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Housing Act 1955

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

13/01/2012 6:29 pm

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14/01/2012 7:54 am

Might want to change the title of this post to Housing Act 1985, not 1955.

In relation to the act you are infact a 6 1/2 person household not nine.

Not entirely sure that Part X is relevant here, i cant see it being a  barrier to you being able to bid for a 5 bed, it would have been used in your assessment to see if you are Stat Overcrowded.

 I would suggest asking for a copy of your Local Authority or Housing Associations Allocations Policy, you might find your answer there.

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14/01/2012 10:29 am

I could not see anywhere to change the title!

Thank you for the reply, I am under the same understanding of them rules above as you are.

I have read all the local authoritys Allocation Scheme/Policy, Only difference they had was that a room with 90sq ft plus was counted as a room for 2

The dispute we are about to have is all in realation to the amount of persons the house can hold and the amount of persons in our household, which they are now saying is 9.

But when they allocated the points the Baby was not included in calulations beacuse they were under 1

Now they want to count the baby.

Hoping to have the rule they are going to TRY and apply from above on Monday

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14/01/2012 4:06 pm

My advice is not relating to the dispute you have about the definition of how many people are counted in your household - I don't have enough knowledge of that aspect.

However, my advice is more practical. You say you've been told you "cannot bid" for these new 5 bed properties when they become available. Have you got that in writing and does it actually say the words you cannot bid? My guess is it doesn't...

Therefore, while you have this dispute about the household definition which could go on for some time. If the properity becomes available you ABSOLUTELY need to bid for it. The worse case scenario is you don't get it. But then the Council will have to confirm in writing the reasons why.

Lets say you don't bid for it and then the Council turns round and eventually agrees with you about the household definition. Where will you be then? It's too late because you didn't bid for it. But once you bid for it, then the Council have to prove that you don't qualify for the property.

That gives alot more weight to your case. Otherwise it's simply a hyperthetical argument you're having with the Council saying "if I bid for this would I qualify for that etc". Rather than what it should be, which is you have actaully bid for a property you qualify for, let the Council prove this shouldn't give it your family.  

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Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Posts: 2

14/01/2012 7:42 pm

I will Bid when the properties becaome available.

For now here is the wording of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraph of the letter from the Local Council.

When allocating its properties the City Council must have regard to the legal maximumnumber of persons, as defined by the Housing Acy 1985, that can live in a property before it is overcrowded. Based on this requirement the City Council is unable to consider you for the specific properties in which you have expressed an interest, as to do so would breach the maximum occupancy level of 8 people for these properties.

I do appreciate that your Grandchild is, curently, very young, nevertheless, your household now contains 9 people. As time passes you would face the situation where you are living in an increasingly overcrowded property that is unsuitable to meet the needs of a growing family.

It may seem contradictory for the City Council to advise that your household is eligible for a four-bedroom parlour type house and that you could use one of the living rooms as a bedroom. However, at that point of short listing for a property we conduct additional checks which take account of the size of that property to ensure the maximum occupancy level is not breached before the allocation can proceed.

They are even trying to perdict the future, when they mention the grandchild.

I appreciate the replies, I am getting a Housing Solicitor to deal with it, I really just wanted some confirmation from anyone, to say that there is actually no reason whatsoever for the City Council to refuse us a bid and then decline us.

Of course there are reasons that they could, such as having Anti Social Behaviour in the Children, but this is not he case. I use this as an example.

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16/01/2012 12:13 pm

It appears that they are trying to penalise you for keeping your family together. Perhaps a direct appeal to the Housing Minister about your current overcrowding and the local authority prioritising those with less need, potentially underoccupying the new homes.

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Derren Cooper

Derren Cooper

Posts: 56

16/01/2012 4:51 pm

It seems to me this is to do with the crackdown on what secured tenancy will mean, and this council does not want to find themselves in a position where they cannot move you out of a 5 bed property when the kids move away in future, so you may be better off looking at an assured tenancy through a HA to get a larger home for the next few years.

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16/01/2012 5:13 pm

Thanks for more replies.

Will consider the Housing Minister if needed.

Crackdown on secured means nothing, We already have a secured tenancy, If we move to New Property, we have to be perfect tenants for another 12 months to get a secured tenancy, Also if we did get it and many years later the older Children move out we would be classed as under occupying, and therefor the Council would give us priority to move to a smaller property.

Had aemail today confirming their stance, It is to do with the over crowding in the sections above, So as far as I see, and a Housing Solicitor, We should not be refused to bid, also should be allocated the property, unless anyone with more points is given it before us.

That all said they can just give it to a family at their descretion, who they believe has more of an urgent need than us, we shall see on that basis if it happens.

When it does become available, we will be bidding, I shall keep you all updated as to any outcomes.

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17/01/2012 2:52 pm

Highlights the issues of families having more children than they can support. How can we stop this?

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17/01/2012 4:01 pm

Demononny - how exactly - nowhere is there an indication that this family does not support itself. Or do you consider any person who is a tenant as unable to support their family?

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17/01/2012 4:59 pm

Just for your information, As a family man, the Children in this household, only 4 are our own Birth Children, The other 3 are with us Via Social Services, We do support our sleves btw

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27/04/2012 12:18 pm

Back again, Now the City Council, (Been Birmingham City Council) Change the rules twice so far on us, they of course used the Housing act of 1985, then changed it to Planing Policy and HCA guide lines.

Now they state this

Our Housing Allocation Scheme 2009 states in Part 4 "Allocation Criteria" Under section 4.1-

'The size of accommodation an applicant may be allocated is usually
determined by the number of people in the applicant’s household and the age,
gender and relationship of those people to each other'

Futher more in section 4.2.4 (Applicants who need four bedrooms or more)

'When calculating the size of a property that an applicant may be allocated or
bid for (as outlined in section 4.1 above), the assessment of the number of
bedrooms required by the household does not constitute an entitlement to a
property with that particular number of bedrooms'

Now let me put all of them sections together.

This is 4.1

4.1 The size of properties
The size of accommodation an applicant may be allocated is usually
determined by the number of people in the applicant’s household and the age,
gender and relationship of those people to each other. Only in the situations
described in sections 4.2 and 4.3 and 4.2 will BCC allocate an applicant more
bedrooms than are needed according to the Bedroom Standard.
BCC uses the Bedroom Standard to determine the number of bedrooms an
applicant can be allocated under the scheme, or express an interest in, under
any Choice Based Lettings scheme.
Under the Bedroom Standard each household should have enough rooms to
Provide a bedroom for:
• each couple in the household
• each pair of same gender children under the age of 18
• each pair of opposite gender children under the age of 10
• a person not meeting any of the three categories of people above

This is 4.2.4

4.2.4 Applicants who need four bedrooms or more
When calculating the size of a property that an applicant may be allocated or
bid for (as outlined in section 4.1 above), the assessment of the number of
bedrooms required by the household does not constitute an entitlement to a
property with that particular number of bedrooms.
The supply of large accommodation available for allocation to people on the
Housing Register is very limited, with very few properties with more than three
bedrooms becoming available each year.
This means that if the rules in the Bedroom Standard set out in section 4.1
above were applied without any flexibility for larger families there would be
little, if any, prospect of re-housing them from the Housing Register, even
where there are urgent housing needs.

FLEXIBILITY been the key word.

Now I read that as under normal rules we should be able to be given or bid for this property, as they could relax the rules.

Further more I found this in the Allocation Policy

5.4.5 Exceptional Circumtances

5.4.5 Exceptional circumstances
In exceptional circumstances, applicants on the Housing Register and who
are eligible for an allocation may be made given a direct let.
Decisions relating to direct lets in exceptional circumstances will be made by
the head of Housing Needs, the policy manager (Housing Needs), the district
housing manager, Assessing Needs or the assistant director (Housing
Direct lets authorised as exceptional circumstances will usually feature one of
the following characteristics:
• A referral to BCC has been received from the national witness
protection scheme. The Housing Pathways service manager is
responsible for collating relevant information surrounding the request
for assistance and passing this to the head of housing needs for a
decision on whether a direct let is the best course of action. In this
instance, the Housing Pathways manager is responsible for managing
the case and safeguarding the identity of the witness.
• A referral has been made by the BCC Children, Young People and
Families directorate indicating a child at risk. The child must have
undergone a statutory assessment, assessed as a child at risk, and
there must be evidence to suggest that re-housing will remove the
child from risk.
• A referral has been made by a Birmingham Multi Agency Public
Protection Panel. Before authorising a direct let, the head of housing
needs will have considered implications for public safety, including the
management of risk, alternatives, and how they would impact on risk
management. Any agreement to the direct let of a specific property
will be subject to licence conditions and approval by the relevant
statutory agency.

• An applicant has requested consideration to be given for a move to
accommodation that would clearly and demonstrably result in BCC
making the best use of the housing stock available to it. For example,
two applicants, both of whom are tenants of a social rented unit in Birmingham, have requested to move into one property and the
resulting empty properties would better enable BCC to meet the needs
of others on the Housing Register. This decision can only be
authorised by the head of housing needs or the assistant director
(Housing Management). Consideration will not be given to the release
of two one bed-roomed properties where the need is for
accommodation with two bedrooms or more, unless one of the
properties has major adaptations and a move to another adapted
property is not required.
The list above is not exhaustive but indicates the type of circumstances in
which a direct let for exceptional circumstances is made.
All direct lets will be monitored to assess impact on the overall transparency
of the allocation scheme and the need to ensure that, overall, those applicants
entitled to a reasonable preference64 receive it and that the scheme meets
statutory and other legal requirements.

We were oringinally referred Via Social Services, also health vistor.

Another part is Management points, which are given are rare apparently, well we have been awarded 150 of them

Here is the section on that.

3.4.25 Management points
These points may be awarded by the assessing needs senior officer panel.
Points may be awarded to address either

• aspects of housing need that fall into one of the reasonable
preference categories as described in the Act33 but which have not
been sufficiently recognised elsewhere in the allocation scheme
due to the exceptional nature of an applicant’s circumstances; or
• the need for BCC to make the best use of its existing housing stock.
The award of points in this category is rare. Applicants are not able to self
refer their application: referrals are made from BCC housing managers after
checks have been made to ensure that either:
• all of the allocation points available to the applicant have been
awarded in accordance with the allocation scheme and that there
are exceptional unrecognised housing needs that fall into one
of the reasonable preference or additional preference categories; or
• the award of management points to facilitate a move for the
applicant would support BCC’s objective of making the best use of
its existing housing stock.
Points awarded by the panel vary from 50 to 200, with 50 points being
awarded for the least urgent cases and 200 for exceptionally urgent cases.
The panel consists of senior officers from the Housing Needs section or from
the housing management assessing needs function.

So to conclude, after reading all that, would you think that the City Council are been unreasonable to our needs, The Housing act makes up eligible, the allocation scheme makes us eligible, There is a part there under the room standard that the do not consider children under the age of 1

The Space standard

The space standard
The space standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a
dwelling is in excess of the permitted number, having regard to the number
and floor area of the rooms of the dwelling available as sleeping
accommodation. For this purpose:
a) Children under the age of one year are not taken into account

Any help or opinions and advice is greatly recieved. Thanks for readin

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