Young people leaving care in Stoke-on-Trent will benefit from increased priority for housing after changes to the city council’s housing allocations policy were approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council
The allocations policy sets out who is eligible for social housing in the city and what priority they will be given. Following public consultation a number of changes to the existing policy were put forward for cabinet agreement, including:
- awarding all applications from young people leaving the care of Stoke-on-Trent City Council for the first time the highest priority (band one)
- the inclusion of people with care and support needs as a vulnerable group
- amendments to provide additional eligibility and priority to former members of the armed forces and their families
- changes to enable applicants to request consideration for a smaller property
- the inclusion of criteria to give applicants with a specific need priority for available adapted properties
- amendments to ensure people moving onto Universal Credit are not adversely impacted
Councillor Joanne Powell-Beckett, cabinet member for housing said: “The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear framework for the allocation of social housing in the city. This will enable us to make the best use of our housing stock and help local people live independently in accommodation and neighbourhoods which are appropriate to their needs. The allocations policy enables us to provide bespoke housing advice to all applicants as well as giving people in the city access to good quality, suitable accommodation. By engaging with and listening to residents’ views through consultation, we have been able to shape this policy to ensure it is fair and meets the needs of those seeking social housing, helping to improve the quality of life for vulnerable adults.”
Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Children and young people are at the heart of our council. As corporate parents it is our duty to ensure we give the young people in our care the same start we would want for our own children. As such, as any parent would, we are prioritising our care leavers for council housing. Making sure that we are placing our young people at the heart not just of children services but for the entire council.”
It is expected the implementation of the allocations policy will begin in February.
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