Council housing and homelessness

Julia Richardson made this Freedom of Information request to Greenwich Borough Council

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Julia Richardson

Dear Greenwich Borough Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek access to documents detailing the following information about council housing and homelessness:
1. The number of people on the council’s housing waiting list at
 present.
2. The number of people who have applied for council accommodation for the calendar years of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 (or financial year if 
appropriate). Please break down by the number of one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom, five bedroom properties.
3. The council’s criteria for prioritizing council housing waiting list applications.
4. The number of people on the council’s housing waiting list who are declared homeless in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.
5. Total number of homeless people given accommodation by the council in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, broken down by gender, age and ethnic background.
6. The council’s annual budget allocated to tackle homelessness in years 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.
7. The council’s criteria for someone to be declared homeless.
8. The council’s most recent headcount of street sleepers.
9. The number of council run hostels for homeless people in the borough.
10. Total annual spending on building new council housing accommodation in the last three years.

I would prefer to receive this information electronically, preferably as a data set, eg. in Excel, NOT as a PDF.
If the decision is made to withhold some of this data using exemptions in the Data Protection Act, please inform me of that fact and cite the exemptions used.
If some parts of this request are easier to answer than others, I would ask that you release the available data as soon as possible.
If you need any clarification then please do not hesitate to contact me. Under Section 16 it is your duty to provide advice and assistance and so I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.
I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Yours faithfully,

Julia Richardson

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear requestor

 

Thank you for your email in connection with an FOI enquiry.

 

If you are making a new request, your request will be processed and you
will receive an acknowledgment with a reference number for future
correspondence within 24hrs.

 

If you are chasing a late response, we will investigate the delay and get
back to you as soon as possible with an update.

 

For all other enquiries, we will deal with the matter and update you as
appropriate.

 

Yours sincerely

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Royal Borough of Greenwich - LGC Council Of The Year 2013

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Richardson

Ref No:- RFI/07106

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 5th May 2014 regarding Council housing and homelessness.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any further queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Eoin Joyce
Resource Planning & Performance Manager
Customer Services and ICT Strategy Division
Royal Borough of Greenwich
LGC Council of the Year 2013

020 8921 8931 
 The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ
www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Richardson,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 06/05/2014.

 

In order to proceed with your request, we require clarification on
question two.  Can you clarify if you would like to know what size
property the applicants needed or what size they were in when they
applied.

 

I would be grateful if you would provide this information at the earliest
convenience.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information Team

Customer Services and ICT Strategy Division

Royal Borough of Greenwich

LGC Council of the Year 2013

 

' 020 8921 8913

*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

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Julia Richardson

Dear foi,

Thank you for your message. To clarify, I would like to know what size the property the applicants needed.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Richardson

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Richardson,
 
Freedom of Information request RFI/07106
 
I write with reference to your recent freedom of information request,
shown below.
 
Our response to you is as follows:-
 
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek access to documents
detailing the following information about council housing and
homelessness:
 

 1. The number of people on the council’s housing waiting list at present.

14,994
 
 

 2. The number of people who have applied for council accommodation for
the calendar years of 2014,2013, 2012, 2011 (or financial year if

appropriate). Please break down by the number of one bedroom, two bedroom,
three bedroom, four bedroom, five bedroom properties.
 
The numbers of applications per calendar year and by bed size need are as
follows:
Breakdown by number of bedrooms needed
 

Year 1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed + Total applications
2014( Jan-April) 501 229 92 29 3 854
2013 2025 1081 420 130 32 3688
2012 2560 1456 567 145 36 4764
2011 1529 889 403 93 39 2953

 
 

 3. The council’s criteria for prioritizing council housing waiting list
applications.

 
A brief description of the Council’s criteria for prioritising council
housing waiting list applications in outlined below. Full details can be
found in the Allocations Scheme, which is available on the Royal Greenwich
website.
 
How does the Council provide ‘reasonable preference’?
 
The scheme provides reasonable preference to applicants in two ways:
• Through the banding scheme. Most applicants with reasonable preference
are placed in the ‘priority bands’ A and B. More offers of housing are
made to these bands, so applicants in these bands have an advantage.
• Through backdating of registration or priority date. Applicants are
housed in date order from when they received priority, or were first
registered.
 
Bands and Priorities
The Housing list is divided into three Bands: A, B and C reflecting
whether an applicant has reasonable preference and local priority for
housing and if so, how much.
Band A is for applicants with reasonable preference because of
unsatisfactory housing conditions, who the Council has a need to house:
• Tenants whose homes are being demolished or undergoing major
refurbishment work
• Tenants who are living in properties too large for their needs
• Tenants who are living in properties with adaptations that they do not
need
 
Applicants in Band A are housed in date order, from the date that priority
was awarded
 
Band B is for applicants with reasonable preference who the Council must
prioritise for housing. Applicants are included in Band B if they:
• Are homeless and in priority need according to Housing Act 1996 Part 7
as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002
• Have medical needs seriously affected by the design of the home
• Need to move to avoid domestic violence, hate crime, or other serious
threat
• Are severely overcrowded
• Live in insanitary housing that cannot be made suitable
• Are leaving local authority care
• Are leaving hospital and cannot return home
• Are moving on from hostels and supported housing provided by the Council
and partner agencies.
• Are employed by the Council and must occupy accommodation to do their
job, or must find alternative accommodation on leaving their job
• Are key workers, or others who must move to the borough to avoid
hardship
• Qualify for housing under the Council’s ‘Unlawful Occupants Policy’ for
people remaining in Council property after a tenancy has ended.
 
Applicants in Band B are housed in date order, from the date that priority
was awarded
Band C is for all applicants on the housing register, including those who
are in priority bands A and B. Applicants in Band C without any priority
are housed in date order from the date that their application was
registered.
Within Band C two groups of applicants are entitled to reasonable
preference: Page 9 of 48
 
• People who are homeless but not in priority need
• People who have to move because of a relationship breakdown and so are
threatened with homelessness, who are not in priority need.
 
These applicants are not within a priority band, but have an advantage
compared to other applicants in Band C through backdating of their
registration date by three months.
 
 

 4. The number of people on the council’s housing waiting list who are
declared homeless in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

The number of households for whom a homelessness duty was accepted and a
priority awarded on RBG’s Choice Based Lettings Scheme (reported to DCLG
on P1E returns) can be seen on the attached spreadsheet below. So far in
2014 the P1E return has only been completed for the period January to
March.
 
 

 5. Total number of homeless people given accommodation by the council in
2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, broken down by gender, age and ethnic
background.

The numbers of homeless applicants placed in Temporary Accommodation  by
year and broken down by gender, age and ethnic origin can be seen on the
attached spreadsheet below. For 2014 it is taking tenancies which
commenced up until 16 May 2014.
 
 

 6. The council’s annual budget allocated to tackle homelessness in years
2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

The Council provides a range of services that ‘tackle homelessness’ and
these do not come within one single budget area.  We have provided budget
information relating to the provision of temporary accommodation for
homeless households for the years requested on the attached spreadsheet
below.  If you require any more information to do with service budgets,
please let me know, and specify exactly what is required.
 
 

 7. The council’s criteria for someone to be declared homeless.

All Local Authorities are required to carry out assessments of
homelessness according to the Housing Act 1996 (as amended), the
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities and relevant case law.
 
 

 8. The council’s most recent headcount of street sleepers.

Our November 2013 headcount found 1 rough sleeper.
 
 

 9. The number of council run hostels for homeless people in the borough.

The Council has one directly managed supported housing project for
homeless women, which contains 13 units.
 
 

10. Total annual spending on building new council housing accommodation in
the last three years.

The annual spending on Local Authority New Build in the last three years
is as follows:
 

* 2011/12 - £3,201,350.96
* 2012/13 - £828,589.07
* 2013/14 - £1,206,441.95

 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of your response to
your original letter and should be addressed to: Mary Ney, Chief
Executive, The Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich, London, SE18 6PW.
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of your internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
June Reid
Quality and Insight Manager
Customer Services and ICT Strategy Division
Royal Borough of Greenwich
LGC Council of the Year 2013
 
' 020 8921 6290  À
*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ
8 [1]www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk
 
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