Regional housing scheme's first birthday 


More than 550 people have found their perfect home in Greater Manchester thanks to an innovative housing scheme.

Pinpoint, the largest choice based lettings scheme outside London, helps residents move home across different boroughs within Greater Manchester.

The initiative was launched as a pilot last year and funding has now been confirmed for at least a further two years.

The scheme is a joint partnership between all ten Greater Manchester authorities and 13 housing associations, which means that approximately 115,000 applicants from participating organisations can gain access to council houses and private rented properties across Greater Manchester.

The scheme, with its headquarters in Bolton, was primarily set up to help people move across different boroughs, and between partners, without having to register with each of them separately. The main reasons users expressed for moving were: to be closer to family, homelessness and to be closer to work or college.

Councillor Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Housing said: “Bolton, along with Rochdale and Salford are at the forefront of this Greater Manchester housing partnership leading its delivery, development and improvement and will continue to do so into the future. Pinpoint means residents now have access to properties across Greater Manchester from a variety of landlords. The results in our first year shows that 30 per cent of allocations were cross-boundary, with people moving to a different local authority, and more than 60 per cent of customers were re-housed by a different landlord than their originating one. This proves people need the freedom of movement that Pinpoint offers.”

Applicants deciding on the private rented option have a guarantee that properties advertised on Pinpoint meet certain standards, as they have to be accredited and inspected by the appropriate Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

In Bolton, Pinpoint co-operates closely with Bolton Accredited and Residential Landlords Organisation (BARLO). The Private Rented Sector Co-ordinator in Bolton, Julianne Scarlett, said: “Pinpoint helps landlords increase exposure to their vacant properties throughout Greater Manchester. As the additional advertising is free of charge for the first 12 months, it is an opportunity private landlords can’t miss.”

From this month, Pinpoint will acknowledge the customer's assessment of housing needs. Currently, allocations are decided according to a customer’s date of registration. In the near future, priority for re-housing will be based on their current circumstances as prioritised upon registration and not necessarily length of time on the register. Other changes planned include advertising shared ownership and rent to buy and continued improvements to the website.

For more information about Pinpoint visit the link on the right hand side.

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Salma Nakhuda
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