Social Housing

Consultation on the Social Housing Allocations Policy

Gwynedd Council is consulting on a new system for the allocation of social housing. After reviewing the opinions and comments of the public and after conducting a review we recommend the introduction of an allocations system based on needs 'banding' in 2019. The new policy would cover lettings by Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Grŵp Cynefin and North Wales Housing. More information is provided here about the system we intended to introduce.

Voice your opinion:

Social housing survey

 

Why is there a need to change the system?

The present system, which is based on a points scheme, has existed for some time and at times can seem complex. We believe there is a need for a system that’s easier to understand and one that addresses some matters raised by applicants. We believe that there is also an opportunity to strengthen the position of applicants who have a local community connection with the area where the property is located, and to acknowledge the period some applicants spend on the register. We therefore intend to recommend a ‘banding’ system instead of the points system currently being used.

What is a 'banding' system?

Within a ‘banding’ system applications for social housing are placed in a particular band that reflects the level of need. This will mean that applications will avoid confusion that can arise with the current system where it is possible for an application to receive different points for different areas. It is intended to reflect applicants’ connection with Gwynedd and with individual communities, strengthening the emphasis on addressing the housing needs of local people.

Which applications will go to what band?

The Council believes that it is important to recognise applicants’ local connection with Gwynedd, but it is also required to show priority to those in housing need. We propose that only applicants with Gwynedd connection may be in the 2 highest priority bands. Legislation and statutory regulations states that the Council must show 'reasonable preference' to a number of categories of applicants, and applications in Band 1 to Band 4 will contain those applications. Here are the details of the 5 Priority Bands:

  • Band 1: Aapplications with more than 5 years connection with Gwynedd and in urgent housing need
  • Band 2: Applications with more than 5 years connection with Gwynedd and are also in housing need
  • Band 3: Applications in urgent housing need, but with less than 5 years connection with Gwynedd
  • Band 4: Applications in housing need, but with less than 5 years connection with Gwynedd
  • Band 5: Applications not in housing need, but with more than 5 years connection with Gwynedd

It is not anticipated that very many applications will fall into the 'urgent and immediate housing need’ category. These will applications that are in desperate need, for example due to a terminal medical condition.

Who will be offered accommodation?

Applications within individual bands are prioritised first to people with over 5 years connection with the community in which the property is located. Applications will then be arranged according to the application’s registration date (i.e. first offer to applications with a community connection over 5 years who have been on the Register longest). Then applications with less than 5 years connection with the community will be considered, again arranged according to the application date.

Properties will be offered in the first place to the highest applicant in the band, working down the band. If there are no suitable applications within the band, applications from the next band will be offered, and so on.

What will the change mean?

With any change, some applications will receive greater priority whilst others will reduce. In strengthening the local connection element it is anticipated that the following applications will rise in priority compared and the current points system:

  • Applicants in housing need with more than 5 years connection with Gwynedd
  • Applicants in housing need with more than 5 years connection with the community in which the property is situated
  • Applicants who have spent time on the register

On the other hand it is anticipated that some applications will see their priority reduce in comparison with the current system:

  • Applicants in housing need but with less than 5 years connection with Gwynedd
  • Applicants where priority has been reduced due to current or historical problems with behaviour or debt

Although some applications will fall, the Council and housing associations who work together in partnership believes that the changes would address some frustrations with the current policy and that reflecting the needs of local people is a priority.

After completing the consultation and dependent on receiving approval to proceed, Gwynedd Housing Options will contact everyone on the Common Housing Register during 2019 in order to explain any change and to inform them in which band their application will appear in, in the meantime you do not need to contact the Housing Options Team.

If you would like to see the Common Allocations Policy (Consultation Ddocument), then follow this link:

Common Housing Allocations Policy

Equalities Impact Assessment (Draft)

What happens next?

During the consultation period, which will continue until 1 March 2019, there is an opportunity for you to voice your opinion on the changes. Please follow the link here to complete an online survey where you can also provide comments on the Social Housing Survey. If you would like to provide comments in writing on the consultation you can also write to:

Social Housing Allocation Consultation

Gwynedd Council

Penrallt

Caernarfon

Gwynedd

LL55 1BN

 

 

More about Social Housing

Are you looking for a comfortable home in Gwynedd for a reasonable price? Social Housing could be the answer for you, providing rental housing for affordable prices. Social housing is provided in Gwynedd by Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Grŵp Cynefin and North Wales Housing.

 

Am I eligible for social housing?

Social housing is allocated on the basis of need. In Gwynedd we use a system which gives points to reflect an applicant’s circumstances and needs. Homes will be offered to the applicant who has the most points for a property that becomes vacant for letting. If your circumstances include one or more of the following then you could be eligible to receive points on your application:

  • you have a local connection with Gwynedd
  • you have a connection with the community in which they wish to be housed 
  • you are on a low income
  • you are legally owed a duty by a housing authority
  • you need to move to a specific location in order to avoid hardship (for yourself or others).
  • you need to move for their health / welfare
  • you live in insanitary / overcrowded or otherwise unsatisfactory housing
  • you are homeless or threatened with homelessness or are owed a homeless duty by a local authority

How do I apply for a Social House?

To be considered for a social property you must be on the Gwynedd Common Housing Register. If you are not on the register the first step is to contact Gwynedd Housing Options:

What happens next?

We’ll discuss your needs with you in order to decide on the best way forward. After receiving your details we’ll send an application form to you so that you can register. If you are not eligible to be on the Common Housing Register, we’ll discuss other options that might be available to you. Please note that being on the register does not guarantee anyone a house.

If your name is put on the register, your application will be assessed using the points system. A summary of the points system and allocation process is in this document:

In order to ensure that the process of allocating social housing is fair, Gwynedd Council and the housing associations have published a document which gives details of the process. The document, the Common Housing Allocations Policy, is based on statutory requirements and on guidance by the Welsh Government. 

Properties currently available to let

Click on the following links to the websites or Facebook pages of the housing associations which includes details of the social properties currently available:

There are over 7,500 units of social housing located across the county. They range from single person accommodation to family houses. There is also provision for housing particularly suitable for older persons. Click below to see details of their location:

What if I already live in social housing?

If you want to move from your current home you will need to register on the Common Housing Register. However if you are having difficulties with any aspect of your tenancy you should contact, in the first place, your housing association for advice:

Want to move home?

Some social housing tenants may be eligible to swap their home with another tenant. This is called a tenancy exchange. More information on this is available by contacting your housing association, or visit websites such as Homeswapper or House Swap Wales which are a quick and easy way to find the right home for you. See the leaflets below for more information:

 

Have your say..

Have your say about the Housing Options Team by completing this questionnaire:

Housing Option Satisfaction Survey