Waverley’s Rainbow Alliance has discovered that the existing use of ‘flexible tenancies’ has not been a success for the authority or its tenants.
It will now offer ‘lifetime tenancies.’
An investigation has revealed that flexible tenancies are not successful in maximising the use of council homes. . , can prevent tenants from feeling secure and invested in their home and community and are intensive and complex for the Council to manage.
After extensive consultation with tenants, the Council found alternative initiatives to promote tenants’ mobility (mutual exchanges and downsizing) without using fixed-term tenancies.
Waverley now proposes phasing out the use of flexible tenancies and reverting to awarding lifetime tenancies. Existing flexible tenants would convert to a lifetime tenancy following a successful introductory tenancy. This allows Housing Officers to pursue effective tenancy management methods to promote tenant sustainability. In conjunction with this, the under-occupation scheme could be reviewed to promote tenant mobility and free-up larger homes.
The Head of Housing Delivery and Strategy and Head of Finance has recently completed a strategic review of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. When setting the budget last year, they promised to review future funding challenges for new homes, the improvement of the housing stock and the energy efficiency of homes.
The Service Improvement team ran a large-scale Tenancy Review consultation during April and May. The review was shared with the Landlord Service Advisory Board and Resources Overview and Scrutiny last year. The team consulted on the future use of flexible tenancies, amendments to the conditions of tenancy and updated Tenancy Policy and Tenancy Strategy. The result was presented to the Landlord Service Advisory Board in June. The Board advised the Co-Portfolio Holder to stop using flexible tenancies, adopt the tenancy policy and update the tenancy agreement. Work is now in place to notify all tenants of the change in tenancy conditions.
All flexible tenants are invited to register to convert from a flexible to secure tenancy (project to run from September to December). Letters went out during the Summer. . Further information is available at www.waverley.gov.uk/tenancyreview.