Angus Council switches to choice-based lettings system
Angus Council is placing more choice in the hands of people looking for social housing after agreeing to move from a register based on a traditional points-based allocation to a system of choice based lettings.
Instead of matching people to available properties the decision by the local authority’s communities committee will mean would-be tenants are now empowered to make their own informed choices.
The common housing register’s points-based system has proved complicated and time-consuming. More than 40% of housing offers made to applicants were refused between April 2017 and the end of March this year, where, in many instances, the location and type of property was felt to be unsuitable or unacceptable by people seeking a tenancy. These refusals left properties unoccupied for longer periods than is ideal.
The council’s housing team has piloted a successful choice based lettings approach for a selection of immediately available to let properties. This has proved successful and a move to roll-out this more customer-led approach is supported by the council’s housing association partners.
The process sees landlords advertise their vacancies, allowing people who are interested to bid on the property they feel suits them best. The priorities of those who apply are broadly prioritised and, where there is more than one bid, the person with the highest priority is offered the property.
In a more consumer-led society, it is envisaged that the choice based lettings approach will encourage a broader range of people to access social housing and provide them with more choice over their housing. It is hoped that this, in turn, will improve demand for housing stock, reduce refusal rates and improve the process and overall satisfaction for the house-seeker.
By doing so, the choice based lettings system can contribute to better, more sustainable communities, where people are more committed to the areas where they live.
Details of the new approach will now be finalised and a move to a choice based lettings system will be fully implemented next year.