New practice guide for social landlords on allocations and suspensions launched
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a number of changes to social housing allocations and suspensions to support greater flexibility in the system and allow landlords to tailor policies to meet local needs.
Following commencement of Section 2 last year, social landlords will have until May 2019 to ensure that their allocation policies comply with the legislation.
Changes introduced by the Act include replacing existing priority need groups with new categories and the ability for landlords to take property ownership into account within their allocations policy.
To support social landlords to review and, if necessary, to revise their allocations policy the Scottish Government commissioned Craigforth Consultants and CIH Scotland to produce an updated guide, Social Housing Allocations in Scotland: a practice guide, to compliment statutory guidance already published by the Scottish Government.
The new guide covers all aspects of allocations and suspensions using practice examples from social landlords across Scotland.
Anne Cook, social housing team leader at the Scottish Government, said: “The commencement of the allocation and suspension aspects of the Housing Act presents an opportunity for all social landlords to review their policies and make sure that they are up to date and reflect local needs and circumstances. We want to ensure that social housing allocations in Scotland are fair and that landlords have the flexibility they need to create a policy that is right for their tenants and the local community and this Guide will support them to do so.”
Lucy Robertson, director of Craigforth, said: “This new guide will support social landlords in deciding how to review or revise their allocations policy. There are certain aspects that all landlords must adopt but others, such as taking property ownership into account, are optional and each landlord will have to decide what the right approach is in their area.”
Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland, said: “We were really pleased to be able to work on this project and ensure that housing practitioners were involved in developing the guide and provide practical examples of how allocations policies are working well across Scotland.
“The legislation introduces some new aspects which haven’t been used before - such as the ability to take property ownership into account - so we hope the sector will continue to share examples and learn from each other as practice develops in these areas.”