Housing Waiting List

The request was partially successful.

Dear Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

1. With regard to the authority's housing waiting list, how many households were removed from the list in the last full year where figures are available?

2. Can you list the reasons given for the removal from the list?

3. How many households were removed from the list because of death?

4. How many households have been on the list for a) between five years and ten years b) ten years or more

5. With regards to household that has been on the list the longest, how long have they been on the list?

6. Can you provide the same figures provided for questions 1. 2. and 3 for each of the last ten years or as far back as the cost limit will allow?

Yours faithfully,

Ramzy Alwakeel

foi, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail, requesting that certain information is made available to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004. The Council has now started to process your request.

The Council always aims to disclose information as quickly as possible. However, if for some reason we cannot complete your request within 20 working days (ie by 15/03/2021 ) we will write to you again before that date to explain why and to let you know when you will receive the information. Please remember that documents sent by post may take few extra days to reach you.

The Council will normally disclose all the information which you have requested unless there is a good reason for not doing so. If any information will not be disclosed because it is exempt, we will write to you and explain why. Please note that, whilst the Council will disclose documents which already exist and which contain the information which you have requested, the Council is not required to compile documents specifically to deal with your request.

Once the information has been identified, the Council can also ask that you pay a fee to cover the costs of any printing, photocopying, postage, etc., for processing and delivering the information to you. Details of any fee to be paid will be notified to you as soon as possible.

Please quote the reference number 21/110 in any future correspondence about this request.

If you are dissatisfied with this response, then you may ask the Council to conduct an internal review of your case by writing to the Council’s FOI Team ([Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council request email]). If you are still not content after the Council has conducted an internal review of your case, then you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the internal review procedure provided by the Borough Council.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted in writing at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Please quote the reference number at the top of this email in any future correspondence about this request.

Adrian Stanfield
Freedom of Information Co-Ordinator

website: www.tmbc.gov.uk

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Claire Keeling, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Alwakeel

 

Thank you for your Freedom Of Information Request submitted to Tonbridge
and Malling Brough Council. It has been assigned reference number 21/110.
I have replicated your questions below to assist with ease of answering

 

 1. With regard to the authority's housing waiting list, how many
households were removed from the list in the last full year where
figures are available?

 

728 applications were removed from April 01 2020 until 14 March 2021 –
this includes households who applied to the housing register and for some
reason were not eligible to join the housing register, such as no housing
need, as well as applications which had begun the process and for example
failed to provide the documents, or live applications where we had
information that the applicant was no longer eligible to be on the Housing
Register, so they were removed. 

 

 2. Can you list the reasons given for the removal from the list?

 

I can confirm under s.1 (1)(a) of the FOI Act that we may hold the
information, and if an application was removed it will be captured in the
above figure. However, the Council is refusing your request for
information on grounds that it is ‘manifestly unreasonable’ because it
would create unreasonable costs or an unreasonable diversion of resources
to provide the information.  The appropriate limit for local government is
set at £450.  This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18
hours in determining whether the department holds the information,
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

 

To explain, this information is stored electronically as individual
documents, and only carry the status removed and not the reason for the
removal, which would mean that we would have to access each record and go
through all of the documents to determine the reason for the removal.
Therefore a search of all records would have to take place. We estimate
that it will take us in excess of 18 hours to retrieve and extract the
information you have requested.

 

To determine the information you are seeking would require an officer to
look through and capture the data of 728 records for the period 2020 –
2021 to date identifying the reason for removal.  This would take a
minimum of 10 minutes per file, therefore 728 files x 10 minutes per file
would equate to 7280 minutes or 121 hours. 

 

However, to help you if you could narrow the scope of the question, then
we can revisit this to see if we can help further.

 

 3. How many households were removed from the list because of death?

 

This information is captured in the above and I can confirm under s.1
(1)(a) of the FOI Act that we may hold the information. However, the
Council is refusing your request for information on grounds that it is
‘manifestly unreasonable’ because it would create unreasonable costs or an
unreasonable diversion of resources to provide the information.  The
appropriate limit for local government is set at £450.  This represents
the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether
the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting
the information.

 

To explain, this information is stored electronically as individual
documents which would mean that we would have to access each record and go
through all of the documents to determine where there may have been a
death and this was the reason for the removal of the application. This
would also be only if the applicant had notified us. Therefore a search of
all records would have to take place. We estimate that it will take us in
excess of 18 hours to retrieve and extract the information you have
requested.

 

To determine the information you are seeking, as referenced above, this
would require an officer to look through and capture the data of 728
records for the period 2020 – 2021 to date identifying where there may
have been a death.  This would take a minimum of 10 minutes per file,
therefore 728 files x 10 minutes per file would equate to 7280 minutes or
121 hours. 

 

However, to help you if you could narrow the scope of the question, then
we can revisit this to see if we can help further.

 

 4. How many households have been on the list for a) between five years
and ten years b) ten years or more

 

215 between 5 and 10 years

51 for 10 years or more

 

 5. With regards to household that has been on the list the longest, how
long have they been on the list?

 

Since March 1984

 

 6. Can you provide the same figures provided for questions 1. 2. and 3
for each of the last ten years or as far back as the cost limit will
allow?

 

I have provided the number of applications removed by year for the last 10
years by financial year, from April to March, please see below. Again with
reference to question 1 this includes those not eligible to join and t
hose removed once the assessment has started as well as any removed for
any other reasons. 

 

However as above, the reason for removal and how many have been removed
due to death, I can confirm that under s.1 (1)(a) of the FOI Act that we
may hold the information. However, the Council is refusing your request
for information on grounds that it is ‘manifestly unreasonable’ because it
would create unreasonable costs or an unreasonable diversion of resources
to provide the information.  The appropriate limit for local government is
set at £450.  This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18
hours in determining whether the department holds the information,
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

 

To explain, this information is stored electronically as individual
documents which would mean that we would have to access each record and go
through all of the documents to determine the reason for removal and where
there was death given as the reason for removal of the application. 
Therefore a search of all records for each of the years would have to take
place. We estimate that it will take us in excess of 18 hours to retrieve
and extract the information you have requested.

 

To determine the information you are seeking would require an officer to
look through and capture the data of all of the below records for the
entire 10 year period to identify the reason for removal.  This would take
a minimum of 10 minutes per file. If you use the calculation already given
this time would exceed the 18 hours’ time limit.  Further to this our
retention policy on our Housing Register system is 7 years, so any data
from over 7 years ago will have been redacted and so we would not be able
to retrieve this information, so whilst we can see that we have removed an
application it will contain only basic data which would not include the
reason for removal.  

 

However, to help you if you could narrow the scope of the question, then
we can revisit this to see if we can help further and please see below the
number of removals for each year. 

 

2019 – 2020

 

1081 removed applications

 

2018 – 2019

 

795 removed applications

 

2017 – 2018

 

606 removed applications

 

2016 – 2017

 

664 removed applications

 

2015 – 2016

 

1320 removed applications

 

2014 – 2015

 

762 removed applications

 

2013 – 2014

 

1760 applications removed

 

2012 – 2013

 

1190 applications removed

 

2011 – 2012

 

1201 applications removed

 

2010 - 2011

 

1809 applications removed

 

I hope this answers your enquiry satisfactorily, but please do not
hesitate to come back to me if I can assist further. My email is
[1][email address]

 

If you are however dissatisfied with this response, then you may ask the
Council to conduct an internal review of your case by writing to the
Council’s FOI Team ([2][Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council request email]).

 

If you are still not content after the Council has conducted an internal
review of your case, then you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the internal review procedure provided
by the Borough Council.

 

The Information Commissioner can be contacted in writing at: The
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Please quote the reference number at the top of this email in any future
correspondence with the Council regarding this request.

 

Kind Regards

 

Miss Claire L Keeling

Housing Solutions Manager

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council

 

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