Louth County Council is set to implement a new Choice Based Lettings system to allow people to express an interest in local authority properties around the county.
Only the third local authority in the country to use the system, it will be launched next month.
It will allow people who are on the council’s waiting list for social housing to express interest in accommodation which becomes available.
Currently the Choice Based Lettings system is used in Louth for the allocating of some Social Housing, mainly those with high refusal rates, but this is now being extended to the full county for all allocations from May.
The scheme is an online service that allows applicants to express interest in advertised council properties on a weekly basis.
All allocations from May 9th will be made through this system, except those based on medical needs, specially adapted, elderly units or homelessness. All Local Authority Housing list applicants will receive letters next week outlining the changes in the allocation procedure and log on details of how each one of them can access the CBL system.
Every Tuesday morning available properties for that week will be added to the system and will remain open until the following Monday night at midnight. Throughout this period any applicant can express their interest in a property ‘suitable’ to them. A suitable property is one that you have chosen that matches your housing needs and in your areas of choice.
The successful applicant is then chosen based on:
There will also be advertisements in the local papers and a publicity campaign launched by Louth County Council this week to create awareness on these changes.
The new system has been welcomed by Sinn Féin councillor Joanna Byrne, who said: “I believe it will give local authority housing list applicants ownership over their own housing needs. They only have to apply for a house they choose and can see themselves and their families settling in long-term.
“This in turn will reduce the high rate of refusals we have in the county and speed up the turnaround time for allocations. I am also delighted to see the local authority invest in the resources of computers in each of the four council buildings in the county, and fully trained customer service staff to assist with those who aren’t computer literate or have literacy issues, as this was initially a huge concern of mine.
“Like all new systems being implemented it will be a learning curve for both us as Public Representatives and the constituents themselves, but from leasing with colleagues on other councils, South Dublin County Council in particular who piloted this project four years ago, I have only heard positive feedback.
“This process will not have a dramatic impact on reducing the numbers on waiting lists, the government still need to invest in the supply of more social housing, it will however speed up the allocation process for any stock that becomes available.”