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Gosport Borough Council

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Changes to how we allocate housing

Housing

There are more people asking for social housing than there are homes available. So, to make the best use of the housing we have, we have to make changes.


We’re changing our housing allocation scheme, which sets out who gets priority for social housing and how we allocate properties.


The new scheme gives priority to local residents with the greatest need for housing. It also enables applicants to make informed choices.


The changes come into effect on 3 June. They include the following:


  • The time you have spent on the list will no longer be taken into account. Because there are more people asking for housing than there are homes, we must allocate properties based on need.
  • Instead of points, we'll use three bands, showing whether your housing need is low, medium or high.
  • Instead of choice-based lettings we'll use direct lettings, which means you won't need to make regular bids for properties. Properties will be offered to whoever is at the top of the housing list, if they're registered for that kind of property and it's in their chosen area.
  • We'll have a more flexible approach to exclusions from the housing list. For example, people who owe us money will not be automatically excluded, as long as they've agreed a repayment plan.
  • More than half our one-bed properties were previously only available to applicants based on their age. They will now be let according to housing need, not age. (This doesn't include sheltered accommodation for older people.)


We've sent full information on the changes to people on the housing list. You don't need to do anything.


You can see the new allocation scheme by searching allocation scheme at www.gosport.gov.uk If you have a question please email allocationchanges@gosport.gov.uk or call us on 023 9254 5525.


Apply for Social Housing


FAQs


Why are you changing the way you allocate properties?


We found that choice based lettings caused delays in allocating properties and meant customers had to complete multiple forms. Most importantly, it also meant that those in the greatest need weren’t always the ones offered a property.


Why is the system changing from points to bands?


The points system was complex. By moving to a simple banding system, customers will be able to understand their position more clearly and decide whether they want to wait for social housing or find an alternative.


If there are only three bands, how are customers prioritised within each band?


Your position within your band is prioritised by the date you were moved into that band. We call this your band date. If two customers are in the same band and have the same band date, the customer that applied to the housing register first will take priority.


How is my band date calculated?


When you are first moved to a band, the date you originally applied to the housing register will be your band date. If your circumstances change and your application is reassessed, you might be moved into a different band.  The date of that assessment would then be your new band date. When selecting customers from bands, the customers with the oldest band date are considered for housing first.


What if I disagree with the band that I have been put in?


For the transition from points to bands, you will automatically be moved into a band based on the points you already have, but not counting any points you may have for waiting time.


75 points and above = high band

20 – 74 points = medium band

1 – 19 points = low band


If you think you have been moved to the wrong band, you should email us at allocationchanges@gosport.gov.uk and we can re-assess your application. It is important you understand that by re-assessing your application, your band could go up or down depending on your need for housing.


Why is waiting time no longer being considered?


Waiting time points have been removed because there are more people waiting for social housing than the homes available. We need to manage this by housing those customers in the greatest need, not those that have waited the longest.


How will I know what properties are available?


Properties will no longer be advertised for you to bid on. We will ask you what property types you are interested in and which areas of Gosport you would like to move to. We will match you to vacant properties based on these preferences.


How will I know when I have been successful for a property?


We will call you to discuss it, tell you where it is and arrange a viewing. This is why it is very important we have correct phone numbers and email addresses for you.  If you do not respond to our call or email, we may have to move on to the next customer.


How long will it take to get rehoused?


There is huge demand for affordable rented homes in Gosport and the number of social housing vacancies available per year does not meet this demand.  Acceptance onto the register is therefore not a guarantee you will be offered social housing.  We can't predict at this time, when customers will receive an offer until we have started allocating homes using the new system. This will give us information we will be able to use to predict waiting times. We will be allocating in band and date order.


How do I set up a payment plan to clear my housing debt?


Customers who owe the council money for housing debts (not housing benefit or council tax) will only be moved if they have agreed a payment plan to clear the debt. If the debt is on a temporary accommodation account, you should contact Rachel Loney on 023 9254 5438 or rachel.loney@gosport.gov.uk  If it is on a council tenancy you should contact the business support team on 023 9254 5682 or business.support@gosport.gov.uk


How do I maximise my chances of getting rehoused quickly?


How quickly you are offered a property depends on how high your need is and how flexible you are about areas and types of property. Your housing need is determined by your circumstances, which may be out of your control.  By making sure you have as many areas and property types on your application as possible, and keeping us up to date about your circumstances and contact details, you will maximise your chances.


My circumstances have changed since I applied, what do I need to do?


You should contact us on 023 9254 5525 or allocationchanges@gosport.gov.uk and we will update your application. It is important your application is correct and reflects your circumstances; otherwise you may not be offered a property when selected. 

 

What happens if I refuse a property you have matched me to?


Our intention is to make you the right offer, the first time. You have been asked to tell us the areas of Gosport you want to live in and which types of property you would be happy to move to. We will match you to vacant properties based on these choices. If you are offered a property that meets those preferences and you want to refuse it, we will need to know why it is not suitable, and we will review your preferences. There is not a specified number of offers that customers can refuse. But if you refuse offers that meet your needs and preferences, we will review whether you have a need to move and should be on the register.