Wokingham Borough Council: Housing and Homelessness

William Gomes made this Freedom of Information request to Wokingham Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Wokingham Borough Council,

I am requesting the following information:

1. How many people are under Council’s Housing waiting list at present ?
Would you please specify the age group, gender and the number of minorities,BME community who are in the council's housing waiting list.

2. Would you please give specify how many people have applied for one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom,Five bedroom in year 2012-2013?

3.Please provide number of how many people you have accommodated following the statutory duty under housing act who have been declared themselves as homeless and sissified the homelessness assessment process. Please give number by year starting from January 2012 to December 2013.Please also specify their gender,age group and if possible ethnic identity.

4.Please provide number the people who are in current council waiting list who are homeless.

5.Please share what are the present council policy to address homelessness. And how council is allocating budget for that.

6.Please share the total number of council house and please specify the type of the house and number and area and how many are current empty.

7.Please provide how much council had spent yearly since January 2012 to December 2013,to build new council house/flat.

8.According to the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) all Local Authorities must have a Homelessness Strategy in place What are the homelessness strategy of the Council council.Please share the yearly the yearly of starting from January 2012 to December 2013.

10. Under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) Council has certain responsibilities towards people who are homeless or threatened with
homelessness. Would you please provide number, age,gender to whom you provided service following the specific law.

11.How long you take to process housing benefit claim. How many housing benefit claim has been process by the council since January 2012 to December 2013. Please provide number of each year.

12. How much council had spent to pay the employee who are working on homeless issues in council.Please give yearly details starting from January 2012 to December 2013.

13. How many people were successfully prosecuted for housing benefit fraud during year 2012 and 2013.

14.Did council appointed any third party to find out or tackle benefit fraud. If yes, Who is the company and how much council has paid them for the service.

Yours faithfully,

William Gomes

FOI Team, Wokingham Borough Council

Dear William Gomes

RE: Freedom of Information Request Ref No: 4837

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information you
have requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental
Information Regulations.

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which may prevent release of the information you have requested. Your
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Yours sincerely

Wokingham Direct

References

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Robert Mendonca, Wokingham Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear William Gomes

 

RE: Freedom of Information Request Ref No: 4837

 

Thank you for your recent communication, please find detailed below and
attached the information in response to your request.

 

1.    How many people are under Council’s Housing waiting list at present
?
Would you please specify the age group, gender and the number of
minorities,BME community who are in the council's housing waiting list.

There are 2397 applications on our Housing Register.

Our current system cannot show the breakdown by gender, age or ethnicity
but we shall be changing to a different system next year and then be able
to provide this information.

 

2. Would you please give specify how many people have applied for one
bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom,Five bedroom in year
2012-2013?

There are:

1245 applications for a 1 bedroom property

689applications for a 2 bedroom property

380 applications for a 3 bedroom property

72 applications for a 4 bedroom property

11 applications for a 5 bedroom property.

3.Please provide number of how many people you have accommodated following
the statutory duty under housing act who have been declared themselves as
homeless and sissified the homelessness assessment process. Please give
number by year starting from January 2012 to December 2013.Please also
specify their gender,age group and if possible ethnic identity.

We  housed  14 households in 2012 and 17 households in 2013.

As the cohort is too small, we can give numbers but cannot give
identifying information.

4.Please provide number the people who are in current council waiting list
who are homeless.

There are currently 7 homeless households on the Register.

5.Please share what are the present council policy to address
homelessness. And how council is allocating budget for that.

Ways of addressing homelessness are contained in our current homeless
strategy which is attached for your reference.

 

6. Please share the total number of council house and please specify the
type of the house and number and area and how many are current empty.
Attached is a spreadsheet details number of council properties in areas,
plus their description and how many are void.

7. Please provide how much council had spent yearly since January 2012 to
December 2013,to build new council house/flat.

The council has spent £0 (zero) building new council houses/flats.

 

8.According to the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act
2002) all Local Authorities must have a Homelessness Strategy in place
What are the homelessness strategy of the Council council.Please share the
yearly the yearly of starting from January 2012 to December 2013.

Our new strategy is going to Executive and Council for approval and
adoption and will be available from our website later this month.

 

10. Under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness
Act 2002) Council has certain responsibilities towards people who are
homeless or threatened with homelessness. Would you please provide number,
age,gender to whom you provided service following the specific law.

75 households presented as homeless in 2012 and there were 79
presentations in 2013.

 

11. How long you take to process housing benefit claim. How many housing
benefit claim has been process by the council since January 2012 to
December 2013. Please provide number of each year

For the current year to date covering the period from 1st April 2013 to
31st January 2014 the average time taken to process a NEW Housing Benefit
claim is 29.85 days.

The number of NEW Housing Benefit claims processed is:-
• 01/01/2012 to 31/12/2012 1401
• 01/01/2013 to 31/12/2013 1201

 

12. How much council had spent to pay the employee who are working on
homeless issues in council.Please give yearly details starting from
January 2012 to December 2013.

The Council have spent about £90K, including on-costs

 

13. How many people were successfully prosecuted for housing benefit fraud
during year 2012 and 2013.

There were 11 cases of housing benefit fraud taken to court during the
financial year 2012 / 2013 (running from April 2012 - March 2013) All of
which were successful.
      17 successful prosecutions

 

14. Did council appointed any third party to find out or tackle benefit
fraud. If yes, Who is the company and how much council has paid them for
the service.

No third party has been appointed to tackle benefit fraud. This in
provided by an in house team.

 

 

This concludes our formal response to your request. If you are
dissatisfied with our response, you can request for it to be reviewed by
contacting Mary Severin (Corporate Counsel) at Wokingham Borough Council,
Governance & Improvement Services, Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham
RG40 1WR or emailing: [1][email address] detailing the
reasons why you are dissatisfied with the response.

 

Requests not resolved at that stage can be escalated to the Information
Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office , Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

For further information, please visit: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

 

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References

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2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/