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UCCLT Housing Lettings

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Community Land Trust This is the Lettings Allocation Policy for UCCLT Housing, the housing management company of the Upper Culm Community Land Trust. UCCLT Housing is purchasing eight homes on the Lower Greenfield estate south of Griffin Close in summer 2019. Four will be available for affordable rent, two for shared equity ownership and two for sale at a discounted price (leasehold).

                                                                                                  

 

LETTINGS :

LOCAL ALLOCATION POLICY

(Local Letting Plan)

 

 

 

1          Purpose

    1. UCCLT Housing Ltd was established by the Upper Culm Community Land Trust in October 2015 as a not-for-public-profit private company in order to apply for and, if successful, act as a Registered Provider of Social Housing. UCCLT Housing was appointed as a Registered Provider of Social Housing by the Homes & Communities Agency in 2017 (reg. no.:4861) and will act as the landlord of the CLT’s properties.

 

    1. The Community Land Trust and UCCLT Housing are both a group of local volunteers. The Trust’s objects are set out in Figure 1.

 

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The society aims to:

      1. Maintain or improve the physical, social and economic infrastructure within  the parishes of Hemyock and Clayhidon in Mid Devon;
      2. Advance education (particularly concerning asset based community development and enterprises with a community or environmental focus); and
      3. Provide an opportunity for public-spirited people and organisations to contribute financially to the community, with the expectation of a social dividend, rather than personal financial reward.

Examples of the ways in which the society may carry out its objects may include:

      1. Providing housing for those in need and help to improve housing standards;
      2. Creating training and employment opportunities by the provision of workspace, buildings or land;
      3. Developing new or existing services to the local community that contribute to the local economy.

These objects are carried on for the benefit of the local community.

 

Figure One:                 The Objects of the Upper Culm Community Land Trust

The vision of the Trust and of UCCLT Housing Ltd is to lead in the maintenance of sustainable communities in Hemyock and Clayhidon through the provision of good quality, sustainable homes at reasonable costs for people from Hemyock and Clayhidon with limited options in the housing market due to affordability issues.

1.3  We aim to:

  • actively assist local authorities in carrying out their statutory duties, including by: adopting a tenancy policy;
  • letting properties through partnership with local authorities through the agreed Lettings Allocations Policy and Devon Home Choice; and

 

1.4  This Policy has links to the following Policies, Procedures and documents:

  • Introductory (12 Month) Tenancy Agreement
  • Flexible Tenancy Agreement
  • Tenant Handbook

 

2          Equality and Diversity

2.1 UCCLT Housing has a statutory duty to eliminate all forms of discrimination in its services. We are opposed to all grounds of discrimination covered by the Equality Act 2010, i.e. race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age; or any other unjustifiable criteria.

 

2.2 We intend that every application for a home will be dealt with fairly and consistently in line with this policy and with our Equality and Diversity Policy, and will comply with all legislation and other equal opportunity regulatory requirements.

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3.         The Local Allocation Policy

3.1 This allocations plan has been prepared to ensure that the objects of the Trust are met.

3.2 Every effort has been made to ensure the Allocation Plan is not in variance with other policies and agreements.

3.3 This policy sets out how the process by which the Trust and the Landlord will comply with the requirements of a Section 106 Agreement on the scheme in the Schedule i.e. to ensure that any homes developed remain affordable in perpetuity and are prioritised for people with a local connection.

3.4 Priority will be given to eligible persons with a local connection with the Parishes of Hemyock and Clayhidon coupled with a housing need, using the cascade in the following section 4.

 

4.         The Allocation Criteria for Rented Properties:

Applicants will be prioritised using the following criteria, ranked in order of importance (References to Bands A-E refer to the Devon Home Choice priority bandings – see Annex One):

4.1       The intended household is in Bands A-D and has been continuously resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for at least 5 years.

4.2       The intended household is in Bands A-D and is permanently employed in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon and whose work is primarily based within these parishes. For the purposes of this criteria ‘permanently employed’ means having held a permanent contract for a minimum of 16 hours per week for at least the preceding 6 months.

4.3       The intended household is living in private rented accommodation and has a local connection to the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon according to clauses 4.1 and 4.2, in order of preference, in Band E where the household income is insufficient to enable it to afford to or to sustain to rent or purchase a property suitable for its needs at a full open market value or price in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon.

4.4       The intended household is in Bands A-D and has a close living relation resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon. This means immediate family members (parents, siblings, dependent and non-dependent children) who themselves live in the parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon and have done so for at least the preceding five years; Exceptional circumstances will be taken into consideration.

4.5       Former residents (who previously lived in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for a period of at least three years within the last 10 years) who wish to return to the parishes in Band A-D

4.6       The intended household is in Bands A-D and has been continuously resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for the preceding six months or more.

4.7       Those residents of neighbouring Parishes in Bands A-D using the above criteria in the following order of priority:

  • Culmstock
  • Uffculme
  • Dunkeswell, Upottery, Churchstanton, Sheldon
  • Luppitt, West Buckland, Wellington Without, Sampford Arundel, Pitminster

4.8       Those residents with a local connection to Mid Devon District in Bands A-D. For the purposes of determining ‘local connection’ the criteria above will be used, substituting Mid Devon District for references to Hemyock and Clayhidon.

4.9       Those residents with a local connection to Mid Devon District or those with a local connection to the Parishes specified above, in Band E. For the purposes of determining ‘local connection’ the criteria above will be used, substituting Mid Devon District or the relevant parish (as appropriate) for references to Hemyock and Clayhidon.

4.10     All other Devon Home Choice applicants.

5          Shared Ownership and Discounted Open Market properties

5.1       For the shared ownership and discounted open market properties, the following groups would be eligible:

  • First time buyers who cannot afford to buy on the open market in the locality.
  • Those who jointly owned a home but the relationship has broken down and cannot afford to buy on the open market in the locality
  • Existing shared owners who have outgrown their home but cannot afford to buy outright/rent on the open market in the locality

5.2       Shared ownership and discounted open market affordable housing applicants would be prioritised on the following basis:

5.2.1         Has been continuously resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for at least 5 years.

5.2.2         Is permanently employed in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon and whose work is primarily based within these parishes. For the purposes of this criteria ‘permanently employed’ means having held a permanent contract for a minimum of 16 hours per week for at least the preceding 6 months.

5.2.3         Has previously lived in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for a period of at least three years within the last 10 years and wish to return to the parishes.

5.2.4         Has a close living relation resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon. This means immediate family members (parents, siblings, dependent and non-dependent children) who themselves live in the parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon and have done so for at least the preceding  five years. Exceptional circumstances will be taken into consideration.

5.2.5         Has previously lived in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for a period of at least three years within the last 10 years and who wishes to return to the parishes.

5.2.6         Has been continuously resident in the Parishes of Hemyock or Clayhidon for the preceding six months or more.

5.2.7         Residents of neighbouring Parishes using the above criteria in the following order of priority:

      • Culmstock
      • Uffculme
      • Dunkeswell, Upottery, Churchstanton, Sheldon
      • Luppitt, West Buckland, Wellington Without, Sampford Arundel, Pitminster

5.2.8         Has a local connection to Mid Devon District. For the purposes of determining ‘local connection’ the criteria above will be used, substituting Mid Devon District for references to Hemyock and Clayhidon.

5.2.9         Those residents with a local connection to Mid Devon District or those with a local connection to the Parishes specified above. For the purposes of determining ‘local connection’ criteria above will be used, substituting Mid Devon District or the relevant parish (as appropriate) for references to Hemyock and Clayhidon.

5.2.10       All other shared ownership applicants.

5.3       First priority will be given to those who are eligible in accordance with the above criteria and who are existing council and housing association tenants or Ministry of Defence personnel.

4.4       The size and type of shared ownership and discounted open market home offered will be based on three main factors:

  • Affordability
  • Household size
  • The applicant’s preference

As a guide, offers will be made on the following basis:

  • Single applicants - one or two beds
  • Joint applicants – one, two or three beds
  • Couples/single parent families with one child - two or three beds
  • Couples/single parent families with two children - three or four beds

6.         Application of Criteria

6.1       The Landlord is responsible for lettings and sales. Residents will be tenants or leaseholders of the Landlord.

6.2       Where two or more applicants have equal status in terms of local connection and housing need, the deciding factor will be their length of time registered on Devon Home Choice and the property will be allocated to those who have been registered longer.

6.3       As affordable rented homes are in short supply, a home with a spare bedroom will not usually be offered except in the following circumstances:

  • where a member of the family has a long term illness or disability and may need a carer to stay overnight on a regular basis
  • where, after allocating two bedroom homes to families with children or dependent relatives, some homes remain available, couples with a local connection may be considered for that property
  • where children, who normally live with their other parent, frequently stay overnight.

7          Advertising of Vacancies

7.1       On the first lettings/sales, the Landlord and the Trust will hold an open meeting four  months before the expected completion date of the properties to provide information and advice.

7.2       The Landlord will notify the Trust of all rental vacancies or re-sales. If the property is rented it will be advertised on Devon Home Choice (DHC  https://www.devonhomechoice.com/ ). If the property is to be sold under a Shared Ownership lease it will be advertised by South West Homes (SWH  https://www.helptobuysw.org.uk/ ). In the event that DHC or SWH are unable to provide this service, or the definitions of Bands A-E should change, the Trust and the Landlord will ensure that future applicants who would formerly have been eligible for the properties by having a local connection and being in Band E will remain eligible. The Trust and the Landlord will formally amend this Allocations Plan accordingly (and with it, the Section 106 Agreement.)

 

7.3       When notified of vacancies the Trust will use local communications to ensure as many local people as possible know about the vacancies and how to apply.

8.         The Offer Process

8.1       The Landlord will carry out a home visit to verify the information provided by applicants for rented housing. All applicants who are being considered for rented housing will be visited.

8.2       Prior to an offer being made – and with the consent of the applicants - the Landlord will provide the Trust with applicants’ names and stated local connections in order that the Trust can use its local knowledge to verify the applicant’s local connections.

 

Signed on behalf of Upper Culm Community Land Trust

 

Chairman…………………………………………………

 

Dated ………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

Signed on behalf of UCCLT Housing Ltd

 

Chairman…………………………………………………

 

Dated ………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNEX ONE: Devon Home Choice Housing Need Bands

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How we prioritise applications

Your application will be placed into 1 of 5 housing need bands. This will be based on our assessment of your housing need, and whether or not you have a local connection to Devon. The 5 housing need bands are as follows:

 

Emergency Housing Need (A)

Your application will only be placed in the Emergency housing need band (A) if your need for housing is assessed as so exceptional that you must take priority over all other applicants. Substantial evidence must exist to award this priority.

The following are examples of the type of situations that would qualify:

  • You have been assessed as having an Urgent health/wellbeing need
  • You live in a home assessed as being in a state of emergency disrepair
  • You need to move to escape violence or threat of violence, harassment or a traumatic event.

 

High Housing Need (B)

Your application will be placed in the High housing need band (B) if you:

  • Have been accepted as statutorily homeless by a Devon local authority
  • Are threatened with homelessness and have been placed in the ‘Prevention of homelessness category by a Devon local authority
  • Are severely overcrowded (e.g. you lack 2 or more bedrooms, or have 2 children who lack a bedroom, such as a single parent with 2 children under 10 in a 1 bed home)
  • Are a tenant of a Devon Home Choice partner landlord and are seeking to move to a home with fewer bedrooms
  • Have been assessed as having a high health/wellbeing need
  • Live in a home assessed as being in a state of High disrepair
  • Have been assessed as ready for move on from supported housing

You will also be awarded this priority if it is assessed that doing so:

  • Meets a social need or supports the delivery of another service
  • Leads to effective management of social housing within Devon.

 

Medium Housing Need (C)

Your application will be placed in the Medium housing need band (C) if you:

  • Lack 1 bedroom
  • Have been assessed as having a medium health/wellbeing need
  • Live on or above the 3rd floor with children aged under 8.

 

Low Housing Need (D)

Your application will be placed in the Low housing need band (D) if you:

  • Have been assessed as not having a permanent home (e.g. you have been assessed as non priority and/or intentionally homeless by a Devon local authority. This may include people who are rough sleeping, have no fixed abode or are 'sofa surfing')
  • Have been assessed as having a low health/wellbeing need
  • Share facilities, such as a toilet, bath, shower or kitchen
  • Have received a valid notice to quit from your landlord
  • Have a housing need but have no local connection to Devon
  • Have been assessed as having deliberately worsened your circumstances.

 

No Housing Need (E)

Your application will be placed in the No Housing Need band (E) if it is assessed that you live in a home that is adequate to meet your housing need, or you have income/ capital that would enable you to resolve your own housing needs.