Housing Authorities are required by the Housing Act 1996 s166A (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Localism Act (2011)) to have an allocation scheme for determining the priorities and defining the procedures to be followed in allocating affordable housing accommodation.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) has a housing stock of 4197 dwelling’s as of August 2019. In addition to this, there are a number of Registered Providers (RPs) operating within East Devon.
Devon Home Choice (DHC) is the Choice Based Lettings scheme adopted by EDDC and other Local Authorities, and includes the majority of RPs operating within Devon. Housing is allocated through this jointly operated Choice Based Lettings Scheme.
The Housing Allocations team co-ordinates and maintains East Devon DHC housing waiting list. The team is responsible for the allocation of the Council’s own housing stock. The Allocations team works in partnership with other Registered Providers (RPs) of affordable housing within East Devon. Where appropriate, the Council will provide nominations to other RPs, where required following a bidding process.
The DHC scheme is very prescriptive and sets out how RPs and Local Authorities will label (give preference to certain applicants where necessary) and let their own properties.
It sets out how the circumstances of housing applicants will be verified to ensure that they are eligible for an offer. Individual RPs have their own allocation policies and will verify applicant’s details to ensure they meet the criteria contained within them.
This policy offers an explanation of when the preference labels (as defined by DHC) will be used and methods for validation of the label. Each of these labels has a definition. Some properties may be excluded from the DHC Scheme for management reasons as listed in this policy. This policy will ensure that the procedures of EDDC are adhered to in line with the provisions of the DHC scheme and should be read in conjunction with it. Further information about DHC can be found at www.devonhomechoice.com.
In delivering our Allocations Policy, the Council will seek to meet the following objectives:-
- To operate a scheme which is open, fair, and consistent within the District
- To improve accessibility and services for vulnerable applicants
- To allow applicants to understand and control their housing situation so they may make informed decisions on their housing options
- To enable access to a wide range of housing options, services and advice to find the best solution to meet particular needs
- To prevent homelessness and to reduce the use of temporary accommodation through an effective prioritisation scheme
- To make best use of the housing stock within the District
- To be compliant with current legislation.
- Ensuring the validity of applications by cross checking and verifying information provided (for example - medical evidence, proof of address, earnings and benefits)