Social housing bosses have made a U-turn on plans to increase the maximum age same sex siblings should be expected to share a room until to 21, following criticism from families.

SBDC’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday where members will discuss changes to the Bucks Home Choice allocations policy – which states who is eligible for social housing.

A council report states that if changes are not made to the policy then it would “face increasing challenges” in preventing homelessness and meeting statutory homelessness duties.

At the end of last year, a consultation was held on changes to the policy – which included plans to raise the age same sex siblings should be required to share a room until from 16 to 21.

A SBDC report said the change would mean families should expect siblings to share rooms for longer, rather than move on to larger accommodation – reducing social housing pressures.

However, 60 per cent of people who responded to the consultation disagreed with the plans based on “practical and welfare problems that can arise from older siblings sharing”.

Following the consultation, the Bucks Home Choice management board agreed to increase the maximum age to 18, rather than 21.

The council’s report states that the “majority” of people who responded to the consultation supported other changes.

A total of 76 per cent of people consultation agreed that someone “with sufficient resources”, or who owns a property, should not be eligible for Bucks Home Choice.

And 71 per cent agreed that someone who has sold a home in the last five years, with no plans to buy another property with the money made, should not be eligible.

Now the new draft policy has been created, all for district councils involved in the Bucks Home Choice partnership – Aylesbury Vale, Wycombe, South Bucks and Chiltern – must agree to plans before they are implemented.

The council report states: “The Bucks Home Choice allocations policy could be left in its current form. However, this would create significant risks for council.

“It would leave the council vulnerable to legal challenge on some aspects of the policy which have not been formally updated to reflect changes brought forward by legislation, guidance, case law and Ombudsman decisions.

“The current policy is no longer compatible with the council’s statutory homelessness duties following the implementation of the Housing Act 1996.

“Without the proposed revisions, the council will face increasing challenges in meeting its statutory homelessness duties and preventing homelessness wherever possible (avoiding the need to provide costly temporary accommodation).”

To view the draft policy visit