I am sorry I was unable to attend the Public Services Meeting on 7th July, but I was at the Rother District Council Meeting, otherwise I would have been able to throw some light on Colonel Kimber’s concerns about the system that registers all housing applications. The question is “is the allocation fair, and does it prioritise local connections?”
A housing application is followed by a housing needs assessment which places the applicant in one of four priority groups, bands A – D. This is only a brief description of the initial stages of RDC’s Housing Allocations Policy as required by part of the Housing Act 1996, amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Localism Act 2011. The 59 page document explains how RDC manages a policy that is influenced by Government requirements.
The newspaper feature stated that it is frustrating trying to get answers and implied that the local RDC Officer is reluctant to give answers. The Housing Needs Manager of RDC attended an AGM of Tilling Green Residents’ Association and has recently responded to the Town Council following questions at the previous Public Services Meeting.
The answer to the fair allocation question is ‘yes’, but the provision is sometimes required to house victims of domestic violence and also of the Armed Forces wherever the applications are made. I think Colonel Kimber would appreciate this.
The problem is availability of accommodation and this problem may be able to be addressed in the Local Neighbourhood Plan – there are currently 1352 applications on RDC’s register and only 250 – 300 are housed per annum, I am told. I hope this sets the record straight.
Cllr. Sam Souster
Rother District Council, Rye Ward