We are considering how we can take performance against certain indicators into account to reach judgments on association performance in tackling homelessness. Where associations’ performance in letting to homeless households is perceived to be less good than it can reasonably be expected, and where CORE data indicate an association is an outlier5 in lettings to priority needs groups, we would make further investigations. The data to do this are already available in CORE and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) statistics and we now have the capacity to produce maps of results through the Geographic Information System (GIS).
Local authorities have a more rigid and demanding set of statutory rules when making allocations decisions. Housing association cooperation is essential and some nominations agreements are likely to be reviewed and possibly revised. In order to encourage better co-operation the Corporation and ODPM will appoint a special advisor to facilitate liaison between local authorities and housing associations, focusing especially on local authority reduction plans.
In July 2004 we issued Circular 07/048 to clarify the Regulatory Code where associations are considering refusing a nomination. The aim was to ensure that association decisions to exclude an applicant from housing were taken only where absolutely necessary and were transparent. Grounds for refusing nominations and excluding applicants are not always clearly explained to local authorities, and this can be a cause of misunderstanding and criticism. investment property tax deductions Where exclusion policies operate, we want them to be clearly understood and underpinned by proper risk assessments and transparent policies where each case is judged on its merits.
The nominated household has a history of poor money management and/or is in debt to the proposed association landlord. The Data Protection Act 1998 is often cited as a reason for not exchanging information about a household. Anecdotally it seems that misperceptions abound about what the act allows, and the act has not been tested in the courts. The second main cause of nominations failure is where vulnerability is indicated, but a lack of authority and agency cooperation has prevented an adequate support package to be in place before the tenancy is taken up. The association landlord reasonably might expect the tenancy to fail without such support, and might refuse the nomination.