If, like me, you’ve ever worked getting people out of temporary homeless accommodation into permanent social housing you’ll know how hard it is. Especially in my stomping grounds of London and the South West. You’ve gotta push and blag and never give up. The clients, bless ’em, never quite seem to appreciate what goes in to getting them an offer.
From this point of view Choice Based Lettings has been a step backwards. It reduces the chances to play the system. Some might say that’s a good thing, but not if you’ve got a scheme of twenty-eight homeless people and you’re trying to move them on within two years. With CBL all you can do is fight over points and banding where before you’d be making plays for actual flats.
But I sense an opportunity. In any given area some properties will be coming up on the CBL system with Flexible Tenancies, others on tenancies with security. The flexible properties will be distinctly unpopular – who’s going to chose higher rent and less security when if they stick it out they might get something better? So the flexible properties will be available for much lower bids.
This is certainly going to help move-on from Supported Housing. I can sense the reader thinking dumping vulnerable people into expensive, temporary tenancies is not doing anybody any favours. Not if it stopped there – but once you’ve got the client into their first flat you’ve got two years to score them a permanent place. And the world of transfers has always been a fun playground for the professional social housing blagger!