§ Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidance he gives to housing associations about their letting policies, with particular reference to the share of tenancies awarded to people who live in the area of the development; and if he will make a statement. 440W
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
Housing associations which are registered with the Welsh Office are required to comply with "Regulatory Requirements". This publication includes mandatory standards on lettings policies and other aspects of access to housing.
"Regulatory Requirements" stipulates that housing associations must not impose residency qualifications more onerous than those imposed by the relevant local authority.
Housing associations are expected to adopt their own points-based scheme for the comparative assessment of the housing needs of applicants and to make allocations in accordance with that scheme. Additionally, 50 per cent. of lettings should be made available to nominations made by the local authority.
The Welsh Office recognises that in some areas housing associations will wish to give priority to people living in the area through the points scheme, as a means of reflecting the need to maintain social support.
Following the transfer of functions, this issue will be a matter for the National Assembly.