Home choice is up for consultation

PUBLISHED: 13:30 02 February 2007 | UPDATED: 22:33 28 May 2010

FENLAND District Council is consulting with all of its tenants as well as other interested parties, on the Government s Choice-Based Lettings (CBL) scheme, which will enable people to state a preference of where they would like to live and to apply for pa

FENLAND District Council is consulting with all of its tenants as well as other interested parties, on the Government's Choice-Based Lettings (CBL) scheme, which will enable people to state a preference of where they would like to live and to apply for particular homes as they become vacant.

The scheme, which will make it possible for people to look for homes anywhere in the Cambridge sub-region, which includes Cambridge City, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire, Forest Heath and the St Edmundsbury Borough Council areas.

In Fenland, the council is conducting a 12-week consultation exercise encompassing every tenant as well as registered social landlords and statutory and voluntary sector partners.

The Government has funded a Cambridge sub-regional scheme with £181,000 to enable partners to develop a CBL scheme as well as a comprehensive IT package to support it.

The consultation period started this week and will run until April 13. A sub-regional framework has already been developed, together with a lettings policy for each partner organisation.

Fenland Council is committed to offering its tenants a CBL service and it has been enshrined in the transfer deal with Roddons, which will take over the running of council properties.

The key principle of CBL is that customers express interest in the available properties rather than being selected from a waiting list. The difference between CBL and the traditional lettings approach is that applicants are required to identify the vacant home of their choice rather than wait for an allocation.

Vacant properties are advertised on a fortnightly cycle and people must apply for specific properties. Under the present system, time is wasted as people are offered homes which they do not want.

Homes let through this scheme will generally be let to the customer with the greatest housing need, who expressed an interest in the home and met the criteria.

Councillor Kit Owen, portfolio holder for housing, said: "We are committed to giving people as much choice as possible about where they live and this is being extended to anywhere in the areas of the participating authorities.

"We will be working with Roddons to achieve the best result for customers. For this to happen, we need all those involved to take the opportunity to comment on the proposals that have been posted to them.


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