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Housing allocation 'should count medical needs'

Two Isles of Scilly Councillors have said that medical needs should be taken into account when allocating Council housing.

Senior Manager for Strategic Development Nicola Stinson said at Tuesday's Full Council meeting that there will be a "wholesale review" of the Authority's eligibility and allocations policy later this year.

Members were discussing the new statutory requirement to give additional preference to those suffering domestic abuse, which will be included in the current policy.

Vice-chairman Fran Grottick said that she was surprised that medical needs are not taken into account when allocating housing.

"Medical considerations don't seem to have enough weight in our current policy so I warmly welcome the fact that we will be [having] a more in depth look at this whole area."

Cllr Adrian Davis said: "I think from central government there's a fundamental flaw in this... Many people suffer from a medical condition which is ongoing and untreatable, in other words they have to live the rest of their lives with it. Whereas safeguarding by its very nature is solvable by man so I just think that more weight should be put on the medical side of things. I do understand that we're constrained here by government legislation but I think it's flawed legislation."

Properties are currently let in accordance with the point scheme, with those in the greatest need receiving the greater number of points.

When applicants have the same number of points the Council considers the suitability of property, financial need and time spent on the Housing Register, with the new addition of evidenced cases of domestic violence or abuse.


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