Cabinet approves housing allocation scheme which harmonises registers across West Northamptonshire
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A new housing allocation scheme, which will combine three registers associated with the former boroughs into one register for West Northamptonshire, has been approved by cabinet.
Councillors approved the scheme, which will be adopted in April 2024, at West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) cabinet meeting on Tuesday (November 14), after a 10-week consultation with service users and stakeholders.
The council says the harmonisation of the schemes, which have remained split into Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire since the unitary authority was formed in April 2021, will ensure housing resources will go to “those most in need".
The new scheme will operate through a choice-based lettings system, which will enable residents to make choices about properties they are interested in. The council says it is hoped this will make the provision of social housing “fairer, clearer and more consistent”.
More than 4,000 applicants are currently registered to the existing schemes and it is thought the new scheme will help by providing details of more available properties.
Councillor Adam Brown, deputy leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We believe that having a decent home is a fundamental human right and as a council, we have a statutory duty to ensure that social and affordable housing is available to those who need it most.
“This new scheme recognises people with the greatest need including those experiencing homelessness, those with complex health and welfare needs, victims of domestic abuse and those subject to exploitation, and also prioritises people who have a genuine connection to the area through employment or family.
”By harmonising the existing policies we can ensure a fairer and more efficient service for people across the whole West Northants area and use our resources as effectively as possible to improve life chances for residents and continue to make West Northants a great place to live, work, visit and thrive.”
The scheme itself sets out who is eligible to apply for social housing, how applicants will be prioritised and the basis onw which housing will be allocated.
The council says existing housing register applicants will be contacted in the coming weeks with further information on what will be required to register for the new scheme.