At this weeks meeting (8 November 2023), Cornwall Council’s Cabinet agreed that proposed changes to how Cornwall’s social housing is allocated to make the system transparent, fair and easily understood, as well as offer real choice to those in housing need, will be subject to a further two weeks of public consultation to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to comment on the final drafting of the policy wording.
Cllr Olly Monk, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for housing and planning said:
“We want to reflect the views of as many people as possible as we commit to overhauling the allocation system. Social homes are in high demand in Cornwall with around 25,000 households on the Cornwall Homechoice register. We have 32,000 social homes with around a 4% annual turnover, so it is vital that we manage the allocation process to ensure those homes are made available to those in need of housing in the most open, customer friendly way possible.
“We have to prioritise our residents who are in most housing need, including care leavers, those fleeing domestic abuse and our armed forces, and must do all that we can to ensure that our most vulnerable residents have access to available homes at a rent they can afford.”
The Cornwall Homechoice Scheme is a common housing register where households can register and apply for affordable homes owned and managed by the Council and its partners – collectively known as the Cornwall Homechoice Partnership. All partners are on board, so this includes homes owned and managed by Aster, Coastline, Cornwall Housing, LiveWest, Ocean, Sanctuary and Westward.
Olly Monk said:
“The most challenging issue remains how we balance duties to those in most housing need, whilst respecting the strong and understandable desire of parishes to protect housing stock in their area for those with the greatest connection to their parish.
“In seeking to balance all these pressures, we are proposing greater flexibility whilst not disenfranchising parishes or eroding their confidence to bring forward rural exception sites in the future.
“Under the proposals, parishes will still be able to request local lettings plans where there are real concerns about how homes are allocated.”
“As a council we continue to do all we can to support residents to find the homes they need – from building and buying more homes to working with government to introduce double council tax on second homes and limiting the number of holiday lets through the planning process."
Comment on the final draft wording of the Homechoice Scheme by Friday 5pm, 24 November 2023.
Story posted 9 November 2023