Decision details

To approve changes to the Local Lettings Plan for the Veteran housing scheme at Jupiter House, Swindon Rd, Cheltenham (incorporating 6 and 8 Brunswick Street)

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Reasons for the decision:

In 2016 Cheltenham Borough Council developed 10 new affordable homes for veterans of the Armed Forces. These homes are made up of 5 x 1 bedroom flats, 3 x 2 bedroom flats and 2 x 2 bedroom houses.

The properties are allocated via the Homeseeker Plus Choice Based Lettings Scheme and alettings plan has been in place since the properties were initially let in 2017.

The purpose of the local lettings plan is to support the delivery of affordable homes for veterans of the Armed Forces at Jupiter House, Swindon Rd, Cheltenham (incorporating 6 and 8 Brunswick Street) and to ensure that a cohesive, balanced and sustainable community is developed. The local lettings plan also helps meet the wider aims of the Gloucestershire Armed Forces Covenant, which Cheltenham Borough Council signed up to in 2012.

The LLP has recently been reviewed to ensure it maximises the opportunities for Veterans of the Armed Forces to be considered for any vacant properties becoming available within this scheme. These changes can be summarised as follows:

 

  • Vacant properties will be listed in the Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) Housing Directory, and will be advertised via their Veteran’s Gateway for a 1 week prior to adverts being placed on Homeseeker Plus (Cobseo organisation represents the whole serving and veteran community and its members include SSAFA, RBL, RAF, RNA, Help For Heroes, Hire A Hero and Walking With The Wounded.)

 

  • In addition all veterans on Homeseeker Plus Choice Based Lettings Scheme who could be considered for the property will be identified. They will then be contacted directly about the vacancy to advise them of the bidding opportunity.

 

  • In the event that no veterans have bid for the property, or the property is not accepted by the veterans who have applied, then the following additional steps will be taken:

-          Social media and public awareness raising of the vacancy.

-          All local and county Services organisations will be contacted to advise of the vacancy and to encourage anyone interested to contact our Housing Options Service.

-          The property will be re-advertised on Homeseeker Plus, advising that a 1 bedroom need would be acceptable in the event of a 2 bedroom vacancy not being matched to a 2 bedroom need.  

 

The local lettings plan will be subject to an annual review to ensure it continues to fulfil the needs and criteria as initially intended.

Alternative options considered:

Not to amend or make any changes to the existing local lettings plan for the Veteran housing scheme at Jupiter House, Swindon Rd, Cheltenham (incorporating 6 and 8 Brunswick Street). This would mean that we would not be taking the opportunity to prioritise these homes as fully as possible for Veterans of the Armed Forces.  

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Officers agree that the changes will further support the council’s aims of ensuring that Veterans of the Armed Forces have sufficient opportunities to access these homes when they become available for letting.

Consultees

Consultation undertaken with key officers from within Cheltenham Borough Homes and the council.

 

Contact: Caroline Sutcliffe 01242 264171 Email: caroline.sutcliffe@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Publication date: 20/01/2021

Date of decision: 19/01/2021

Accompanying Documents: