There are currently 1444 people registered on the housing waiting list in York.
3 of these have been given an emergency classification with a further 204 in the top urgency category (Gold).
The York Council is leaving the North Yorkshire pooled “home
choice” system next November (2020). It will then implement its own housing
There are currently 7512 Council homes in York. Around 600 a
year of these become available for reletting. Since 2014, 522 additional homes
have been added to the pool although this has been offset by 324 “right to buy”
The Council hopes to build an additional 600 new homes across
York over the next few years.
One major issue facing York is the demand for elderly persons
accommodation. York has an estimated shortage of independent living and extra
care properties which is forecast to be over 1100 independent living properties
and almost 500 extra care properties by 2039.
68% of York’s’ housing is owner occupied. Average house
prices have risen by 25% over the last 4 years to £235,000. That is nearly 9 times
the average wage. In the same period rents
on private 2 bed properties have risen by 11.5% to £725 a month.
For those living on benefits, there is a major gulf between
income and monthly private sector rents.
Unfortunately, the Council has no influence on the terms of “Right
to Buy” sales, so must try to bridge the gap with new build.
On 17 October the York Council is likely to authorise changes to the current housing registrations service.
City of York Council operates a choice based lettings (CBL) system for applicants to bid for affordable rented homes across North Yorkshire and York. The system was introduced by the LibDem administration in 2011.
The Council says that “a recent review of it has identified changes that would streamline processes for applicants and officers. The detailed consultation and review included involving staff from multiple council services as well as visits to other local authorities that use other application or bidding systems. The council also conducted two consultations with customers on the current system.
A number of changes have already taken place including streamlining administration, interviewing new applicants and updating housing advice.
The Executive Member will be asked to give officers authority to work with the North Yorkshire Home Choice partnership to discuss changing from a choice based lettings (advertising and bidding) system to an officer allocation system based on customer preference, and also to start discussions about future changes to the allocations and letting policy.
A Freedom of Information request has been submitted aimed at getting to the bottom of the recent drop in the number of people on the social housing waiting list in York.
The number on the list fell from over 4600 families at the beginning of September, to only 2200 in October. No new social housing developments were completed for occupation during that period.
It turned out that a behind closed doors decision had been taken to kick more than half of the applicants off the list.
We now understand that most of these were deemed to be people who did not have a real housing need and who had not applied for any of the homes advertised during the previous 12 months.
Of the others, 140 were already homeowners and 187 had no local connection while 13 had no local connection and were also homeowners
57 applicants had their application banding changed from Gold to Silver. The Council has to respond within 28 days to the FOI request.
The request seeks details of how the decision was taken, when and by whom.
It asks the Council what consultation was undertaken.
It seeks more information about the categories of people who have been thrown off the register.
The number of “affordable” homes built in York during the current financial year is expected to be around 102. It has fallen from a figure of 282 which were completed in 2010/11, the final year of Liberal Democrat Council control.
Now the Council seem to have realised that they bear a large measure of responsibility for the increase in the numbers on the waiting list for homes.
That list now has 4674 names on it!
In a pretentiously entitled report “Get York Building” the Labour Council blames everyone and everything for their failures.
Although making a claim that many developments are “underway”, the report fails to tabulate the position on the individual sites. In reality over 1600 potential homes are on sites with a current planning permission but are currently “stalled” . (Larger strategic developments that are ‘stalled’ – e.g. Nestle, Terry’s, Germany Beck, York Central & British Sugar are not included in this total.)
Contributory factors to the impasse include a continuing difficulty in getting mortgages while developers also have reported problems getting capital for small speculative house building projects.
The Council are proposing to ease the proportion of “affordable” homes required to 20% on planning permissions issued on brownfield sites. It remains to be seen whether this has any practical effect.
Labour are also reversing their objection to “off site” financial contributions in lieu of affordable homes being built on the development site itself. These will still be a hefty £23,133 per unit (a figure that is passed on to new home buyers of course).
The Council has now said that it will provide 1000 new homes each year on average over the next 5 years. That is a ludicrously improbable figure given past performance.
With a 20% affordable element, that would mean that only 200 affordable homes would be provided each year compared to Labours election promise of 790.
All current City of York Housing Register Applicants (both waiting and transfer list) over the next 3 weeks will be contacted by letter inviting them to re register for the new North Yorkshire Home Choice register.
Current applicants who are invited to re register can do this either on line or by filling in a paper form. The Council will actively be encouraging applicants where appropriate and where they can to apply on line. They will be able to go into the offices both in the City and Acomb for assistance to complete either on line or paper forms, there will be staff available at all times at both offices to assist them.
Customers will have until the 31st March 2011 to re register. If they apply after this date their application start date will be taken from the date of their new application and they will loose out on valuable time on the list. It is imperative that customers re register prior to the 31st March to ensure they keep their original registration date as this will affect their position when we go live with choice based lettings as time on list/in band is one of the deciding factors on which bid is top of the list and gets the offer of a property.
The Council will be sending out reminder letters in mid March to all those applicants who have failed to re register, to remind them of the importance of registering prior to the 31st March and again how and where they can re register and what help and support is available to them.
The new policy and system will go live in mid June.