HomeOption gives more choice about where you want to live. In the past the Council or Housing Association would make an offer of accommodation when your turn had been reached in an area of your choice. Now you will have the chance to express an interest in a property which is suitable for your needs when it becomes available.
Brentwood Borough Council
Rent payment warning
Any new or transferring tenant whose Tenancy commences on or after the 18th July 2016 will now be required to pay one weeks rent liability upfront before they receive the keys to their new home.
If you are successful for an expression of interest you will be invited to view the property and if you choose to accept the property, it will be at this point that the payment is due. It can be taken on site by your Housing Officer using a debit card. Applicants in receipt of Housing Benefit should complete a Change of Circumstance with the Housing Officer during the viewing. If you are in receipt of partial Housing Benefit you will need to pay your rent liability and complete the Change of Circumstance.
Broxbourne Borough Council
Since January 2015 Broxbourne Borough Council ring-fence 25% of all the general need properties advertised via HomeOption for resident households who are working or making a community contribution.
The person working must be:
• The applicant or joint applicant and go on to be the tenancy holder.
• Be in paid employment for a minimum of 16 hours per week
• Provide the Council with three months wages slips including the current month.
• If self-employed must demonstrate an ongoing and viable business, including proof of income or accounts for the last year.
Do you have housing worries?
Broxbourne Housing Needs Services offers clear advice and help on a wide range of issues and a drop in service if you are threatened with homelessness:
Monday to Friday 9am – 12 noon or 2pm – 4 pm.
Uttlesford District Council
Re: CHANGES TO UTTLESFORD DISTRICT COUNCIL’s HOUSING ALLOCATIONS SCHEME
Following a period of consultation, as from the 1st January 2015, the council will be implementing a new Allocation Scheme.
This will mean that some applicants who are currently on Uttlesford’s housing register will no longer be eligible to be Uttlesford members of HomeOption and will not be eligible to offered accommodation by the council.
Any expressions of interest made after the 1st January 2015 by any applicant who no longer meets Uttlesford’s Allocation Scheme’s eligibility criteria will not be considered and their application will be cancelled.
To be eligible to remain on Uttlesford’s housing register and therefore to be offered accommodation as from 1st January 2015 applicants must meet one of the following criteria:-
• Lived in the district for the past three years,
• Living outside of Uttlesford but have immediate family members who have lived in Uttlesford for the last 5 years and from whom they are receiving substantial ongoing support,
• Worked permanently in the district for the past three years for at least 24 hours a week.
If as at the 31st December 2014 you or your family would be within six months of meeting the new residency criteria then your application will not be cancelled.
As well as the new local connection criteria there are new financial eligibility criteria. If an applicant is judged to have sufficient money from income or savings to be able to meet their own housing costs by either open market purchase or open market renting they will not be eligible to join Uttlesford’s housing register. Full details of the new Allocations Scheme and all the eligibility criteria can be found in the HomeOption online scheme user guide or on the Uttlesford council website at click here.
Chelmsford City Council
Chelmsford City Council is changing the Council’s Housing Needs Register and Allocation Policy
Revised Housing Needs Register and Allocation Policy
In April 2016 the Council will be implementing its revised Housing Needs Register and Allocation Policy. Due to recent changes by central government, such as the Localism Act 2011, which has meant that the Housing Needs Register and Allocation Policy, has been reviewed to ensure that it reflects any changes that have occurred. This document sets who and how the Council allocates social and affordable housing.
The aim of the changes is to ensure that the limited numbers of homes available are allocated to those with the highest levels of housing need. We also want to encourage households to be realistic about whether they are likely to obtain a home through the Housing Needs Register and not create expectations that this is likely, when it is not.
The key changes we have made are to introduce new rules;
• Applicants will no longer have reasonable preference if you have a child under the age of 15 and you are living above the ground floor.
• Applicants will no longer have reasonable preference if they are living with family members and are sharing facilities.
• Also the bands have been streamlined from five to four bands.
• Nominations will be limited to two refusals and then suspension for six months; however this will be dependent on applicants banding
Applicants on the Housing Needs Register have been advised of the changes to the Housing Needs Register and Allocation Policy.
Chelmsford City Council no longer assesses and nominates applicants to Registered Providers for Help to Buy scheme properties (such as part rent, part buy.) This is now dealt with entirely by Bedford Pilgrims Housing Association (BPHA), who are the local government Help to Buy agents for our region, and the Registered Providers who own and manage the homes. If you would like further information about Help to Buy, or to apply for a property, please go to www.helptobuy.org.uk or www.keyhomes-east.org.uk/
If you are only interested in Help to Buy products, please do not register with the City Council, as this is no longer necessary, and no more Help to Buy homes will be advertised by Chelmsford City Council.
CHP Fixed Term Tenancies
CHP are introducing Fixed Term Tenancies
from April 2013. This means that tenancy agreements for family homes will be for a specific period when they are re-let, usually for 6 years with a 12 month probationary period at the start of the tenancy. A family home is a house or bungalow not designated for an older person and has two or more bedrooms with a garden.
If you are a current social housing tenant, and you have had your tenancy since prior to 1st April 2012, CHP will offer you the same type of tenancy that you currently have, unless the property you have expressed an interest in is a new build house or family bungalow let on an affordable rent basis.
If you would like to see a full copy of CHP’s Tenure and Affordable Rents Policy then please click here
If you have any questions about these changes please contact a member of the CHP Housing Options Team on 0300 555 0500
East Herts CouncilHousing Register
In response to Government changes in policy and legislation East Herts Council has adopted a new Housing Register and Allocations Policy on the 1st May 2013. A full version of the Housing Register and Allocations policy is available to view Click Here
Flexicare housing - your own home, not in a home
Riversmead Housing Association’s flexicare housing schemes, Bircherley Court and Calton Court in Hertford, enable older people to live independently in their own home whilst receiving onsite care and support tailored to suit their changing needs. Click here for more information.
East Herts Council does not nominate applicants to Registered Providers for Help to Buy scheme properties (such as shared ownership). This is dealt with entirely by Bedford Pilgrims Housing Association (BPHA), who are the local government Help to Buy agents for our region, and the Registered Providers who own and manage the homes. If you would like further information about Help to Buy, or to apply for a property, please go to www.helptobuy.org.uk or www.keyhomes-east.org.uk
To see recent amendments to Brentwood Borough Council's current allocations policy click here for more information.
To see recent amendments to CHP’s Allocations & Lettings Policy click here for more information.
A new advice website has been launched called 'My Advice Gateway'. The Gateway is a free resource to help you quickly find the information you need to claim benefits, access help and support or look for a job or training opportunities. To visit the site please click here.
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