Existing Housing Register applicants
The assessment criteria for existing housing register applications in Rother is changing. We will be asking you to provide information we need to re-assess your application against the new criteria in our new housing allocations policy.
Customers who apply to join the housing register will also be subject to the changes in the new housing allocations policy when it goes live. We may ask you to provide supporting information so we can assess your application against these changes.
Why has it changed?
There is a shortage of social housing in Rother, the new policy will allow the council to make the best use of the housing available and provide quality accommodation that is fit for purpose to those in the most need.
The Housing Allocations Policy has been reviewed and updated to ensure it can continue to effectively support those most in need of social housing and to ensure it is compliant with current housing legislation.
What has changed?
The existing system consists of four bands, A, B, C &D. The bands are changing to a points-based system with just two bands. Under the new Policy, Band A will become the ‘Urgent need category’ and the remaining bands will be assessed and go into the points-based system and added to the Housing Register according to priority.
The new Housing Allocations policy was consulted on in 2019 (it opened on 15 July 2019 and closed on 7 October 2019). The implementation of the new policy has been delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on council resources. The consultation focussed on the main two changes to the existing policy, which are:
- Simplifying the assessment criteria to two bands
- changing the order in which households are nominated and allocated social housing.
The new policy has a more refined criteria that enables the council to better consider people’s individual needs. Not all applicants who are currently eligible to join the housing register will remain eligible under the new policy.
Independent legal advice had also been sought in order to ensure the policy was compliant with the Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended) and to mitigate the risk of legal challenges being made against future allocation decisions, if the policy was adopted.
What will happen now?
All applicants registered for housing will need to complete a short online form. The new policy will be adopted once all current applications have been reassessed. Once we go live, you will be able to see how your assessment has changed by accessing your account on the Sussex Homemove website. For applicants who do not have access to the internet we will write to confirm the outcome of your re-assessment.
On week beginning 5th July we will contact applicants on the Housing Register with a link to complete the re-assessment form., it will only take a few minutes. The quickest way to complete the reassessment is online but paper forms are also available on request and we can assist you to complete the form if you need support.
Anyone happy to complete the form online but without internet access can do so by visiting the Town Hall reception, or they may also be able to book a computer at their local library.
You will not notice a change to your application until the go live date. Until this date we will continue to work under the existing policy.
Commonly asked questions
A housing need is the reason a person’s housing might be unsuitable for them. There are many reasons a person’s housing might be unsuitable and the council has had to choose the reasons it thinks are the most important and prioritise these over other reasons. The main reasons for a home being unsuitable include but are not limited to:
- A member of a household has a health condition that leaves him or her unable to access essential facilities such as the toilet;
- A household do not have enough bedrooms for all members of the household
- The household is homeless
You will have 28 days to complete your re-assessment form. Your application will be cancelled if you fail to complete this form so please do this as soon as possible.
The new Housing Allocations policy was consulted on in 2019 (it opened on 15 July 2019 and closed on 7 October 2019), focussing on the main two changes to the existing policy, which were:
- reducing the assessment criteria from four bands to two bands
- changing the order in which households were nominated for and allocated social housing.
This was promoted in the local media, on our website. It was also communicated to all existing housing register applicants at the time of the consultation.
If following your assessment, you are no longer eligible, we will write to you to let you know the outcome. You will have the right to appeal.
Anyone in this position would be given guidance and support and signposted to relevant support agencies to manage their situation.
Yes, you will still be able to bid on properties as normal unless notified otherwise.