Have your say on big changes to area’s housing scheme

People can have their say about big changes on the cards to a scheme which allocates affordable homes across the county.

Homechoice has been in operation since July 2011 and is operated by councils across the county to give tenants more flexibility and choice.

In the 18 months since the new system was introduced, waiting lists have increased dramatically, as more people than ever have taken the opportunity to register on the list and use the system to try to find a home.

Homechoice co-ordinator Karen Jackson said: “We know that there are simply not enough affordable homes in North Yorkshire to meet the demand.

“Demand is simply outstripping supply. About 60% of people registered are currently in the bronze band, with little or no housing need. In reality, most of these applicants will struggle to find housing through Homechoice because there are so many people in greater need waiting for homes.

“We need to find a better way to help this group with their housing requirements”

“But the results of the consultation tell us the scheme is popular with applicants, it offers people more choice and better information about their housing options. We also know that most people are finding it easy to use, and we’ve seen improvements in certain areas such as people needing to move on from supported accommodation finding it easier to do so.”

One of the proposals up for consultation is a plan to stop people who already own their own homes, or have high incomes or savings, joining the register.

“If there were enough homes for everyone we needn’t think about restricting access to the list in this way,”’ added Karen.

“But we have established that there are very many people registered with us who have their own suitable accommodation - we need to be clear about restricting access to housing to those who really need it.”

The consultation runs until 3 May and everyone is being urged to comment and give their views.

All the details can be found on the Homechoice website at www.northyorkshirehomechoice.org.uk