Properties advertised through Home Point will be for applicants on the Housing Waiting List who will be prioritised according to their housing need.
In seeking to meet Government requirements, Herefordshire Council has framed its Allocations Policy to identify those in the greatest housing need. This is determined initially by an online assessment at the Registration stage.
Once identified, preference is given by means of placing applicants in a priority band. The banding can be reassessed at any point, and changed accordingto the applicants housing needs at any given time. The need may also be re-assessed at the point of an offer of accommodation.
The Council has two bands for Housing waiting list applicants –where green is the highest priority and amber is the lowest. The green band is for those with the most urgent housing need. Applicants in the amber band still have a housing need, but it is not as urgent.
It is not intended that a person’s behaviour at one time in their life should permanently exclude them from affordable housing; therefore applicants who are placed within the Red Band will only receive reduced preference if the incidents or convictions occurred within the previous twelve months. Where the incidents, court orders or convictions are more than twelve months old from issue and there has been no repeat of the behaviour the applicant will not be given reduced preference, unless the incidents were of such an extreme nature that Home Point determine it is appropriate to do so.
With regards to former or current rent arrears and money owed to the local authority, if the applicant has made an arrangement to pay the debts and is maintaining this arrangement for a 13 week period, the reduced preference will be removed as long as the payment arrangements are adhered to.
Priorities can be assessed under a number of headings, and depending on their urgency, will determine which band an applicant is placed in. Once placed in a band, the applicant will be able to bid using the designated banding.
For more information on priorities you can look at the Councils Allocations Policy, which you can download from the home page.
Additional preference to the following persons if they fall within one or more of the statutory reasonable preference categories and are in urgent need:
Applicants will be advised of their bidding reference number, their band and the types and size of properties that they can bid for.
All applicants have the right to information about decisions which are taken in respect of their application. All applicants can request a review if they are unhappy with any decision made regarding their application by Home Point, for example, a banding decision or a decision to exclude them from the register.
An applicant has the right to request a review of their banding at the point of registration, and also at any point prior to an offer of accommodation, where their circumstances have changed.
Officers will also consider whether a change in banding is necessary whenever they are made aware of changes in the applicants circumstances, for example upon receipt of a re-registration form or letter from a supporting agency.
When a property is advertised, applicants will be able to place bids. Once the bidding cycle ends, all the bids received for any one property are prioritised in order of the banding. Where there is more than one applicant within a band, the applications are prioritised in date order – the date used is the effective date, which is the date that the priority was awarded. If there is more than one applicant with the same band and same effective date then the lowest number application will go ahead.
Being the top bidder for a property does not automatically guarantee that the property will be offered to the applicant. It is still the responsibility of the housing provider to make a final judgment on whether or not it is appropriate to allocate a certain property to a particular applicant
Popular properties will attract large numbers of bidders and therefore it is likely that such properties will be allocated to applicants with a priority. However, where there are less popular properties, it may be possible to allocate to applicants in the lower bands.