Jersey's six tier banding system for assessing the need for social housing has been simplified. Following an independent review of the Affordable Housing Gateway, the six bands have been reduced to three – urgent, moderate and low need.
A policy document outlining the criteria Islanders need to meet for each of the three bands - The Eligibility Criteria for Renting Social Housing in Jersey - has been published. The document explains the eligibility rules, allocations process and the revised banding system for renting social housing, which will categorise applicants according to their level of need for social housing:
band 1 = urgent need
band 2 = moderate need
band 3 = low need
Applicants previously in bands 4-6 have been reallocated. As there were only a small number of applicants in Band 4, they have been moved into Band 3.
Those applicants in Band 5, who wish to purchase with financial assistance, will be transferred into a separate Assisted Purchase scheme. A separate announcement on this will be made in due course.
Band 6, for applicants 'who require ongoing support to live independently' will be classified as a separate 'Supported Housing Band' managed by Andium Homes. These applicants will have the same urgent priority as Band 1 on the Gateway.
The Ministerial Decision, signed by the Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy Russell Labey, follows a recommendation in the Review of Access to Social Housing in Jersey, to produce a policy document setting out the eligibility criteria and allocations process for social housing.
Deputy Russell Labey said: "By creating this comprehensive policy document and publishing it online, applicants can see what is required of them and how their application will be assessed.
"Social housing has a vital role to play in our community, and I am pleased that through Andium and Housing Trusts – we are providing affordable, high quality and secure accommodation to those in housing need.
"Social housing providers are providing accommodation for thousands of households, including people who are vulnerable and at risk of homelessness. This policy ensures that Islanders can see that the procedures and processes that determine who can access social housing are transparent and fair."