Home Choice Register – which way forward?

What would a new HCR look like? What criteria would it use?

It is apparent that the current HCR is flawed, it overestimates the number in need; it gives the impression that all those on the HCR require a newly constructed dwelling; it is unclear as to how many of those registered have a local connection.

The HCR must exclude those who no longer require a property.

The local connection criterion must be made clear, consistent and appropriate.

Those households where need is not sufficiently high enough should not be on the register. The exclusion of those in Band E would seem acceptable.

It must be made clear that when HCR figures are published that although a household may need better or different accommodation this does not necessarily equate to a need to build a new home.

Causes of households registering need to be tackled – such as unaffordability; the need for adaptions to a property for example.

But issues in the broader housing market need to be addressed. These include the loss of properties to the leisure sector; planning approvals granted for luxury housing; and a dysfunctional market. Low incomes also need to be rectified and iniquitous impositions like the bedroom tax should be abolished.

We need a better system but one that operates in a wider framework of providing housing for people to live in not housing for investment!


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