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Council house allocation rules to change to help get people off the streets

Council homes in Lincoln Road, South Shields.
Council homes in Lincoln Road, South Shields.

A change on policy to ensure councils provide help for the homeless will see a change in how it allocates housing.

South Tyneside Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the new rules when it meets next week.

The current housing allocations policy places applicants in a banding system based on their housing needs and the urgency of their situation, and prioritises people with a local connection to the borough.

The new policy has been developed in light of new legislation, particularly the Homelessness Reduction Act, which places a duty on councils to provide help to anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, regardless of their circumstances.

It will also promote sustainable tenancies, by focusing on pre-tenancy support including health and affordability assessments.

Councillor Allan West, lead member for housing and transport, said: “The new policy aims to provide a fair and transparent system for those in need of social or affordable housing.

“It also focuses on making tenancies sustainable and reducing unnecessary moves and delays within our housing stock, which has obvious benefits for both the council and tenants.

“Housing has such a major impact on people’s lives. We’re committed to providing good quality, sustainable homes to meet the needs of our residents and create thriving communities.”

If adopted, the new policy will apply from next month. It will be implemented by South Tyneside Homes via the Tyne and Wear Homes Sub Regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme.

The new policy will be outlined at next week’s meeting of the cabinet, which will take place at 4pm on Wednesday, March 21, at South Shields Town Hall.