Cornwall’s Homechoice Register, wrongly referred to as a waiting list for those seeking social housing, has long been used to support unsustainable housing development. The total on the HCR has frequently been cited when developments have been proposed.
It has always given the wrong impression in that many on the HCR have not been in the highest need and also most households on the HCR are already living in a house. What is required is a transfer to a different house, it does not mean a new house has to be constructed!
Cornwall Council has revised the rules around who is eligible – as have many other local authorities. In January the new system was announced.
Homechoice, Cornwall Council’s system for allocating social housing, is about to change with new rules being put in place so that homes go to those with a strong connection to Cornwall and who are in the greatest housing need.
A new website will also be launched on 10 January to make it easier for people to set up a user account so that they will be able to see their Homechoice application and bid on properties when they are listed.
The Council’s new social housing allocation policy will mean, for the majority of homes available through Homechoice, applicants will need to have a 3-year connection to Cornwall to be allocated a Cornwall Council property or a property that Homechoice has nomination rights over. Similar qualifications will apply to parish connections too.
Those households with an annual income below £30,000 will be prioritised when bidding for Cornwall Council owned properties which make up about a third of Cornwall’s 29,000 social housing stock. https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2018/news-from-january-2018/council-makes-changes-to-how-it-allocates-housing-to-help-locals-in-the-greatest-housing-need/
What has not been made public is what is the new number on the HCR? The latest figure was 19,500, presumably it is now lower, but what is it?