number of households affected will not undermine the results of the equality
    impact assessment. Consultation has already taken place with the transgender
    community and a number of initiatives are underway or are planned to meet the
    specific needs of this community.

    5.5 Age

    5.5.1      Similar to gender above, the age of all members of the household are
    routinely recorded on the database and the impact of policy change can be
    measured for different age groups.


    5.6 Religion and Belief


3
  Black and Minority Ethnic Housing Needs and Demands Survey, Manchester Salford Partnership
(2007).
                                              46
Manchester City Council                                              Appendix 2 - Item 16
Executive                                                                10 March 2010


  Religion is not currently monitored for Rehousing applicants and little is known
  about the impacts of our policies on different religious groups. For example, Sikh,
  Hindu and some Muslim religious groups are likely to be underrepresented in
  relation to monitoring data and this is compounded by the generally preferred
  option for the South Asian communities continuing to be owner-occupation or the
  private rented sector. Additionally, national CORE lettings data does not currently
  record Religion or Belief. This is in part mitigated by analysis of ethnicity data and
  as a result of a preference for private sector solutions; the Council does not
  believe that this lack of data will undermine the impact assessment.

  5.7 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual

  5.7.1      Manchester City Council policy does not currently recommend
  systematic monitoring of sexuality, and this is not currently recorded on the CORE
  logs, therefore no quantitative data is available relating to sexuality both in relation
  to registrations for social housing and at the point of offer. This presents
  challenges to understanding the impact of current and future Allocations Scheme
  on the LGB communities.

  5.7.2       There is a need to understand the impact of the Allocations Scheme on
  the LGB communities and this will be monitored by other methods including focus
  groups, surveys, pilot projects and user feedback. Consideration will also be given
  to the benefits of establishing formal monitoring arrangements with our partners to
  aid future reviews and as a statement of public policy and support.

  5.8 Recommendations

  5.8.1       Monitoring of the Allocations Scheme will need to be set up and work
  undertaken to address any issues that have been identified in this section and via
  consultation. This monitoring is key to be able to demonstrate the actual impact of
  the Allocations Scheme once in operation.




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