Scope of policy
Framework has a range of accommodation services commissioned to meet the needs of specific groups and communities. This policy sets out the broad terms under which Framework will allocate its accommodation.
Individual services and schemes will operate according to specific referral and allocations policies and procedures. Services must ensure that these are in line with contractual arrangements or any referral protocol.
Equality and diversity
This policy is in accordance with Framework’s Equality and Diversity Policy. We will make the best possible use of properties, ensuring that housing built or specifically adapted for people with disabilities continues to be allocated only to those applicants, if the adaptation is appropriate to their needs.
Allocation of housing
We will prioritise people with a very urgent need for housing.
This includes households who are homeless, who are fleeing violence and abuse and whose health and wellbeing will be damaged if they remain homelessness.
In making an allocation we will take account of our responsibility towards existing tenants/residents and the need to balance and sustain neighbourhoods when allocating properties.
All of the accommodation Framework provides is for people who need some form of support or care, and we place great emphasis on sustaining accommodation. Support services are utilised to ensure that applicants who would have difficulty maintaining accommodation independently are given every chance of success. When assessing applications we will seek to identify those applicants who may need support, and what form that support may take. Applicants whose support needs cannot be met will not be accepted.
Applicants under 18
We want to ensure that young people have every chance of making a success of their first tenancy. We will accept applicants onto the waiting list for dispersed accommodation who are 16 or 17 years of age.
Framework will not exclude persons from allocation of a tenancy or licence because of their age.
Framework will offer licences to applicants granted accommodation in hostels and where they are assisting the local authority in the discharge their duty under the homelessness provisions of Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. A person under the age of 18 can be a licensee without needing a trustee.
Framework will offer assured shorthold tenancies to applicants under 18 who fulfil the allocation criteria for the relevant service.
All applicants under the age of 18 must have a trustee before they will be granted a tenancy.
- A person under the age of 18 cannot hold a tenancy in their own right. The trustee therefore holds the legal tenancy and the tenant has the right to live in it. This is called the beneficial interest
- When the tenant reaches the age of 18 the tenant can hold the tenancy in their own right. The tenant’s beneficial interest merges with the trustee’s legal interest and the trusteeship falls away automatically
- The trustee will not incur any financial liability by holding the tenancy in trust for the tenant
- Any rent arrears or other financial liability to Framework, for example for rechargeable repairs, will be the responsibility of the beneficial tenant and NOT the trustee.
Making decisions about allocations
When the allocation decision is our responsibility, at least two members of staff will be involved in making decisions about allocations and all decisions will be recorded in writing.
We will need to have regard to the needs of existing residents/tenants particularly in shared accommodation.
We will need to consider neighbourhoods and communities.
In such instances where making an allocation will have a negative impact, an applicant with the greatest need may not be allocated the property.
Unsuitability to be a tenant of licensee
Framework does not operate any blanket restrictions. However, we will refuse to rehouse an applicant because past unacceptable behaviour demonstrates a risk sufficiently serious to mean they are unsuitable to live in one of our properties.
In assessing this risk we will take in to account past anti social behaviour, violence, arson, past drug dealing or other relevant factors.
None of the above will automatically exclude a person from accessing our accommodation, and we will treat each case individually.
We will not house an applicant who has misrepresented their housing circumstances, deliberately withheld information, or knowingly or recklessly given false information relating to their housing history, or who has induced another person to do so on their behalf. Framework reserves the right to seek possession based on Ground 17 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 if, after the grant of a tenancy, it becomes apparent that this has taken place.
Decisions not to allocate accommodation
Where we decide that an applicant will not be allocated accommodation they will be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for it. Decisions not to allocate will be made by the relevant manager or team leader. There is a right of appeal of the decision not to allocate.
Where an applicant owes money to Framework, another registered provider or local authority, we may defer their application for a period of time to allow the applicant to come to an acceptable arrangement with their previous or current landlord to clear the debt. Each case will be decided individually and all decisions will be recorded.
Monitoring Non Allocations and Deferred Applications
We will monitor non-allocations and deferred applications to ensure that no issues arise regarding unfair access.
An applicant may request a review of our decision. If they wish to request a review they should contact the relevant Manager within 28 days of receiving our decision.
If the applicant remains dissatisfied with the decision they can pursue the matter through the Association’s complaints procedure.
Confidentiality and data protection
All information provided by applicants will be treated in the strictest confidence and only used for the purposes of:
- Processing applications
- Providing anonymous statistical information to monitor the allocation of housing and the need for our services
We will share information with third parties only where the applicant is aware, and has given consent, to an exchange of information.
Framework is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 and complies with the provisions regarding holding, storing and processing of information.