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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 9790

Housing Allocations & Domestic Violence

Request

Would you please provide the following information as soon as possible on housing allocations and domestic violence.

Are housing applicants that approach the council for urgent re-housing because they are at immediate risk of harm due to domestic violence required to declare themselves homeless by applying through the Part 7 homelessness route in order to be re-housed under the council's housing allocations scheme?

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence given reasonable preference under the council's housing allocations scheme?

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence given additional preference under the council's housing allocations scheme?

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence placed in the top priority Band in the council's housing allocations scheme? If not which Band are they placed in?

If a points scheme is in operation how many points are applicants who are suffering domestic violence awarded? Is this the highest award of points within the housing allocations scheme? If not what priority will the points give these applicants within the allocations scheme?

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence made direct offers by the council?

Are housing applicants that are suffering or at risk of severe life-threatening domestic violence prioritised as 'Exceptional Cases'?

Which Band(s) are housing applicants placed in if they are considered to be homeless under S166A (3)(a) and have an urgent need to move because of domestic violence? Are any of these the top priority Band?

Do current council tenants who are accepted as homeless because of domestic violence retain their tenancy rights if they are placed in temporary or emergency accommodation?

Are housing applicants who are suffering domestic violence given the same priority within the allocations scheme regardless of tenure?

Response

With reference to your Freedom of Information request, please find the responses below :

Are housing applicants that approach the council for urgent re-housing because they are at immediate risk of harm due to domestic violence required to declare themselves homeless by applying through the Part 7 homelessness route in order to be re-housed under the council's housing allocations scheme?
- If an individual suffering domestic abuse is a Council tenant they may make an application to the Estates Management department for a management transfer. If the individual is not currently a tenant and they require emergency re-housing then the Council would only be able to assist through the Part VII Housing Act 1996 (‘the Act’) route.

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence given reasonable preference under the council's housing allocations scheme?
- Reasonable preference is given as required to those groups as required by statute.

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence given additional preference under the council's housing allocations scheme?
- In addition an extra 40 points may be granted on the Housing Register if an applicant or a member of their household is in danger from the effects of violence or threats of violence/abuse in the current home and the allegations have been investigated and proven on a balance of probabilities within the last 12 months and it is deemed safe for them to reside or to continue to reside in the Borough. These points will be reviewed every 2 months.

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence placed in the top priority Band in the council's housing allocations scheme? If not which Band are they placed in?

- The Council’s bidding system works on a points basis. There is therefore no ‘top priority Band’. The amount of points will relate to the Applicant’s wider housing needs.

If a points scheme is in operation how many points are applicants who are suffering domestic violence awarded? Is this the highest award of points within the housing allocations scheme? If not what priority will the points give these applicants within the allocations scheme?

- As above + 95 accepted homeless points
Weekly points if in temporary accommodation

Are housing applicants that are suffering domestic violence made direct offers by the council?
- Direct lets may be made in exceptional circumstances where there is a need to do so.

Are housing applicants that are suffering or at risk of severe life-threatening domestic violence prioritised as 'Exceptional Cases'?

- In relation to those applicants who own their own homes a policy exception may be made. In any events such cases would be prioritised in terms of response time and provision of emergency accommodation.


Which Band(s) are housing applicants placed in if they are considered to be homeless under S166A (3)(a) and have an urgent need to move because of domestic violence? Are any of these the top priority Band? – As above, no banding system.

Do current council tenants who are accepted as homeless because of domestic violence retain their tenancy rights if they are placed in temporary or emergency accommodation? Yes

Are housing applicants who are suffering domestic violence given the same priority within the allocations scheme regardless of tenure?
- If the Applicant is a current resident then the matter would be dealt with through a management move. In relation to a non-Council tenant tenure would be irrelevant, other than providing advice and assistance in relation to injunctions and interim relief to enable the individual to remain in their own home if appropriate.