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Cabinet Decision: 29th November 2012
Title of Item/Report
Choice Based Lettings Scheme
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on the sub-regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme (Compass). Members were also provided with an addendum to the report which provided explanatory information with regard to under occupation of non-compass partner accommodation and the one offer policy.

The sub-regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme (Compass) operated under a common allocations policy. The policy was a statutory requirement and provided the framework for the allocation of social housing in Stockton-on-Tees, as well as the other Tees Valley authorities, and larger stock holding registered providers in the area who participate in the Compass scheme. The enactment of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, Localism Act 2011, and the revised Allocations of Accommodation Code of Guidance (July 2012) had triggered the need for a review of the current common allocations policy to ensure it is fit for purpose. The report outlined the proposed amendments to the policy.

A reason for the amendment and the decision of the Compass Partnership Steering Group that was reached following consideration of the consultation feedback was also detailed. The proposed changes to the Compass Common Allocations Policy were detailed within the report and included:-

• Eligibility to join the Housing Register
• Under occupation of Compass partner accommodation
• Under occupation of non-Compass partner accommodation
• Alignment of bedroom requirements with changes to benefit entitlement
• Awarding priority to people with general affordability issues
• Giving preference on the scheme to households in low-paid work
• Giving preference on the scheme to households doing voluntary or community work
• Giving preference on the scheme to households who are prospective adopter, foster carers or special guardians
• One Offer Policy
• Reducing priority of applicants who have worsened their own circumstances
• Allowing families to bid on any property type

RESOLVED that the proposed amendments to the Common Allocations Policy to be introduced from 1st April 2013 be endorsed.
Reasons for the Decision
1. To enable the Council to meet its commitments in respect of the existing Compass Sub-Regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme;
2. To ensure that the policy is fit for purpose in respect of statute and guidance that has emerged since the original policy was developed;
3. To ensure that the policy operation assists the Council in mitigating the impact of welfare reform;
4. To ensure that the policy is reflective of stakeholder feedback provided during the consultation process; and,
5. Formal approval is necessary to enable the ICT system to be updated with the policy amendments.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Nelson declared a personal interest in respect of this item as he was a member of Tristar Board.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 7th December 2012

Date of Publication: 03 December 2012

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