Our partner housing associations will advertise properties that are available to rent through Home Point and applicants on the Housing Register will be banded according to their housing need. To register you must complete an online application form and provide all the relevant supporting documents as requested.
In seeking to meet Government requirements, Herefordshire Council has framed its Allocations Policy 2020 to identify those in the greatest housing need. THE ALLOCATION POLICY can either be viewed in full here or a SUMMARY OF THE POLICY is available here.
Once you have registered and your needs assessed, you will be given a Band according to your housing need. The banding can be reassessed at any point if there is a change in their circumstances e.g. expecting a child, medical needs change, children have left home or an annual renewal takes place.
Applicants will be able to bid on 2 properties at any one time and the properties available will be advertised on a daily basis. Each property will be open for bids for 7 calendar days, after which the bidding closes on the individual properties and the housing association (landlord of the property) will be provided with a shortlist of those applicants who have expressed an interest. The shortlist is organised by banding and then waiting time within each banding – the date used is the effective date which is the date that band was awarded. If there is more than one applicant with the same band and same effective date then the lowest number application will be considered first.
Being top of the shortlist 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.
Properties in the market towns are likely to attract large numbers of interest and therefore it is likely that such properties will be allocated to those in the highest bands. However, where there are less popular properties in more rural locations, it may be possible for housing associations to allocate to applicants in the lower bands. This would also be the case for less popular housing types e.g. maisonettes, flats.
The Council has four bands for those seeking rehousing (Band A - D) Band A is the highest and most urgent housing need and Band D having no local connection to Herefordshire or who have been found intentionally homeless.
Under the new Allocation Policy 2020, the housing associations will be able to allocate a % of properties that become available for those that are within Band E . This band is available for applicants who do not qualify under the main scheme, but may qualify for housing association properties that are not part of the nominations agreement. For more details please see the allocation policy page 18.
PLEASE NOTE: Anyone within Band E will be assessed by the individual housing associations and will be contacted by them directly.
Reasonable preference is based around legislation that was first introduced for local authority housing allocation in 1996 (as amended).
Legislation requires that all local housing authorities must give 'reasonable preference' to households and individuals seeking affordable rented housing who are within one or more of the following groups:
Some people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness;
People occupying insanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions;
People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including any grounds relating to a disability); and
People who need to move to a particular locality in the district of the authority, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship (to themselves or to others).
The 'satisfactory standard' for housing is defined in a 2001 Act and centres on housing being physically habitable and having basic amenities. Overcrowding is legally defined as when a household is living in accommodation that breaches the 'room' standard. 'Homeless persons' and 'persons threatened with homelessness' refers to households that are homeless within the meaning of the homelessness legislation.
Reasonable preference simply means that certain groups are given an advantage over other gropus that have a lesser or no housing need.
Our allocations policy has more information on reasonable preference categories.
Additional preference must be given to the following applicants if they fall within one of the statutory reasonable preference categories and are in urgent need:
- Serving members of the regular forces who need to move because they are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is attributable (wholly or partly) to their military service.
- Former members of the regular armed forces.
- Bereaved spouses or civil partners of members of the regular forces who have left, or will be leaving services accommodation provided by the Military of Defence following the death of their spouse or civil partner and whose death was attributable (wholly or partly) to their military service.
- Serving or former members of the reserve forces who need to move because they are suffering from a servious injury, illness or disability which is attributable (wholly or partly) to their military service.
- As a result of violence or threats of violence, including intimidated witnesses and those escaping domestic abuse.
Suspension of Applications
It is not intended that a person’s behaviour at one time in their life should permanently exclude them from affordable housing; therefore where it has been identified that the applicant or a member of the household has carried out acts of unacceptable behaviour, serious enough to make them unsuitable to be tenants the applicant will be suspended (unless statutory duties apply).
Rent arrears / housing related debts (money owned to the local authority)
Suspension may apply where an applicant has current or former tenancy rent arrears or money owed to the local authority. However, if the applicant has made an arrangement to pay the debts and is maintaining this arrangement for a 13 consecutive weekly period (or 3 equivalent consecutive monthly period) or has reduced the debt to below £200.00, the application will be reviewed as long as the repayment arrangements continue to be adhered to.
Deliberately worsening their housing circumstances
Where applicants are deemed to have deliverately worsened their own situation, by act or omission, their application will be suspended.
Whilst an application has been Suspended, you will be unable to place bids or be considered for properties that become available.
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.