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Housing allocation scheme

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

8. Reviews and customer feedback

8.1. Housing allocations panel

The Housing Allocations Panel comprises a group of three or more officers with at least one representative from the Housing Allocations Team, the Housing Options Team and an independent senior manager from within the organisation that is not connected to Housing Services. They will meet on a regular basis to make and review decisions. The Panel will normally be chaired by a senior manager who will be responsible for notifying the applicant of the outcome.

The panel may also invite other relevant partners to attend, including but not limited to the Community Safety Team and other partner landlords. There is no right to review a decision made by the Housing Allocations Panel.

8.2. Consideration of offers and refusals

After the shortlisting and checking processes, the successful bidder will be contacted to arrange for them to view the property and attend a verification interview. If you are offered a home, then you would normally be expected to accept or refuse it within 24 hours of the viewing.

If you refuse an offer, your application will be removed from the Housing Register and you will be disqualified for 12 months. If you feel the property you have been offered does not meet your needs, you can ask for a review as to the suitability of the property and you will need to provide detailed reasons for your refusal.

Your request will be considered by the Housing Allocations Panel who will consider the suitability of the offer in accordance with your assessed needs taking into account (but not limited to):

  • The size, floor level, space and arrangement of the property, and whether it meets the housing needs of the household
  • Any medical or welfare grounds for re-housing
  • Any risk of domestic or other violence.

We will not hold the property for you during the review period; it will be immediately re-offered to another applicant and you will not receive any further offers during this time. If the review confirms the property was suitable your refusal will result in your application being removed from the Housing Register and you being disqualified for 12 months. If your reasons for refusal are accepted by the Housing Allocations Panel, and the property offered is considered to be unsuitable for your needs you will be able to continue bidding without any penalty.

8.3. Reinstatement of exceptional cases

In exceptional circumstances the Council may reinstate applications which have been disqualified or suspended for a particular reason. Applicants should write to the Service Manager (Housing Options), who may reinstate the applicant or make an offer if they are satisfied, and it can be proved that disqualification from the Housing Register would cause exceptional hardship to the applicant and their household. There will be no further right of review of the decision of the Service Manager (Housing Options).

The effect of a decision to reinstate a disqualified application on the grounds of exceptional hardship will be that the application is treated as having been made on the date it was originally made, not the date on which it was reinstated.

8.4. Ineligible or disqualified from the Housing Register

We will write to you to notify you if we decide that you are not eligible or disqualified from the housing register. You have a right to review the decision, details of how we carry out the review can be found at Section 8.6 of this scheme.

8.5. Inaccurate information provided

The Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and to this end may use the information you provide for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other Council departments, other local authorities, Government agencies and credit referencing agencies for the detection and prevention of crime.

It is an offence under the Housing Act 1996 and/or the Fraud Act 2006 for anyone seeking help from the Council to:

  • give false of misleading information
  • withhold information that we have asked for on an assessment form or other correspondence
  • fail to tell us of a relevant change in circumstances which could affect the priority of housing awarded

This may result in prosecution, your application being suspended or cancelled and/or any tenancy granted to you being terminated. Prosecution by the Council could result in a sentence of up to ten years in prison.

It is your responsibility to inform us of any change that could affect the priority that has been awarded. If we offer affordable housing to you and, on further investigation, it appears that your circumstances had changed before the offer in a way that affected your housing priority, we reserve the right to withdraw the offer. While the investigation is ongoing the property will not usually be held for you and will be reallocated to the next person on the shortlist.

When housing has been allocated on the basis of false or misleading information, legal action may be taken to obtain possession of the property. We will decide when these provisions apply and when to begin criminal proceedings.

The Housing Register is registered under the current data protection legislation. Information on it is received, held, and disclosed only for registered purposes. Applicants have the right to see information on their file relating to their application except where this involves confidential third-party information. If an applicant is not eligible or does not meet the qualifying criteria for inclusion on the register or respond to an annual review of their entry on the register or is otherwise removed from the register, their records will be kept for five years before being confidentially deleted.

8.6. Right to a review

You have the right to request a review of any decision:

  • To treat you as ineligible because of your immigration status
  • To exclude or suspend you from the register because you do not qualify
  • Setting out the facts of your case which have been, or are likely to be, considered in determining your priority on the register.

The notification of the decision will give clear grounds for the decision based on the relevant facts of your case. To request a review of a decision you must make a request in writing within 21 days of receiving it and clearly state why you do not agree with the decision. We may ask you to provide more information and/or attend an interview. Reviews will usually be carried out by the Housing Allocations Panel.

The review will look at your case based on the rules in our Housing Allocation Scheme, any legal requirements and all relevant information. This includes information you have provided and any changes since the original decision was made, for example paying off arrears or setting up a repayment plan, or where someone responsible for anti-social behaviour has left your household. We will not carry out a further review of the decision unless there is a material change in your circumstances.

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