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Outcome of allocations policy review
Wheatley Group landlords consulted customers on three proposed changes to the existing Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy Framework, following recommendations from an independent review commissioned in 2021. The consultation took place over a six-week period during June and July 2022.
Throughout the consultation period, over 71,000 consultation documents were sent to customers with links and QR codes to an online survey. There was also an option for customers to receive a hard copy of the survey if needed. There was a six-week social media campaign, with 43 posts on Facebook and Instagram reaching over 41,000 people. Links to the survey were also added to the Wheatley Group website and all subsidiary websites.
Wheatley Group held 13 customer focus groups, both online and face-to-face. A total of 235 customers booked on to these sessions. Customers who preferred not to participate were also offered individual phone calls.
A total of 2455 customers from all categories responded to the anonymous online survey. The breakdown of those completing the survey was:
The survey was made up of 25 questions based on the recommendations from an independent review commissioned in 2021. There were three key questions:
We have homes in 19 local authority areas, do you think we should have the ability to reflect circumstances in local areas where this would support localised housing need?
During the pandemic we moved to a new process for homeless applicants, where we worked with local authorities to provide a streamlined service for our most vulnerable applicants. You told us during the review last year this new process was working well. We plan to continue with this service providing additional support for our most vulnerable applicants, do you agree with this?
As part of the review last year, you told us that Band E has too many different types of applicants. Do you think we should separate our properties with an age restriction (i.e Livingwell) into a separate band?
The response from those who expressed an opinion:
Wheatley Group contacted over 50 stakeholders, local authorities and Registered Tenant Organisations with a separate consultation. Four stakeholders responded to the survey, two were from local authorities, one from RTO and the other from a housing advice charity.
All comments were analysed and the Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy and Framework updated to reflect the outcome of the consultation. An updated framework was presented to Wheatley Group Board for approval in August 2022 and RSL subsidiary boards in September 2022.
The new Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy and Framework will formally launch in Spring 2023.