Housing association tenants can expect to be offered a better selection of available properties after the Housing Minister announced an extra £500,000 of funding for the creation of more choice based lettings (CBL) schemes. The schemes, which are already in place or in development in more than 80 per cent of local authorities in England, enable housing associations to work alongside councils to give new and existing social housing tenants better choices over where they live.
CBL allows social housing applicants to apply for housing that is advertised, such as on a website or in a local paper, as long as they are suitably matched to the type of property. This means, for example, that a couple would not be able to apply for a house with four bedrooms. Allocations are made under the scheme in order of priority of need. The CBL system replaces the traditional approach whereby housing officers matched applicants in terms of priority with vacant accommodation.
Tenants who need to move for reasons such as work now have a better set of options available to them, as CBL allows authorities to be more flexible in the placement of tenants.
The announcement follows recently issued guidance on fair allocation of properties, as well as new measures to tighten controls on benefit cheats who sub-let their homes illegally.