11. Current Outcomes and Standards: Access to Housing (Charter outcome 10)
ACCESS TO HOUSING (Charter outcome 10)
Social landlords ensure that people looking for housing find it easy to apply for the widest choice of social housing available and get the information they need on how the landlord allocates homes and their prospects of being housed.
This outcome covers what social landlords can do to make it easy for people to apply for the widest choice of social housing that is available and suitable and that meets their needs. It includes actions that social landlords can take on their own and in partnership with others, for example through Common Housing Registers or mutual exchange schemes, or through local information and advice schemes.
Question 10a): Would you keep this outcome exactly as it is or change it? Please explain your answer.
11.1 Amongst the 89 respondents who answered this question, 71% would keep the outcome as it is; 27% would change the outcome; and 2% did not know whether or not they would change it.
11.2 Of the large categories of respondent, the majority of TRGs and local authorities would keep the outcome as it stands, compared with more mixed views and a more even balance amongst RSLs of those considering the outcome should be kept and those recommending changes (see Table 11.1 in Annex 2 for a breakdown of responses by category of respondent).
Views of those in favour of keeping the outcome as it is
11.3 Views amongst those favouring the status quo were that the outcome represented common sense; was straightforward, concise and easy to understand; and appeared to be working.
Views of those in favour of changing the outcome
11.4 A few respondents repeated the views they provided in relation to previous outcomes, and called for outcome 10 to be combined with outcomes 7, 8 and 9 to create what they considered would be a more cohesive approach. One RSL called for combining outcome 10 with outcome 1 on equalities in order to be responsive to the needs of protected characteristic groups.
11.5 A recurring view emerging from three sectors of respondent (Individuals, RSLs and TRGs) was that the outcome should be broadened to provide an
approach to empowering people looking for housing, by giving them full information on allocations and their prospects of being housed.
11.6 Another theme related to broadening options across landlords to find the most suitable housing for people. Reference was made to use of Common Housing Registers (although one RSL argued that housing options lessened the need for these), and bringing in more information about other housing available, not just in the social housing sector (to reflect the absence of the word "social" in the outcome title).
11.7 A few respondents considered the outcome to be overly narrow and recommended broadening to include more of a dynamic dimension in which planning for housing (for example, for those leaving prison or other institutional care) and those needing more on-going dialogue over housing options, are catered for.
Question 10b): Please provide any suggestions on how we could improve the supporting narrative
11.8 Several respondents made suggestions for actions which social landlords can take to provide information for people to make choices such as open meetings, road shows, conversations. One RSL considered that it may be worth mentioning services which allow customers to apply for housing and track the progress of their application online.