Secure a fair appeals process as part of the regeneration of Cambridge Road Estate
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The three resident & community groups representing Cambridge Road Estate's residents are appealing the decision made by Kingston-upon-Thames council's housing sub-committee on 7 September that fails to act in the best interests of those affected by the Decant Policy.
We ask that CRE residents be covered by the appeals process that the council already has in place for Introductory tenants, Flexible tenants and Demoted tenants.
We also ask for a clearer definition of the "discretion" and "exceptional individual circumstances" that the council is looking to use in the Decant Policy.
- Committee clerk, Democratic Services, Kingston Council
THE THREE RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY GROUPS REPRESENTING CAMBRIDGE ROAD ESTATE’S RESIDENTS WISH TO ‘CALL IN’ THE DECISION MADE AT THE COUNCIL’S HOUSING SUB-COMMITTEE ON 7 SEPTEMBER, UNDER ITEM  ‘Housing Decant Policies’.
Despite the approval of some amendments to the Decant Policy for CRE residents, there remain key areas that, we believe, fail to act in the best interests of those affected by the Decant Policy. These, we feel, would ultimately be to the detriment of residents.
We are concerned about the lack of an independent and transparent appeals process, which could treat many tenants unfairly.
Para 14.1 states “Secure tenants can appeal … how this policy is applied to their personal circumstances. Appeals must … set out the reasons why the tenant believes that decision does not accord with the decant policy or the Housing Allocations scheme.”
This is a very weak level of appeal, with tenants who have behaved in an anti-social way having stronger appeal rights than those who have kept to their tenancy agreements and paid their rent on time.
We ask that the council - as a minimum - use the same appeals process already in place for Introductory tenants, Flexible tenants and Demoted tenants.
The Decant Policy also appears to give arbitrary powers to the Council:
Para 15.1 states “There may be some circumstances when the Council… may exercise discretion in relation to this policy, due to exceptional individual circumstances and they will do this by taking into account all circumstances considered relevant.
There is no further clarity on what circumstances would be considered either relevant or irrelevant. We fear that this lack of clarity could be used in a disproportionate way.
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