What are the Allocation Policies?
L&Q and Ealing Council have different allocation policies. Once the housing needs questionnaire is completed the team will also ask you complete a transfer form. Home allocations will be made using the following guidelines:
• One to three bedroom flats will usually go to single people, couples and smaller-sized families
• Maisonettes will usually go to families
• Houses will usually go to families with three or more children
• Ground floor flats would usually go to the elderly or those with special medical needs.
You can view the council’s full allocation policy at: ealing.gov.uk. The size (number of rooms) of the new home you will be offered is decided by the council’s allocations team. Under new central government regulations the following are expected to share a bedroom:
An adult couple
Two children under 16 of the same sex
Two children under 10 (regardless of sex)
The following can have their own bedroom:
A single adult (16 or over)
A child that would normally share but shared bedrooms are already taken (for example; you have three children and two already share)
Children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition
A non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner (but only if they must stay overnight).
One spare bedroom is allowed for:
An approved foster carer who is between placements but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
A newly approved foster carer, for up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them during that time.
L&Q has a further policy on this which can be found at: yoursouthacton.co.uk/news/landq-news
If you are downsizing to a smaller property (e.g. from a three bed to a two bed) you can currently get an allowance of £1,000 per bedroom given up. You will be notified if this changes.
Extra bedroom If you are living in a home larger than your current assessed housing need, you may be able to apply to be allocated one discretionary extra bedroom in certain circumstances. The rules are that you must:
Currently have at least one spare bedroom
Not have any rent arrears
Not have any record of anti-social behaviour within the last two years
Show you have a need for an additional room, such as joint custody of a child, a medical need or a need for someone to stay to care for you from time-to-time
Are able to afford the rent and service charges for the larger property
Agree to move within timescales specified by the council.
Each case will be dealt with on its merits. If an additional room is granted over and above your assessed needs, but you already live in a three bed home, then you will not get the downsizing payment, even if you are still giving up a bedroom.
It is important to bear in mind that if you are in receipt of housing benefit the government has made changes that may affect you if you have an ‘extra’ bedroom. This change known as the ‘bedroom tax’ or ‘under-occupancy charge’ is a cut in your housing benefit if you live in a council or housing association property and have what is classified as a 'spare' bedroom. New conditions to housing benefit mean you can only claim for a certain number of bedrooms, depending on how many people live in your home.
Bedroom tax is applied to your 'net rent' (the rent when things like water charges are removed, as these aren't covered by housing benefit). The housing benefit office call this your 'eligible rent'. The amount of net rent covered by housing benefit is cut by:
- 14% if you have one spare bedroom
- 25% if you have two or more spare bedrooms
For example, if your net rent is £120 a week you need to pay the following extra rent yourself:
- £16.80 more if you have one spare room
- £30 more if you have two spare rooms
Ealing Council and Acton Gardens can veto any application for an additional bedroom when downsizing where it is felt the applicant may be unable to afford the additional bedroom owing to the ‘bedroom tax’. Each case will be looked into on an individual basis.
Council officers will allocate homes after considering housing needs in terms of number of bedrooms, medical issues, family requirements and elderly provision. Where there is more than one household that would like a certain property, priority will be determined by taking the following into account:
Tenancy start date on the South Acton – the longer you have been a tenant at South Acton the more priority you will get.
Larger households will be allocated larger homes.For example, a two parent, two children household will be allocated a bigger two-bed home than a single parent with one child.
Medical needs (but only if a particular type of home is required for a health condition.For example, a disability requires a ground floor flat)
Age of oldest tenant – but only if a particular type of home is required that would assist an elderly person.For example a ground floor flat.
Anti-social behaviour and drug users/dealing
Those with a recorded history of anti-social behaviour or drug use/dealing will be given a low priority and squatters will not get an allocation.