King Harald Street Allocation Policy – Consultation proposal

Our King Harald Street development is due to complete later this year and we are delighted with how the 27-unit project is progressing. We believe it looks fantastic as you turn on to King Harald Street, and is a welcome addition to our housing stock as we help address the high demand for smaller units in Lerwick.

As we approach completion, we now turn our attention to identifying prospective tenants, and how we can make the best use of an excellent resource – this is where we would welcome your input.

The Association operates an Allocation Policy in line with the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, which states reasonable preference must be given to the following groups;

  • Homeless or threatened homeless applicants
  • Applicants living in unsatisfactory housing conditions (e.g. health conditions worsened by housing conditions)
  • Tenants who are under-occupying their social rented property

We will allocate the properties in line with our Allocation Policy – 50% of the properties will be allocated by the Association using our choice-based lettings system. The remaining 50% will be allocated through nominations from our social housing partner, the Shetland Islands Council, in line with our nominations agreement.

Of the 27 flats, 10 properties are on the ground floor, have excellent access, fibre broadband to help with assistive technology and have been designed around the concept of a ‘home for life’, future proofing the needs of tenants as they age.

The Association’s vision is ‘to provide homes and services that enable our tenants to thrive in communities where people are proud to live and work’. We also recognise our contribution to the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes as delivered by the Health and Social Care Partnership.

In particular, Outcome 2: ‘People, including those with disabilities or long term conditions, or who are frail, are able to live, as far as reasonably practicable, independently and at home or in a homely setting in their community.’

We have completed an initial consultation exercise with our Tenant Focus Group. The members of this group were keen for the ground floor properties to be targeted towards elderly tenants who may have mobility issues and find they are struggling in their current accommodation.

With this in mind, we are proposing to make a distinction for the 10 ground floor properties, identifying them as ‘Amenity housing’ within our Allocation Policy. Amenity housing is essentially social housing that has been designated as particularly suitable for older tenants, with scope for future adaptations , but without the support that may be present in traditional ‘sheltered’ accommodation.

For the allocation of these properties, we will continue to use our current Allocation process, with the exception that only applicants over the age of 50 will be considered.

Furthermore, existing tenants of either Hjaltland Housing Association or Shetland Islands Council will receive priority for the first let following completion. All voids thereafter will be done in line with the Association’s annual lettings plan.

We are consulting with a number of stakeholders, and would welcome any feedback you have on our proposal. This consultation will run until Friday 17th July 2020, with responses or comments to be emailed to mail@hjaltland.org