Moray Council proposes housing allocations policy changes

Changes to Moray Council’s housing allocations policy are being proposed following the introduction of new housing legislation.

The allocations policy is in place to prioritise applicants for housing, based on their circumstances and level of need. As well as changes required by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, other improvements are being suggested to make the policy fairer and clearer. One of the changes is that the council must consult before it makes or amends its allocations policy.

Other suggestions include:

  • increasing the level of priority given to applicants who under-occupy their homes;
  • taking property ownership into account when considering an application for housing;
  • giving short Scottish secure tenancies to homeowners in specific circumstances;
  • suspending applicants from offers of housing in certain circumstances;
  • giving priority to households who live in specialist housing that they no longer need;
  • giving increased priority to households, including armed forces, living in tied accommodation who will lose their home when their employment ends;
  • giving increased priority to households leaving institutional/supported care, including care experienced young people;
  • changing the rules on the size of property offered to couples;
  • placing applicants aged 70 years and over on the list for ground floor properties.
  • A public consultation on the changes opened yesterday.

    Chair of Moray Council’s communities committee, Cllr Louise Laing, said some of the proposed changes could help address the pressures on social housing identified in the Moray Housing Need and Demand Assessment.

    Cllr Laing added: “This assessment found evidence of significant overcrowding and under-occupancy in social housing, so changing the allocation policy could help us to allocate the right property to the right applicant. There’s also growing demand for accessible housing, and for one and four-bedroom houses.

    “The ideas we’re consulting on have been suggested to help ease these pressures, but it’s important for people to have their say before the consultation closes on 21 October.

    “Feedback will be used to put together a draft allocations policy, which councillors will consider at the Communities Committee in November.”

    The consultation is available on Moray Council’s website.

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