Watford Borough Council proposes improved system for allocating social housing

Watford Borough Council is thinking about changing some of the rules for allocating housing association homes to Watford residents...

Published: Thursday, 29th August 2019

The proposed changes are designed to better reflect changing local housing priorities as well as recent amendments to Government housing legislation.

Currently Watford Borough Council does not own any homes but it has agreements with housing associations that have affordable housing stock within the borough.  The agreements ensure that a percentage of these homes are given to people who are on Watford Borough Council’s Housing Register.

The council has a set of rules for allocating housing association homes – it is called the Nominations Policy. It looks at an individual’s circumstances and provides a fair and transparent system for deciding who gets priority while making best use of scarce housing resources. 

Councillor Stephen Johnson, Housing and Property Portfolio holder said “The existing Nominations Policy has been in operation since 2015 and the increase in demand and shortage of supply of social housing within our town continues to be a challenge. Our priority is that available affordable housing in Watford is allocated to local people with the most housing need.  These proposed changes will help us do this more effectively”    

All stakeholders including people currently on the Housing Register and other members of the public, are being asked to share their views on the proposed changes to the policy by completing a survey.

The key changes being proposed are:

  • Simplify the banding system
  • Reduce the number of offers for some groups of housing applicants
  • Change the bedroom entitlement
  • Introduce quotas to share the limited supply of affordable housing more fairly
  • Amend the length of time people should live in Watford before they can apply for housing

The consultation runs until 29 September 2019. All the feedback received will help shape the Nominations Policy, which will be presented to Watford’s local councillors later this year. If approved by them, the policy, would be launched in spring 2020.

Housing Register applicants will be fully informed of any changes made to their application as a result of this consultation, before they are made.

Information on the proposed changes and a link to the survey can be found at www.watfordhousingnoms.com

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