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FAQ

How do I apply?

Applicants apply online via this website Apply Online or, if they do not have internet access, can visit their local library or Council office which have computer terminals.

What proofs do I have to provide?

In order for an application to be assessed, all applicants must provide all relevant documents.  The documents may be copies and can be provided electronically by email to Homes4Wiltshire@wiltshire.gov.uk.  Homes4Wiltshire and its partner landlords reserve the right to have sight of original documents at a later time, so please be prepared for such a request.

What does banding mean?

When an application form is received by Homes4Wiltshire, the information it contains will help officers to assess and band according to the Homes 4 Wiltshire Policy. This banding allows applicants to be prioritised according to their individual housing need in relation to their situation.

Applicants will be banded and notified of whether we consider their situation to be an urgent, high, medium or low need in line with our Policy and this will depend on what information you provide and what it says.

What are the exceptions to the £16,000 capital rule?

Exceptions to this rule are -

  • Where a person in housing need has a disability requiring an adapted home.  Where, for example, a person needs a bungalow or ground floor flat with an adjoining parking space, level access and adaptations to the bathroom, Homes4Wiltshire will consider whether s/he can afford to purchase a home which is suitable for her/him and, where necessary, adapt it.
  • Where a person needs a home with Extra Care (where personal care is provided on-site).  Owner-occupiers will be considered under this category NB Some Registered Providers will need to be satisfied that you are not able to purchase a private Extra Care home for your needs
  • Where the capital of a person with a serious disability was granted in a settlement largely or solely to ensure that s/he had appropriate care for the remainder of her/his life.
  • Where the capital is equity in a home which it is unreasonable for a prospective applicant to occupy a home because of domestic abuse, the value of the home will be disregarded

Where can I find the properties that are being advertised?

Our bidding cycle is open each week from Thursdays 00:01 to Mondays 23:59. Active applicants will be able to bid for properties during this time every week. Applicants will be able to view the property listings either:

  • Via this website; www.homes4wiltshire.co.uk
  • At local council offices
  • At local libraries
  • At local housing association offices
  • On some local notice boards

How do I bid?

You can bid via:

  • Website – www.homes4wiltshire.co.uk
  • Visiting your local Wiltshire Council offices
  • Visiting your local library
  • Asking someone to bid on your behalf eg family, friends or support worker etc  NB It is very important that another person only bids on the properties you choose

What do I do if my circumstances change?

Once applicants have been informed in writing by Homes4Wiltshire that their housing application is active, they must keep Homes4Wiltshire up-to-date with any changes in their circumstances or contact details. They can update us with this information by logging into their online account and using the ‘Update your application’ section.

It is vital that applicants tell us promptly (and within 4 weeks of any relevant changes) of changes of circumstances as their bandings and thus priority can be affected.

Once updated, any changes will then need to be approved by Homes4Wiltshire before they take effect and an applicant notified of the outcome.

An applicant's contact details are particularly vital. If we cannot get in touch or have reason to believe an application may be out of date, we suspend it pending confirmation of the applicant's circumstances. Applicants cannot bid while suspended and, importantly, may miss out on properties if we cannot get hold of them.  If you have bid for a property, and are being considered for it, the local authority's Tenancy Services team or the relevant housing association needs to be able to contact you quickly.  If your contact details are out of date, this may not be possible.

Once suspended, an applicant must contact the office on 0300 456 0104 to update their application and have it re-assessed.

What if I don't think my housing circumstances have been correctly assessed?

Once notified of any decision in respect of their application, an applicant has the right to request a review if they are unhappy.  Decisions made are based on the information we have been given, assessed according to the Allocation Policy.  If an applicant is considering seeking a review or appealing, s/he may find it helpful to ring and discuss the matter as this may help with understanding how the decision has been made and what other information might have caused us to make a different decision.

What if I am told that I cannot join the Housing Register?

Assuming you have a connection to Wiltshire Councils's area and no unmanaged housing debts or history of Anti-Social Behaviour which would make you unsuitable to be a tenant, the Open Market Register includes those whom the council considers are adequately housed or have £16,000+ capital.  There is an upper limit on earnings of £80,000 per year.  The application process is the same as for Homes4Wiltshire and it is designed for those who are interested in -

1. Low Cost Home Ownership including discounted sale or shared ownership properties (part-rent/part-buy)

2. Lower demand affordable rented properties including

  • older people’s accommodation
  • sheltered properties
  • bedsits
  • some 2 bed flats above the ground floor
  • some rural properties 

Applicants registered on the Open Market Register may bid for these ‘lower demand’ social and affordable rented properties in each weekly cycle as Housing Register applicants can.  There are fewer properties advertised, of course.

Reviews, Appeals & Complaints

Applicants have the right to challenge any decision in connection with their application if they think we have made the wrong decision. 

  • Decisions that carry the right of review include:
  • Decisions involving eligibility for joining the Homes4Wiltshire Scheme.
  • The type and size of property for which the Applicant can be considered.
  • The Applicant’s household size and who might reasonable be included on their application.
  • The banding that has been awarded.
  •  Any decision around suspension of their application.

Should I ask for the decision to be looked at again?

Before you request a review, we would ask that you understand the reasons why the decision has been made in the first place and the decision letter should clearly indicate this.  If you are unclear, contact us and an officer can talk you through the decision making process and what information was relied on.  This can be quicker sometimes. 

You need to:

  • Be clear as to what it is that you disagree with so that any reviewing officer can clearly see the points at issue.  Challenging something just because you feel is unfair will not automatically see the decision changed.  Helping us understand why you think it is unfair and perhaps indicating that we have not taken into account something relevant, will help you build a clearer case.  We are only as good as the information that you provide so the more information you provide, the clearer and better the decisions we make.
  • Be aware that Homes4Wiltshire is not an investigative body and the onus is on you to supply any information on which you wish to rely in supporting your application. You will need to think which professionals can best tell us about your case.  Please also be aware that we cannot pay for any evidence or letters you supply.
  • Take the time to understand our policy – see our section on Banding and How Homes4Wiltshire Works for more information.   This will help you understand again how decisions have been reached.

If you remain unhappy, you have the right to request a review of the decision and should do so in writing within 21 days of the date of the decision letter.  You can do this by:

  •  Writing to us at our County Hall Offices (see our section “Contact Us” for details)

OR

  • Emailing us at homes4wiltshire@wiltshire.gov.uk
  • Please ensure you include your application number on any correspondence and clearly indicate what decision you want looked at again and details of why you disagree with the decision reached.  If you are supplying more information to support your appeal, please attach this as part of your review request.
  • A different officer to the original decision maker will be appointed to review the decision and you will be notified of the outcome of that review in due course. 
  • If you remain dissatisfied, you can request a further appeal.  Again, this must be requested in writing within 21 days of the review decision being notified and a senior officer will undertake the appeal, notifying you in the same way.
  • If you are unable to put your case in writing, you can arrange a meeting with the agreement of the reviewing officer. Where appropriate, you may bring a support worker or advocate to help. 
  • Once you have had the original decision, a review of that decision and then an appeal against it, you will have exhausted our review and appeal process. 
  • If you still remain dissatisfied, you will need to consider whether you should progress to use to the Corporate Complaints Procedure.  Be aware that the Complaints Policy cannot made decisions about your application and banding.  It can only consider whether Homes4Wiltshire has provided you with the service you should reasonably expect and whether we have complied with our own policies and procedures.
  • Having exhausted the review, appeal and complaint stages, the only remaining route to appeal will be through the Local Government Ombudsman.  Details of the Local Government Ombudsman can be found at www.lgo.org.uk or by ringing 0300 061 0614.

Complaints

Homes4Wiltshire works hard to provide a high level of service to an ever increasing number of Applicants but accepts that it does get things wrong sometimes.  Where we do, we are genuinely sorry and will work to put things right as quickly as possible. 

Often we can get things sorted quickly by you contacting us informally and pointing out an error.  This can rectify things promptly and cause minimum disruption to your application. 

If, however, you remain unhappy with the service provided, you do have the right to make a formal complaint and an officer will be appointed to look at your case. 

You should do this in writing (either via email or to our County Hall address – see “Contact Us”). 

An Officer will look at your case, look at what decisions have been taken and why and make a decision as to whether your complaint should be upheld and give you reasons for that decision.  You will be notified of this in writing and, if you remain dissatisfied, have the right to escalate your complaint through our Corporate Complaints Policy to a Stage 2 complaint.  Details of how to do this will be provided to you as part of any decision and, in the interim, are available on the main Wiltshire Council website at: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council/complaints/complaintsmakingacomplaint.htmto 

If Wiltshire Council are unable to resolve your complaint, you do have the right to ask the Local Government Ombudsman to look at your case.  They will look and see whether there has been any maladministration and, if so, whether you have lost out as a result.  Details of the Local Government Ombudsman can be found at www.lgo.org.uk or by ringing 0300 061 0614.

How do I get independent housing advice?

You may find it useful to contact Legal Advisor Finder or Shelter