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Guide to changes to Housing Allocations

Basildon Council's housing allocation scheme simplifies the way social housing is allocated and ensures that local people are prioritised.

Why we have made changes to the Housing Allocations Scheme

Most local authorities are changing their housing allocation schemes following changes to government legislation which allows Authorities to manage their housing waiting lists by giving them power to determine which applicants do or do not qualify for an allocation of social housing within their borough.

We have taken into account welfare benefit changes, the very high level of demand for affordable housing and also the feedback from the consultation undertaken earlier this year regarding the proposed changes to the scheme.

The changes to the scheme will also give support to those who have been affected by the welfare reform act 2012, particularly the new under-occupation criteria, by adopting the bedroom standard under the Act to ensure people are not housed in homes that are larger than they require and may not be able to afford.

The main changes are as follows...

  • All applications for housing will need to be made online
  • Local residency criteria in the borough will increase to 7 years (with some exceptions)
  • Family and work connection will no longer apply
  • A financial limit for income and savings will be introduced
  • Applicants in social and private rented accommodation assessed as adequately housed will no longer qualify
  • Housing need will be determined by band rather than a point system
  • The number of bands is reducing
  • The bedroom standard under the welfare benefit reform will be adopted

Applicants already on the housing register before 21 July 2014 will need to submit a new application

The new rules will affect some existing housing applicants as they may no longer qualify to remain on the register under the new scheme. 

Applicants who have been on the Housing Register since before 21 July 2014 will be required to enter their details on the new Homeseeker Register so that their housing need can be re-assessed in accordance with the requirements of the new scheme. Applicants can complete a new application online, see Basildon Choice to apply online.

Housing applications in paper format received after 18 July 2014

To enable the Council staff to begin the transition to the new scheme, we will be unable to process paper application forms received after Friday 18 July 2014.  Housing Applications on paper forms received after 18 July 2014 will be returned to the applicant advising them to apply for housing online on the Basildon Choice website.

Applications from applicants who were already on the housing register before 21 July 2014 will be the first to be assessed under the new allocations scheme providing all required documentation has been received.  This means that, depending upon the volume of housing applications received from 21 July 2014 onwards, new applications received from customers who were not already on the housing register before 21 July 2014 may not be assessed until after 17 October 2014.

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness please see The Housing Options Service for further information and guidance or contact the customer service assessment team for advice on available housing options, see contact details below.

Basildon Choice; Housing Allocations From October 2014

From 17 October 2014 the way we advertise available social housing will change with the introduction of Basildon Choice.

Basildon Choice will give those seeking social housing more choice about where they will live and when they move.

From 17 October 2014 the Council will no longer send housing applicants invitations to bid for a property. Instead available social housing properties will be advertised each week on the Basildon Choice website where applicants will be able to login and register their interest in a property online. This is inline with the Council's policy of providing people with the information and solutions to their housing needs on the website wherever possible. Increasingly customer service enquiries will be directed to the website as the information and online services available there will be sufficient to answer most enquiries.

Until the new Basildon Choice system is introduced in September the current Choice Based Lettings system of sending social housing applicants invitations to bid for a property will remain in operation.

 

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