Social housing allocations in the spotlight in 12-week consultation

Kensington and Chelsea Council has launched a 12-week consultation over a new social housing allocations scheme.  

It’s one of the most important areas for residents to have their say over, as the scheme will help decide who gets priority for housing in the borough.  

Social housing in Kensington and Chelsea is in short supply, with more than 3,000 households waiting for a home, 2,100 in temporary accommodation and just 400 properties available each year – the majority of which are studio or one-bedroom properties.  

Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, Lead Member for Housing, Grenfell and Social Investment, said: “There is an obvious gap between the demand for social housing and its availability in our borough, and that leaves hundreds of families waiting in temporary accommodation hoping for a permanent home to become available.  

Residents have been invited to a consultation into a new Housing Allocations scheme, to decide how the council should allocate this limited supply of social housing.  

The 12-week consultation is seeking residents’ views on who can join the Council’s housing register and how they should be prioritised. 

It aims to ensure properties are offered to the people most in need. 

The consultation has been shaped by feedback from an independent early engagement exercise with residents and the community, held in early 2021. 

With the same number of households joining the register each year as are housed, it would take eight years to find a home for everyone even if nobody new joined.  

Cllr Taylor-Smith added: “We are doing what we can to improve the situation, including building 600 new homes with at least 300 available at social rent, but we have to make some stark choices about how we allocate our small supply of housing. 

“Providing safe homes to those with the greatest need requires a fair and responsive allocations scheme and our residents’ experiences and opinions will be vital in helping us to shape it.” 

The consultation is open now and will run until 24 February 2022. To take part, visit the Council’s consultation portal

The current Scheme was introduced in 2014 and a revision was introduced in 2017.  

It makes no reference to the Grenfell tragedy, the Homelessness Reduction Act or the Covid-19 pandemic, all of which have a bearing on current housing challenges. 

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