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Housing Allocation Scheme Summary

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					Housing Allocation Scheme Summary
January 2008
This is a summary of the London Borough of Ealing’s Housing Allocation Scheme, which
we provide free of charge. If you would like a copy of the full Housing Allocation Scheme
(hard copy or electronic) please contact:

The Head of Housing Choice and Resettlement
London Borough of Ealing
4th Floor Perceval House
Uxbridge Road
Ealing
London
W5 2HL

E-mail: swifti@ealing.gov.uk

Housing policy, including the allocation and assessment policies in this document, are
made and amended by the Cabinet Members for the London Borough of Ealing.

Choice based lettings

From April 2008, with very few exceptions all Council owned and Housing Association
properties to which the council has nomination rights will be advertised to eligible
applicants on the London Borough of Ealing’s housing register who will bid for those they
are interested in. The London Borough of Ealing may in certain circumstances make
direct offers to applicants and we may discharge a housing duty owed to a homeless
applicant through making one direct offer of suitable accommodation. We may also in
exceptional circumstances decide not to offer a tenancy to the highest bidder where it
would not be in the interest of the applicant, another party, or the good management of
housing stock.

Priority Groups and Bands

The scheme has two bands, containing priority groups. This can be seen in the table
below. The purpose of the bands and priority groups is to give reasonable preference to
certain groups as required by law and to assist certain other groups of applicants.

For descriptions of the individual priority groups see the relevant sections in the full
Allocation Scheme.

The priority groups will be put into two bands. The groups to whom we give greatest
preference will be in band A. Applicants in priority groups will be given priority in
accordance with a composite assessment of their respective needs to ensure where
possible that those we consider to have the most housing need will get reasonable
preference. See table below.




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Distribution of properties between priority groups

An annual report to the Cabinet of the London Borough of Ealing reviews the supply and
allocation of the Council’s housing stock and the housing association stock to which the
Council has nomination rights. Projections are made to show how the expected supply of
housing for the year ahead is intended to be distributed between the priority re-housing
groups.

The outcome of the bidding will be monitored during the year and if some groups are not
getting the expected proportion of properties, any imbalance will be addressed by, for
example, advertising certain properties exclusively to certain priority groups.

BAND PRIORITY GROUPS

   Band A (highest priority)

      Cash Incentive Scheme (Under Occupiers)
      People for whom the London Borough of Ealing has accepted a statutory duty to
       re-house as homeless and member of the household awarded extra medical or
       welfare priority or the lease on their temporary Private Sector Leased property is
       coming to an end.
      Any additional member of the household awarded extra medical or social welfare
       priority/hardship
      Management Golden Transfers from a reasonable preference groups
      Emergency Transfer
      People occupying unsanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in
       unsatisfactory housing conditions (usually limited to statutorily overcrowded
       households.)
      Decants/major works. Where the scheduled date of commencement of the works
       is less than 12 months away
      People who need to move on severe medical or welfare grounds (called
       Category A medical priority)


   Band B (Second Priority Band)

      Homeless households within the meaning of Part VII of the 1996 Housing Act
      Homeless households owed a duty under section 190(2), 193(2) or 195(2)
       Housing Act 1996 (or section 65(2) or 68(2) of the 1985 Housing Act) or who are
       occupying accommodation secured under s193(3).
      Overcrowded households or those occupying insanitary housing or otherwise
       living in unsatisfactory housing conditions, where they do not fall within band A
      Households who need to move on moderate medical or welfare grounds
       (including grounds relating to disability, where they do not fall within band A)
      Households 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 to others)
      Mobility Schemes.
      Foster Carers Quota and other approved Quota cases


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Band A and Band B Customers

Once bids have been submitted by customers and where applicants have equal priority
band status, the customer with multiple health awards will take priority except where
they are cash incentive applicants (under-occupier) or Golden Transfer customers in
which case the applicant giving up the larger property will be offered the tenancy.

If applicants are still equal, the customer in the priority group lacking the most bedrooms
will be offered the property. If applicants are still equal, the applicant with the earlier date
in that priority band will be offered the tenancy. If applicants are still equal, the applicant
with the earlier date of registration will be offered the property.

In the event of a dispute, the Council has the ultimate discretion to decide to whom an
offer should be made.


Band C

Customers in this priority needs band would have no priority status and not fall with the
reasonable preference groups.




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All applicants eligible to participate in Choice Based Lettings will be assessed to see
what type of property matches their mobility and access requirements.

All applicants and all properties will be given a Mobility Category.

Applicant Mobility Category

        Category 1 Applicants who are wheelchair bound;

        Category 2 Applicants who need a home, which is wheelchair accessible but may
        not need to use it inside the home;

        Category 3 Applicants with severe mobility problems who require a ground floor
        or lifted property with level access and no internal stairs

        Category 4 All other applicants

Property Mobility Category

        Category 1 Property is fully adapted for a wheelchair user;

        Category 2 Property is suitable for a person who needs a wheelchair
        outside the home but can manage in the home without a wheelchair;

        Category 3 Property with no stairs;

        Category 4 All other properties

Advertisements for properties will show the mobility category.

Bidding may be restricted for properties Mobility Category 1, 2 and 3. For details see the
full allocation scheme.

Bidding process

Applicants will be eligible to participate in the bidding process if they have been
assessed by Housing Choice and Resettlement Service and having been approved for
re-

Applicants are eligible if they:-

       Are not in arrears of rent/occupation charges see section below
       Have not been excluded from bidding for any other reason.

Applicants who do not come into a priority group will not be able to participate.

Applicants eligible to bid will be issued with a confidential PIN (Personal Identification
Number) and User ID (Identification) number for expressing an interest in a property.




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Properties that are available for letting will be advertised to eligible applicants on a
weekly basis on the Locata website, and through the Locata Choice Based lettings
Magazine. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure they receive an information
pack and to check the advertisements.

Details of access to the website (including libraries) and to making bids appear within the
Choice Information Pack, available from the Housing Choice and Resettlement Service.

The Council will normally shortlist the 5 highest priority households to view each
property.

At the viewing, the applicants will be asked if they still want the property. Subject to
certain exceptions the bidder in the highest band will be invited to sign the tenancy
agreement. If they have not signed by the end of the following working day the property
will normally be offered to the next highest viewer.

Size of property and area

Applicants will be able to bid for properties of the correct size for their household.
However, they cannot be statutorily overcrowded and if the property belongs to a
housing association they must not exceed the maximum number of persons for the
property. Applicants will not be allowed to bid for properties larger than they need,
subject to discretion in exceptional cases.

A single person is entitled to a studio, or a 1 bedroom flat.

A couple is entitled to one bedroom and a living room; plus all facilities (some or all of
which may be shared).

For larger households bedrooms will be allocated as set out below:
One bedroom for
    An applicant
    An adult who is not the partner or same-sex sibling of the applicant (although this
        will be dependent on the availability of accommodation, and such households
        may be offered two bed-sits)
    An adult who is acknowledged to be a carer and not the partner or same sex
        sibling of the applicant
    An applicant and partner (unless agreed medical evidence specifies they require
        separate bedrooms)
    One child or
    Two siblings of the same sex where there is less than a ten year age gap (two
        adult siblings of the same sex will usually be offered a one bedroom flat with
        separate sitting room so that they have the option of using the bedroom and
        sitting room as two ‘bed-sitters’) or
    Two children of the opposite sex under 10.

Applicants are able to bid for properties in whatever area they choose.
Anyone is eligible to apply for housing, except:-




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    i)      some people from abroad who are subject to immigration control within the
            meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 unless prescribed as
            eligible by regulation of the Secretary of State (s160A Housing Act 1996 as
            amended).

    ii)     Any applicants whom the Council has decided have been guilty of
            unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make them unsuitable to be a
            tenant (s106A Housing Act 1996 as amended)

The high demand for accommodation in the London Borough of Ealing means that for
the foreseeable future it is likely that there will be insufficient stock available for those
within the Low Priority Groups.

Reviews and information

Applicants have the right to request internal reviews of certain decisions relating to their
application for accommodation. The Housing Choice and Resettlement Service will carry
these out.

The Service will also provide on request information to applicants as to
    which, if any, band they are in under Choice Based Lettings
    which, if any, priority group they are in
    position in that group
    the estimated number of properties of the size required by the applicant expected
      to become available for letting during the financial year.

Please note this is a summary of the Allocation Scheme and cannot cover all situations
and exceptions.

For further information or a copy of the full Allocation Scheme, please see details
on the London Borough of Ealing’s web site: www.ealing.gov.uk




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