The Armed Forces and Kinship Carers are just two of the groups set to benefit from changes to East Ayrshire Council’s Housing Allocation Policy.
The key changes, which were agreed at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet, include housing applicants being discharged from the Armed Forces receiving priority for re-housing. Applicants will now be placed on the Strategic Needs Group before and after they are discharged from the services.
And Kinship Carers will get the same priority as Foster Carers. They will be considered for larger size properties to enable them to look after family members and can be placed on the Strategic Needs Group if required.
Every three years the Council and its SEARCH Common Housing Register (CHR) partner Register Social Landlords (RSL’s) – Atrium Homes, Cunninghame Housing Association, Irvine Housing Association and Shire Housing Association – review the Housing Allocation Policy.
The Council, and its partners, held a comprehensive consultation with all tenants and housing list applicants; Council employees and Community Planning Partners to seek their views on the proposed changes to the policy. Almost 850 people responded positively to the survey, welcoming the improvements suggested by the Council and their partners.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “The changes to the Housing Allocation Policy have been carefully considered to ensure support is provided to those in need. Servicemen and women being discharged from the Armed Forces will be given priority on the list and kinship carers will be given the same priority as foster carers to ensure that they have a suitable home to accommodate extended family.
“Care and support points will now be provided to those who need to move nearer to family members to either provide or receive care and support. Working with our partners we are ensuring that the Housing Allocation Policy is fair and reflects the needs of our residents.
“The improvements to the Housing Allocation Policy is another step towards making East Ayrshire clean, green and vibrant.”
Councillor Elena Whitham, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “It is essential that the Housing Allocation Policy is fit for purpose and reflects the needs of our communities. The policy is reviewed every three years. Any improvements to the policy are developed with our partners Atrium Homes, Cunninghame Housing Association, Irvine Housing Association and Shire Housing Association and in consultation with tenants, those on the waiting list and Community Planning Partners.
“The policy is very important because it ensures that housing allocation is clear, reflects the changing needs of our communities and that all SEARCH landlords follow the same set of rules.
“Our priority is to make East Ayrshire a safe, secure and attractive place to live, work and visit. We will achieve this through partnership working and protecting and supporting our most vulnerable individuals and families.”
Important changes to the Housing Allocation Policy include sharing points being awarded to all eligible applicants; applicants on the Strategic Needs Group who refuse two offers of housing will revert to the mainstream group; applicants who refuse two housing offers will be suspended from the list for three months; applicants who provide false information will be suspended from the list for six months and applicants who wish to appeal a decision must now do so within 28 days.