Southmead Development Trust are producing a Local Lettings Policy to work alongside Bristol City Councils HomeChoice allocation scheme. This will enable the local community to help shape how Southmead grows.
Local Lettings Policies can be used to help ensure social and affordable rented housing priority is given to people who are most in need of specific types of accommodation and will help grow the local community in a positive way. The Local Lettings Policy for Glencoyne Square will be designed to address issues specific to Southmead, which may include prioritising existing elderly residents who need to downsize into more manageable homes or help younger people from Southmead to allow them to stay within the area.
Ongoing consultation will drive and inform the direction of the Local Lettings Policy and Southmead Development Trust will be engaging with the community throughout the process.
To have your say in our Local Lettings Policy, please answer a few questions for us by clicking this link – https://forms.gle/kKbT9A2fZEiy58q47
What is HomeChoice?
There are several considerations being taken into account whilst putting together the Local Lettings Policy for the regeneration at Glencoyne Square, for example equalities legislation, to ensure the policy does not discriminate against particular groups.
However, the main dictator for housing allocation is the HomeChoice Bristol banding system, a policy document by Bristol City Council, which explains who is eligible and sets out the criteria which an applicant will be assessed on, based on their housing needs.
How does HomeChoice Bristol work?
There are 4 bands with a trickle-down usage system. Applicants are considered in band order (band 1 being the highest and band 4 the lowest) and then in date order within the agreed band. The supply of social housing in Bristol is limited. Less than 2000 properties become available each year and over 11,000 households are registered on HomeChoice Bristol. With so many more applicants than vacancies, households assessed in lower bands are unlikely to ever get an offer of accommodation.
Outlined below are some of the circumstances for each of the HomeChoice Bristol bands.
- Foster Carers – Foster carers and adopters whose housing prevents them from being able to start or continue to provide foster care.
- Under-occupying by 2+ bedrooms – Bristol Housing Partnership tenants who are under-occupying their current accommodation by 2 or more bedrooms.
- Acute overcrowding – The household is acutely overcrowded according to the bedroom standard and have 3 bedrooms less than they are entitled to.
- Supported Lodgings Provider – The applicant is a provider of the Bristol City Council Supported Lodgings scheme and requires a larger property in order to perform this role.
- Community Support Accommodation – The applicant has learning difficulties or mental health issues and has been accepted by Health and Social Care onto their Community Support Accommodation Scheme.
- Urgent medical need – An applicant and/or member of the household has a serious and/or life threatening physical or mental health problem which is directly linked to their current housing.
- Armed Forces Personnel – Applicants that meet the Housing Act and one of the reasonable preference categories in band 1 are given additional preference in band 1.
- Harassment – The household urgently needs to move due to domestic abuse, violence or other harassment and is at significant risk of harm.
- Homelessness – Applicants who are owed a full homelessness duty by Bristol City Council.
- Supported Lodgings – The applicant qualifies under the Supported lodgings Scheme and is ready to move to independent social housing.
- Care Leaver – A young person who is defined as a care leaver and who has been assessed by Bristol’s Care Leaver Service to be in need of accommodation.
- Under-occupying a property in high demand – Applicant is under-occupying their current accommodation by one bedroom and that property is classed as being in high demand.
- Unsatisfactory housing conditions – Applicant is occupying unsanitary or unsatisfactory housing conditions that are so serious, in terms of the immediate threat posed to health and welfare, as to require rehousing.
- Overcrowding – Applicants who, according to the bedroom standard, have one bedroom less than they are entitled to.
- Hardship – Those who need to move to a particular locality within the Bristol City boundary, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship to themselves or others.
- Homelessness or threat of homelessness – Those who are threatened with homelessness and are owed the ‘homelessness prevention’ or ‘homelessness relief’ by Bristol City Council, as well as further scenarios.
- Medical and welfare – An applicant and/or member of their household has a physical or mental health problem that is in part related to their current housing and could be helped by rehousing to a different type of accommodation or area.
If an application does not meet any of the criteria set out in bands 1 -3, it will be assessed into band 4.