Changes to Aberdeenshire Council’s housing allocation policy came into effect last week following the social work and housing committee agreeing to the new approach.
The changes took place from Monday, October 7, and include moving from the current points based system to a banding system which will be more transparent and easier for applicants to understand.
All existing applicants for housing will receive a letter advising them of their new banding and what this will mean for them.
Further changes to the policy include giving additional priority to applicants with a local connection to Aberdeenshire and people leaving the armed services.
The council will no longer be able to give applicants a waiting list position; however the banding provided will give an indication of the likelihood of an applicant being offered council housing in the future.
The way an applicant’s medical condition is assessed is also changing with the new policy.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee Councillor Karen Clark said: “I welcome the changes to the policy, we are changing the way we assess an applicant’s medical condition. These will now be called housing need assessments in the new policy. An applicant will only receive a banding for this if the medical condition is being affected by their housing circumstances.
“The assessment of this will now be carried out by housing staff as it is a housing assessment rather than an assessment of a medical need.”
Vice-Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee Councillor Alisan Norrie said: “Following the consultation last year and the review, I feel this new approach delivers a much clearer policy that is fit for purpose.”