Anyone who is using or who has used the Cornwall Homechoice housing register to apply for council and housing association homes to rent is being urged to give their thoughts on how the system works and what can be done to improve it.
The Cornwall Homechoice Scheme is a common housing register where households can register and apply for affordable homes owned and managed by the council and its partners, collectively known as the Cornwall Homechoice Partnership. This includes homes owned and managed by Aster, Coastline, Cornwall Housing, LiveWest, Ocean, Sanctuary, and Westward.
Social homes are in high demand in Cornwall, with more than 22,000 households on the Homechoice register. The council says it has to manage them in a way that best meets the needs of our residents. It is considering making some changes to the way it allocates social housing. This includes how it lets those homes, the priority levels (banding), and how people apply and bid.
The Cornwall Homechoice Partnership is clear that:
- applicants should have an open, simple, and transparent route to apply and bid for affordable homes;
- applicants can exercise a degree of choice;
- there will be appropriate advice and guidance available on alternative housing options; and
- available homes are matched to applicants in most urgent housing need.
“Cornwall is faced with an unprecedented housing crisis,” said Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for housing. “How we allocate social housing needs to be transparent, fair, and easily understood by applicants, and offer real choice.
“We have to prioritise our residents who are in most housing need, and must do all that we can to ensure that our most vulnerable residents have access to available homes at a rent they can afford.
“We also need key workers to support the services we all use, from nurses and teachers to hospitality workers and refuse collectors, and we need to help them find a home they can afford.”
He added: “As a council, we are doing all we can to support residents to find the homes they need, from building and buying more homes to working with government to introduce double council tax on second homes and limiting the number of holiday lets through the planning process.
“As a partnership, we are reviewing the way Homechoice works to provide the best opportunity to support those most in housing need.”
To find out more about the consultation and take part in the survey, click here. The deadline for submission if 5pm on 25th August.