Fig 1 interview from both councils

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Fig 1 interview from both councils

Respondent A: female

Job Title: Allocation officer Lambeth council

Place of Interview: Lambeth Allocation office

Date: February 23rd 2011

How  do you allocate properties and is there  is there any specific way in which properties are  allocated?

Properties are allocated according to the Council’ allocation policy which sets out how cases are prioritised and how this works in combination with the bidding process. More, so we use a combination of banding and points, though I do not believe Merton is unique in this respect

2) Is your housing allocation policy fair, and does it complies with the new statutory guidance on social housing allocations?

 Absolutely yes, this is a very important principle to follow although CBL  is operated differently in council but we still end up given customers greater choice. When developing the current Housing Allocation Scheme in 2006/7, we consulted with Council tenants and leaseholders, housing associations and other interested stakeholders, and the scheme was approved by Council’s Cabinet. More recently, we consulted with a wide range of individuals and organisations in developing the current Housing Strategy 2009-2013.

3) Do you get funding from the government?

Yes we get funding from the government.

4) Is choice based lettings scheme really working for the applicants and are they happy with the scheme?

Absolutely yes, because it is a much more open and transparent system where the customers can view and choose what is available. Although there can be frustration when customers have been bidding for a long time and not receiving an offer.

5) Has there been any viable option apart from choice based lettings schemes?

At the moment we concentrate more on the choice based lettings scheme, but we still do the direct allocation in some serious cases.

6) How can you achieve your choice based letting targets?

We can achieve our target by marketing available properties; providing a transparent housing allocations system that is easily understood and accessible to all which covers all tenure and provides true choice. The scheme will allocate properties irrespective of tenure, in low and no demand areas, targeting new client groups as well as potential new customers.  Also by explore the concept of a common suspension policy and common allocations policy ensuring social inclusion and equality. 

7) Why did the government decide to introduce choice based lettings scheme?

It was introduced to give customers a chance to have choice over the type and where they want to live.

8) Are the customers pleased with the scheme?

9) Are their available and enough homes for people who are on the registered list?

I would say No there is no enough properties for everyone on the register list. We have about 20,565 household still waiting to be called to bid.

 10) How many people have been helped through the scheme?

We have had about 22,120 household on the allocation registered list and we have helped 1645, household since the scheme started in 2008.

11)How  many disabled people has been rehoused since choice based lettings started?

We currently provide support on a case

by case basis. We have recently recruited a Bidding Support Officer, who will be

able to provide more consistent support for elderly and vulnerable applicants.

We are also arranging training for social workers in Adult & Community Services

to explain how CBL works, and what they can do to support clients.

12)  What help is there for them?

please can  Explain how your housing allocation policy is fair, and how it complies with the new statutory guidance on social housing allocations

13) How do you measure your success? Am just interested.

Success is measured by short void properties turn around. We have also just begun to measure customer’s satisfaction.

14) What is your view about choice based lettings in General?

CBL as lead to sustainable related serving and efficiently savings through improved ICT, reduced refusal rate, quicker relets.

 

 

Respondent  B: Female

Job Title: Housing Option and development officer  in Lambeth council

Place of Interview: Housing Department Office

Date: 23rd of Feb 2011

1) ? How  do you allocate properties and is there  is there any specific way in which properties are  allocatedl?

Properties are allocated in accordance with the Council’s published allocation policy which sets out how cases are prioritised and how this works in conjunction with the bidding process

 

2) Is your housing allocation policy fair, and how does it complies with the new statutory guidance on social housing allocations?

I would say yes. There are obviously different models of CBL in terms of bidding period bands vs points, some of which have been challenged in the courts since the original guidance was issued. Moreover, Councils already had a degree of freedom to allocate some homes according to local priorities, and to take account of factors other than housing need, such as waiting time, and therefore our current housing allocation policy already takes account of this. In addition to prioritising based on housing need and waiting time, we also allocate homes according to needs specific to our local area. These include:

 -Under-occupying tenants who wish to move to a smaller home

– Young people leaving care

– Those who require housing to prevent admission to, or allow discharge from, elderly persons’ home or residential care

-Those leaving short-stay supported housing schemes

– Those who need to move on welfare grounds, as recommended by Lambeth’s adult or children’s social care services.

3)         Is there any specific way in which you allocate properties which differs from other borough?

We use a combination of banding and points.

4)  do you get funding for running the scheme?

Yes we got some funding from the government

5) is choice based lettings scheme really worked for the applicants and are they happy with the scheme?

I would say yes because it is a much more open and transparent system where the customers can see what is available and this gives them a far more realistic expectatation and generally I would say that yes, although there can be frustration when customers have been bidding for a long time and not receiving an offer.

6) Has there been any viable option apart from choice based lettings schemes?

We still do direct allocations in some cases where an applicant requires a certain type of property e.g medical problems or sensitive lets

7) How can you achieve your choice based letting targets?

CBL has caused some difficulties in relation to void property turn around but we have otherwise met our targets

8) Why did the government decide to introduce choice based lettings scheme?

It was introduced to provide choice and a more transparent system: people bidding could now see all the properties available, see for themselves that the system is fair and who was being housed.

9)  Are their available and enough homes for people who are on the registered list?

We don’t have enough properties for all applicants. the amount of applicant on the waiting list is approximately 22, 000 applicant and 1974 household was rehoused in 2010

10) How many lone parents have been rehoused since the introduction of choice based lettings. (CBL)

I am unable to be specific, the average of 30% of each household rehoused are lone parents.

11) How many couples have been rehoused since the start of choice based lettings?

About 20%.

12) How many elderly or vulnerable individual have you rehoused people since the start of choice based lettings and do you help then to access the system?

We recognise that some elderly or vulnerable individuals may not be able to use

CBL. As a result, we have recruited a Bidding Support Officer to assist elderly

and vulnerable people to bid for properties. We are also arranging training on

CBL for social workers from Adult & Community Services so that they can better

assist their clients. 8% of properties let were sheltered accommodation. Those over 60.............


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