Laura Sharman 27 January 2016

Councils urged to reconsider changes to housing allocation schemes

Changes to the way councils allocate social housing have led to an increase in the number of complaints made to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

Since 2012, councils have had the power to change their social housing allocation schemes in order to better manage their waiting lists. However, the LGO warned this has triggered a 13% increase in the number of complaints it has received about housing allocations.

The ombudsman has now produced a report outlining what lessons can be learnt from complaints, amid concerns that some changes could impact on vulnerable groups of people.

Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, said: ‘In the complaints we investigate we regularly find councils at fault, so I urge them to consider the cases in our report and ask whether practices can be improved to avoid similar things happening to others.

‘With demand far outstripping supply, there are difficult decisions to be made. But any changes to council allocation schemes should not disadvantage the vulnerable groups which must be given a reasonable preference by law.’

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