Families can now bid on properties 1 bedroom larger than their bedroom entitlement
Households registered for family sized accommodation (2 bedroom housing need plus), with Active applications will be able to bid for properties up to one bedroom in excess of their registered bedroom entitlement, as long as the property is not considered in the reasonable opinion of the council, to be unaffordable. This would be assessed at time of shortlisting. Priority for all properties will be given to those applicants whose bedroom entitlement meets the bedroom criteria of the property
How to bid for these properties Applicants registered bedroom entitlement and priority band will remain the same. When applicants log onto their account, the Entitled Bids view will show available properties that match their bedroom entitlement, plus available properties one bedroom above their assessed housing need. Applicants will still be able to see their list position for each property, and can still place a maximum of 3 bids per cycle. If the bid is successful affordability checks may need to be carried out before any offer of a property is made.
A percentage of properties available to let will now be prioritised for transferring family tenants
A quota of up to 20% of all family sized accommodation available to let through the Homeseeker register will be prioritised for transferring Basildon Borough Council/Housing Association tenants. The up to 20% quota will be based on the letting total of the previous financial year and will be subject to availability of properties and demand. These properties can be identified by the heading ‘For transfer tenants only’in the full Property Search view
The Local Residence rule has been amended to take into account short periods of temporary absence
The Council may now disregard any period or periods not exceeding 6 months in total at time of application, from the 7 year continuous residence criteria if in the reasonable opinion of the Council, the applicant through no choice or fault of her/his own, found it necessary to temporarily reside outside of the Borough anytime during the past 7 years)
New homeless prevention measures have been added
Applicants occupying private rented accommodation and hold an assured shorthold tenancy in their name for the current property, who would previously have been considered adequately housed, but are facing eviction due to a notice having been served, through no fault of their own. (E.g. notice has not been served due to rent arrears, antisocial behaviour) will now be considered to have a housing need.
New Right to Move criteria has been added
Social housing tenants seeking to transfer from other local authority districts in England who can show that they need to move to the Borough to take up a job or live closer to existing employment or training (including apprenticeships) and are experiencing hardship which is directly due to work related reasons. See appendix in the Allocation Scheme for the full Right to Move criteria.
New qualification criteria has been added
Applicants who do not qualify to bands A-D but have a housing need due to a reasonable preference as shown below, may now qualify to join the register and will be awarded Band E.
People who are homeless (within the meaning of part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002)
People who are owed a duty by any housing authority under section 190(2), 193(2) or 195(2) of the 1996 Act (or under section 65(2) of the Housing Act 1985) or who are occupying accommodation secured by any housing authority under section 192 (3)
People occupying insanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, including grounds relating to a disability
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)
A full copy of Basildon Councils’ updated Housing Allocation Scheme is available here