Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
 
The allocation scheme
Allocation in accordance with allocation scheme.     167. - (1) Every local housing authority shall have a scheme (their "allocation scheme") for determining priorities, and as to the procedure to be followed, in allocating housing accommodation.
 
      For this purpose "procedure" includes all aspects of the allocation process, including the persons or descriptions of persons by whom decisions are to be taken.
 
      (2) As regards priorities, the scheme shall be framed so as to secure that reasonable preference is given to-
 
 
    (a) people occupying insanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions,
 
    (b) people occupying housing accommodation which is temporary or occupied on insecure terms,
 
    (c) families with dependent children,
 
    (d) households consisting of or including someone who is expecting a child,
 
    (e) households consisting of or including someone with a particular need for settled accommodation on medical or welfare grounds, and
 
    (f) households whose social or economic circumstances are such that they have difficulty in securing settled accommodation.
     
      The scheme shall also be framed so as to secure that additional preference is given to households within paragraph (e) consisting of someone with a particular need for settled accommodation on medical or welfare grounds who cannot reasonably be expected to find settled accommodation for themselves in the foreseeable future.
      (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations-
 
 
    (a) specify further descriptions of people to whom preference is to be given as mentioned in subsection (2), or
 
    (b) amend or repeal any part of subsection (2).
      (4) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify factors which a local housing authority shall not take into account in allocating housing accommodation.
 
      (5) As regards the procedure to be followed, the scheme shall be framed in accordance with such principles as the Secretary of State may prescribe by regulations.
 
      (6) Subject to the above provisions, and to any regulations made under them, the authority may decide on what principles the scheme is to be framed.
 
      (7) Before adopting an allocation scheme, or making an alteration to their scheme reflecting a major change of policy, a local housing authority shall-
 
 
    (a) send a copy of the draft scheme, or proposed alteration, to every registered social landlord with which they have nomination arrangements (see section 159(4)), and
 
    (b) afford those persons a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposals.
      (8) A local housing authority shall not allocate housing accommodation except in accordance with their allocation scheme.
 
Information about allocation scheme.     168. - (1) A local housing authority shall publish a summary of their allocation scheme and provide a copy of the summary free of charge to any member of the public who asks for one.
 
      (2) The authority shall make the scheme available for inspection at their principal office and shall provide a copy of the scheme, on payment of a reasonable fee, to any member of the public who asks for one.
 
      (3) When the authority make an alteration to their scheme reflecting a major change of policy, they shall within a reasonable period of time notify everyone on their housing register, explaining in general terms the effect of the change.
 
 
Supplementary
Guidance to authorities by the Secretary of State.     169. - (1) In the exercise of their functions under this Part, local housing authorities shall have regard to such guidance as may from time to time be given by the Secretary of State.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may give guidance generally or to specified descriptions of authorities.
 
Co-operation between registered social landlords and local housing authorities.     170. Where a local housing authority so request, a registered social landlord shall co-operate to such extent as is reasonable in the circumstances in offering accommodation to people with priority on the authority's housing register.
 
False statements and withholding information.     171. - (1) A person commits an offence if, in connection with the exercise by a local housing authority of their functions under this Part-
 
 
    (a) he knowingly or recklessly makes a statement which is false in a material particular, or
 
    (b) he knowingly withholds information which the authority have reasonably required him to give in connection with the exercise of those functions.
      (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
Regulations.     172. - (1) Regulations under this Part shall be made by statutory instrument.
 
      (2) No regulations shall be made under section 167(3) (regulations amending provisions about priorities in allocating housing accommodation) unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
      (3) Any other regulations under this Part shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (4) Regulations under this Part may contain such incidental, supplementary and transitional provisions as appear to the Secretary of State appropriate, and may make different provision for different cases including different provision for different areas.
 
Consequential amendments: Part VI.     173. The enactments mentioned in Schedule 16 have effect with the amendments specified there which are consequential on the provisions of this Part.
 
Index of defined expressions: Part VI.     174. The following Table shows provisions defining or otherwise explaining expressions used in this Part (other than provisions defining or explaining an expression used in the same section)-
 
 
 
allocation (of housing)
 
section 159(2)
 
allocation scheme
 
section 167
 
assured tenancy
 
section 230
 
housing register
 
section 162
 
introductory tenancy and introductory tenant
 
sections 230 and 124
 
local housing authority
 
section 230
 
qualifying person (in relation to housing register)
 
section 161
 
registered social landlord
 
sections 230 and 2
 
secure tenancy and secure tenant
 
section 230
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Prepared 22 December 1996