Homemove is the Sussex-wide choice based lettings scheme which was launched in Arun in September 2007.
What is Choice Based Lettings?
Choice Based Lettings gives people more choice about where they live. It introduces a new way of letting council and housing association homes. Rather than the council allocating properties, the scheme enables tenants and new housing applicants to bid for the properties they are interested in. All available properties will be advertised on the Homemove website and in a fortnightly freesheet.
People seeking to move will be put into one of three broad bands according to their housing need.
How do I get onto the Homemove scheme?
You can apply to the Housing Register at any time by completing our online form. If you do not have internet access, a paper form can be provided. Once we have received it, we will write to you with your Homemove number, registration date and your banding. You will also get a letter, Scheme User Guide and Coupons form Locata (the company that run the Homemove Website). However, please note: you must have a proved local connection and a housing need.
If you do not agree with your band you should first look at the Housing Allocations Scheme September 2012 [pdf] 189KB which shows how we apply the bands, then write to us and tell us why you think you should be in a different band. It is helpful if you point to the criteria in the new band that you believe applies to you, and show why with some evidence.
What are the Bands?
People are placed into one of three bands that show their priority for housing.
• Band A is for households with an urgent need to move
• Band B is for households with a high priority to move
• Band C is for households with an identified housing need
Our Allocations Policy explains this in lots of detail.
How is housing allocated through Homemove?
Every two weeks we advertise all the available empty properties through the Homemove website and in the Homemove freesheet magazine. The property adverts tell you all about each property, for example how many bedrooms, what the rent is, who the landlord is and if any restrictions apply. However, it may be necessary to withdraw advertised properties in some circumstances.
You can bid for the properties you are interested in and eligible for. All the bids for a property are recorded in priority order by band, local connection and time on the register. Once the time for bidding is closed, the council contacts those at the top of the shortlist and who meets the required criteria to offer the property. You can make bids via the website, by telephone, by text message or by posting a special coupon.
What type of property can I bid for?
You can bid for any type of property but the council will normally advertise property based on the following criteria:
• Property size - the property advert includes how many bedrooms the property has and a minimum/maximum number of people in the household that can apply
• Adapted properties and those with a mobility code may be reserved for people with a matching requirement of need
• Ground Floor accommodation may be offered only to those people who have an agreed need for such properties
• Sheltered accommodation is only available only for people who meet the age requirements or have specialist needs and require an oncall system.
How many bids can I make?
You can bid for up to three properties in every fortnight cycle. Each cycle begins when the freesheet magazine is published and the bidding deadline will be the following Wednesday at 2pm.
Once I've made a bid can I change my mind?
Yes - you can change or withdraw your bid if you want to and you can choose to refuse the offer if you want to. Unlike the previous points system you are not penalised for refusing an offer and can bid again as soon as you are ready.
How do I know if my bid is successful?
If you are offered a property, the Allocations Team will contact you to make an arrangement for you to view it as soon as possible. You can decide to accept or refuse the offer when you view the property or within 24 hours of viewing. We can make arrangements if you have any special needs or requirements.
We will not write to you if your bid is not successful but we will publish feedback about the number of bids we had for each property and what band the successful bidder was in.
What if I am Homeless and need to be housed quickly ?
Some homeless households will have a very high priority and will have the chance to bid for empty properties coming up. In urgent cases it may be necessary for the council to allocate a property. Applicants accepted as Homeless will be expected to bid on suitable properties within 6 weeks. Failure to do so will result in the Council bidding on your behalf or allocating you a property outside the Choice Based Lettings Scheme and discharging our duty under the Housing Act 1996.
For more information, please call the Allocations Team on (01903) 737500 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.