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FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR 'ONE STOP SHOP' PROCESS FOR HOUSING APPLICANTS

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Combined housing lists to help people find the right rented home will soon be up and running across Scotland, THE S...
Combined housing lists to help people find the right rented home will soon be up and running across Scotland, THE Scottish executive has announced.

The deputy communities minister, Mary Mulligan, announced a funding boost of £3m so that common housing registers can be developed in every local authority area.

These registers help cut bureaucracy. The process of applying for a range of housing in an area is made much simpler for people. Applicants fill in a single form and their details are held on a central database shared by the local council and housing associations and co-operatives in the area. This makes the process of allocating homes simpler and fairer.

There are four CHRs already operating in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Renfrewshire and Perth & Kinross. Fife and Stirling will offer this service to tenants and applicants on a pilot basis by March next year.

Other local authorities together with their housing association partners including East and West Dunbartonshire, Angus, Highland, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North and South Lanarkshire, East, North and South Ayrshire are currently developing schemes. The remaining councils are also developing proposals and will benefit from this funding package.

Ms Mulligan said: 'These registers make it easier for people to apply for all social housing in a particular area without having to complete multiple forms. This makes the process simpler and more efficient.

'It's also good news for landlords because it cuts out bureaucracy, provides a better overview of housing needs, a better use of resources and assists with strategic planning functions.

'We've allocated three million pounds because we want to encourage all areas to set up this service.'

FUNDING BREAKDOWN TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES FOR PERIOD 2004 to 2006

Glasgow - £440,000

Fife, North and South Lanarkshire - £140,000 each

Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City , East Ayrshire, Falkirk, Highland, North Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, West Lothian - £100,000 each

Angus, Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire - £60,000 each

Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland - £20,000 each

Aberdeen City, Edinburgh and Renfrewshire will receive zero because they were awarded significant funding under the Modernising Government Fund and have successfully implemented a CHR.

This funding package will also resource a continuation of the Executive's central support role through the CHR the national co-ordinator and national development officer who will be responsible for managing and monitoring the CHR programme.

Common housing registers have been operating in Scotland since 2000. The executive has supported six pilots with £686,000 from the modernising government fund.

This £3m pounds comes from existing resources identified for housing management initiatives within the Scottish executive development department.

Funding is allocated to local authorities on submission of a bid which must fulfil criteria set out in guidance issued today. It must be endorsed by a partnership of social landlords operating in the local area.

Councils may redirect their allocation of resources to Registered Social Landlords where appropriate, for example where RSLs are undertaking CHR development work on behalf of the authority (e.g. stock transfer authorities).

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