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ABERDEEN BLAZES A TRAIL FOR SOCIAL HOUSING ACCESS

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6 Mar 2000 ...
6 Mar 2000

An innovative housing service making access to rented housing easier was launched today by Deputy Local Government Minister Frank McAveety.

The Aberdeen Combined Housing List will hold details of all those applying for Council or housing association accommodation in the city. Agencies can use the database to match potential tenants with appropriate accommodation.

The scheme includes an information and advice shop providing comprehensive details of housing options, and a combined application form allowing all housing providers to consider applications.

Mr McAveety said: 'This project means that access to social housing is simpler, the application process is more efficient and housing needs are identified more accurately. I'd like to congratulate Homechoice for developing such a valuable service.

'The Homechoice shop is opening first to provide access to information on social housing available in Aberdeen and provide for operational experience. It will give information on how to apply, details of housing providers and the accommodation they provide. The combined housing list - accessed by a single telephone number - will be operational in June.

'The working group we set up earlier this year is considering the development of common housing registers across Scotland and will be learning lessons from the practical experience of this scheme. The group is due to report shortly with recommendations on the way ahead.

'High quality, affordable housing is a key priority for this Executive. I urge potential tenants in Aberdeen to make use of this new service.'

BACKGROUND

1. Homechoice is non-profit making partnership made up of the housing organisations operating in the Aberdeen area. It has the following members: Aberdeen City Council; Castlehill Housing Association; Grampian Housing Association; Langstane Housing Association; Hanover Housing Association; Tenants First Housing Co-operative; Scottish Homes. The private sector - including developers and landlords, plus solicitors and estate agents - will also be encouraged to become involved.

2. The only other common housing register operating in Scotland at present is Perth and Kinross. The information and advice shop concept is unique to the Aberdeen project.

3. For further information about Homechoice, contact Jackie Cairns, Homechoice Project Officer on 01224 648548.

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