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Homes 4 Wiltshire : Choice Based Lettings

Banding information


Here is a summary of how the bands are worked out. Your banding will be established by your application and any assessment that is undertaken following submitting your applications. If you knowingly or deliberately make your housing situation worse in order to gain a higher banding your housing register application will be reviewed and you will be moved into Bronze Band.

Platinum Band

Applicants in this band will have an urgent need to seek affordable accommodation as a result of statutory requirements or due to a serious risk to their health, safety and well being.

All applicants within platinum band will be reviewed after 3 months to ensure their circumstances haven’t changed.  The Homes 4 Wiltshire IT system will flag all customers within the platinum band after 3 months to enable the Homes 4 Wiltshire staff to review the customer’s needs for housing.

Applicants within platinum band will be expected to actively bid for accommodation due to the urgency of their housing need.  Applicants within this band will be regularly monitored.  If no bid has been made within 3 months the Housing Options Team will work with the customer to actively bid for accommodation.   Consideration will be given to the households’ requirements and the availability of the relevant stock.

Exceptional circumstances

Such as a medical emergency, applicants under the Witness Protection Programme, extreme harassment, some tenancy successions, ADHAC (Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees) referrals, and applicants who need to move to a suitable adapted property as a result of a serious injury, medical condition or disability sustained as a result of service in the Armed Forces.

Statutory Requirements

Applicants who meet the statutory requirements of Wiltshire Council in the Homes 4 Wiltshire partnership:

Statutorily Homeless

Statutorily Overcrowded - Applicants who are lacking 3 bedrooms or more will be assessed by a Home Visiting Assessment Officer and once confirmed as being statutorily overcrowded will be placed in platinum band.

Applicants living in a property assessed by the Private Sector Housing Team in accordance with the HHSRS as being sufficiently serious that a prohibition notice might be appropriate.

Move on     (prioirty need)

This applies to applicants in shared or supported accommodation where there is a move on protocol in place with Homes 4 Wiltshire.  The applicant must have been assessed as ready to move into independent living accommodation by the Housing Options Link Worker.  The Housing Options Advisor will then make their recommendations to the Homes 4 Wiltshire Assessment Officers.



Gold Plus

Applicants in this band will have a genuine need to seek affordable accommodation but there is not a serious risk to their safety, health and well being and they do not meet statutory requirements. Examples would be:

Applicants meeting 2 or more criteria within gold.

Applicants within gold plus band will be reviewed after 6 months to ensure their circumstances haven’t changed.  The Homes 4 Wiltshire IT system will flag all customers within the gold plus band after 6 months to enable the Homes 4 Wiltshire staff to review the customer’s needs for housing.

 

Gold

Seriously Overcrowded

Applicants living in overcrowded accommodation (in need of at least two additional bedrooms)

Hazards

Applicants living in a property assessed by the Private Sector Housing Team in accordance with the HHSRS as having 3 or more category 1 hazards that cannot be remedied.

High medical needs

Applicants assessed as having high medical needs, who are living in unsuitable accommodation and whose medical condition would improve by being re-accommodated.

There are 2 levels of Medical Need; an assessment will be required to establish the level of need.

Applicants assessed as having a high medical need will be reviewed after 6 months to ensure their circumstances haven’t changed.

Please note that if you are asking a health professional to release medical information to us, they will require your written consent and that, unfortunately, Homes 4 Wiltshire are unable to pay a fee for this information.

Insecurity of tenure

Where an applicant is under written notice to leave their accommodation and this has been verified by a Homes 4 Wiltshire officer.  This includes armed service applicants with priority need and local connection to the Wiltshire Council who have insecurity of tenure i.e.  93 day notice to vacate married quarters.

Applicants assessed as being insecure in their accommodation will generally be under a 2 month or 93 day notice to vacate their accommodation.  After 6 months all customers will be reviewed to establish their continued eligibility for this band.

High welfare or support needs

Where an applicant has an identified support or welfare need which cannot be alleviated in the current accommodation.

Applicants may need to live closer to family or support networks to give or receive support.  Consideration will be given to the obstacles relating to the applicants need, such as the distance and transport links between the two areas.

There are 2 levels of support and welfare need, an assessment will be required to establish the level of need.

Applicants assessed as having high welfare or support needs will be reviewed after 6 months to ensure their circumstances haven’t changed.

Applicants who are receiving support from a recognised support provider maybe awarded welfare needs if their need to move is evidenced by that support provider, at the discretion of the Assessment Team Leader or Head of Homes 4 Wiltshire.

Move On

Applicants who need to move from residential care homes into alternative affordable accommodation.

Applicants who need are ready to move on from supported accommodation where there is no move on protocol in place with Homes 4 Wiltshire The applicant must have been assessed as ready to move into independent living accommodation by the Housing Options link worker. The Housing Options Advisor will then make their recommendations to the Homes 4 Wiltshire Assessment Officers.

Harassment

Applicants who are suffering from serious harassment, violence, or threat of violence at their current property, providing evidence exists to substantiate their claim.

Underoccupation

Current partner RSL and Council tenants under-occupying accommodation and willing to move into a smaller home.  For example an applicant in a partner RSL property not occupying all of the bedrooms and wishing to move to smaller accommodation.  This criterion will only apply to tenants of a partner RSLs who are listed at the beginning of this document and does not apply to households in flats or maisonettes, except in exceptional circumstances with agreement between the Homes 4 Wiltshire and the landlord.

Multiple needs

Applicants meeting more than two needs criteria within silver band.

No fixed accommodation

Applicants who have no fixed accommodation, who are not considered to be in priority need or have been found to be intentionally homeless. This includes prisoners with a confirmed release date but no suitable accommodation.

Split households

Applicants whose family have formerly lived together as a household unit, with dependent children or expecting a child, who are unable to live together because of factors beyond their control, and as a result are living in separate households.

 

Silver

Medium medical needs See Gold Band “High Medical Need” for definition
Medium welfare or support needs See Gold Band “Support or Welfare” for definition
Serious Disrepair

Applicants living in a property assessed by the Private Sector Housing Team in accordance with the HHSRS as having 1 or 2 category 1 hazards that cannot be remedied.

Overcrowded Applicants living in overcrowded accommodation (in need of one additional bedroom).
Children in flats Applicants with a child / children under 10 and living in a flat above the ground floor.
Sharing Facilities Applicants sharing facilities - e.g. kitchen, bathroom, and toilet - with people who are not included on the housing register application form. This does not inculde applicants who choose to share their home with someone who is not included on the housing application.
Armed Forces Applicants from armed forces with a local connection to the Wiltshire Council area, due to be discharged within the next 12 months and in need of affordable housing.

Tied Accommodation

Applicants living in accommodation tied to their employment.

Intentionally Homeless

Applicants who have been found to be intentionally homeless by the Housing Options Team. Please note that this category will not be considered when assessing Multiple Needs, as the applicant will be considered to have deliberately worsened their circumstances.

 

Bronze

Adequately Housed

Applicants who are currently housed in a property that is appropriate for their needs in terms of size and facilities.

Deliberately worsening circumstances

Where there is evidence that an applicant has deliberately worsened their circumstances in order to qualify for higher banding on the Homes 4 Wiltshire register, the application will be placed in Bronze band.

Examples of (but not limited to) where someone may have deliberately worsened their circumstances would include:

Selling a property that is affordable and suitable for the applicant’s needs in order to qualify for higher bands on the register.
Moving from an assured/assured shorthold tenancy to insecure, overcrowded accommodation with family or friends in order to qualify for higher band.
Moving family, friend and/or any other household into the property in order to qualify for higher band.

For an applicant to have deliberately worsened their circumstances there must be evidence that it would have been reasonable for the applicant to have remained in their original accommodation.

Deliberately worsening circumstances, also accounts for applicants who have a history of arrears (past or present) with a landlord (social or private) or anti-social behaviour, where the applicant’s circumstances are not unacceptable to the level that they have been made ineligible for housing.
Where an applicant’s housing need is assessed as Platinum band, this level of need will override history of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

Financial capability

The aim of the Homes 4 Wiltshire scheme is to provide affordable housing for people who need it most.  People who have the financial means to purchase a suitable property in the open market (including home owners with sufficient equity in a property they currently own and are able to sell) will be placed in the bronze band on the register.

All applicants will be asked to provide evidence of their income, savings and capital assets, which will be assessed against an affordability matrix.

The affordability matrix based on government affordability criteria will assess the families current income and the Wiltshire average house prices to ascertain whether the applicant is financially capable.  A copy of the matrix is available on request.

Homes 4 Wiltshire reserve the right to check an applicants financial capability at the point of offer.

Any home owner housed from the Housing Register will be expected to sell their property within 12 months of accepting a tenancy unless there are legal grounds preventing the sale. This will be monitored annually; any cases failing to meet this requirement will be investigated in line with the fraudulent application process.



  

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