The way affordable housing is allocated through Home Point, the agency that manages the county’s housing register, is set to change from June 2014.
Under the Localism Act 2011 local councils are able to develop their own approach to determine who qualifies for affordable housing. There is a shortage of affordable housing across Herefordshire, so Herefordshire Council is changing the criteria to better reflect the needs and circumstances of local people.
For example, applicants must now demonstrate they have a local connection to Herefordshire. In addition, people will only be able to register for affordable housing if they have a recognised housing need and financial limits will be much tighter so that only those who are unable to resource their own housing needs will be able to register.
People who are currently registered with Home Point will receive a letter shortly and be given six weeks to complete the new application form and, where requested, provide supporting evidence. The applicant will then be reassessed on their updated application and if eligible, re-banded under the new system, ready for when the changes take place.
They will need to reply within this timescale to retain their ‘waiting time’, after which it will be lost. If they don’t reply, they will be removed from the register completely.
For some, when reassessed, it may mean that their current housing circumstances will not meet the criteria needed to re-register and they will be offered advice on alternative housing options, such as the private rented sector or home ownership.
All applicants will be able to bid for properties under the current allocations policy until approximately the middle of May 2014.
Details of the new Allocations Policy can be found on either of the websites below: