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Redditch Homes is coming soon

The way social housing is applied for and allocated in Redditch is changing.

Redditch Homes, a brand-new housing register, is set to replace Redditch Home Choice, the current housing register, on July 15.

Everyone who wants to apply for one of the borough’s limited supply of social homes will now need to apply to Redditch Homes - including people who had already applied on Home Choice.

We have written directly to everyone who had already applied on Home Choice to provide support and guidance to make the change to Redditch Homes.

You can apply now

You can apply on Redditch Homes now (see below), so that your application is entered onto Redditch Homes ahead of its full opening on July 15 when bidding on homes will begin.

If you had already applied on Home Choice, you can continue to bid for properties on Home Choice until July 15, but Home Choice is closed to new applications, and will be closed entirely on July 15 when it is replaced by Redditch Homes. You can retain an 'effective date' from a Home Choice application by applying to Redditch Homes by October 14. If you had already applied on Home Choice, this is explained in the letters we have sent to you.

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Redditch Homes

Redditch Homes is the new system used to advertise and allocate social homes in Redditch Borough. It’s how we will manage our local housing register in Redditch, and how you will manage your application, including submitting documents and evidence, and bidding on advertised properties.

Here's a guide to Redditch Homes and how it works - you can apply now, and then it will fully open from July 15.

Contents


Who is eligible

You must have valid immigration status, and you must usually be over 18 and have a local connection to Redditch Borough, to be eligible to join the housing register on Redditch Homes.

You may be exempt from the requirement to have a local connection if you:

  • Are member of the armed forces
  • Are a care leaver
  • Have fled domestic abuse
  • Have ‘Reasonable Preference’ for housing as set out in law.

A local connection is one or more of the following:

  • Lived in the borough for a minimum of 2 years or for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • In permanent paid employment or have a certified offer of employment in the borough
  • Have a close family member who has lived in the borough for a minimum of 3 years.

Otherwise, unless very special circumstances apply you will be unable to join the housing register on Redditch Homes, except to apply specifically for older persons’ accommodation or shared ownership.

The Housing Act 1996 (as amended) sets out your legal rights to housing, including ‘Reasonable Preference’. Depending on your circumstances we may also have various legal duties to you. If you want to know more about your rights please contact our Homelessness and Housing Solutions team or refer to Shelter, the independent housing and homelessness charity.

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How to apply

Register on Redditch Homes and complete an application, including submitting relevant evidence and documents when prompted to do so. We will contact you if we need any further information. Applications will not be processed until all information is received.

When you are ready, click here to go to Redditch Homes.

If your application is eligible and the information you have supplied is verified, then you will receive confirmation that you have been registered. You will also receive confirmation of your priority band (see below), including your ‘effective date’, which is the date you started waiting in that band.

If your circumstances change, update your application on Redditch Homes. If you do not, you may no longer be eligible for homes you have bid on, and you may even be removed from the register. Changes in your circumstances may affect your banding and effective date.

Available homes from Redditch Borough Council and its Housing Association partners are advertised weekly on Redditch Homes from Thursday to Monday. You can bid on up to two suitable homes a week, unless you are in Band 1 (see below) when you will be matched directly to a suitable home.

Homes are usually offered to applicants in order of highest priority band then earliest effective date in that band. The landlord will verify your application details to ensure they are correct and you are eligible for the home.

A viewing may be arranged. You will need to be ready to decide and move home quickly, to start your new tenancy at your new home. If the leading applicant refuses a home, it is offered to the applicant with the next highest priority.

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Priority bands

Priority to receive social housing depends on your circumstances, in accordance with Redditch Borough Council’s Allocations Policy.

Your application is assessed against criteria set out in six priority bands. It is placed into the highest band in which you have met one or more of the listed criteria, unless your banding has been reduced (see below). The higher the band, the greater the priority.

Applicants in Band 1 are the highest priority and are matched directly to a suitable available home without bidding. Otherwise, applicants can bid for suitable homes that become available, and homes are offered to bidders in order of highest band and then earliest effective date.

Band

Band criteria

Band 1: direct match

Matched directly to suitable property, with no bidding. Banding reviewed after 12 months.

Has a local connection (unless homeless), and 1 or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Accepted as homeless (either relief or main duty) and duty to re-house applies
  • Moving out of supported accommodation
  • Occupying a property so unsuitable for a verified high medical / disability need that a move is essential
  • Exceptional circumstances.

Band 2: high housing need

Can bid for properties.

Has a local connection (unless homeless), and 1 or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Accepted as homeless or threatened with homelessness but duty to re-house does not apply
  • Occupying private rented property where an Improvement Notice has been served for a Category 1 hazard (except for overcrowding and space)
  • Experiencing serious unintentional overcrowding (need 2 or more bedrooms)
  • Under-occupying social rent or affordable rent housing in the borough (have too many bedrooms)
  • Occupying a social home in the borough with major adaptations that are not needed
  • Meets all criteria from Band 3.

Band 3: medium housing need

Can bid for properties.

Has a local connection and 1 of the following criteria applies:

  • Experiencing unintentional overcrowding (need 1 more bedroom)
  • Occupying private rented property where an Improvement Notice has been served for a Category 2 hazard.

Band 4: reduced banding

Can bid for properties. Banding reviewed after 12 months.

Would be in Band 1, Band 2, or Band 3 but 1 or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Have 'Reasonable Preference' for housing but no local connection
  • Homeless duty ended owing to unreasonably failing to co-operate
  • Intentionally homeless
  • Deliberately worsened circumstances
  • Owe housing-related debts or debts to Redditch Borough Council
  • Breached tenancy conditions relating to anti-social or abusive behaviour
  • Failed to bid on suitable properties
  • Refused suitable property after successful bid
  • Owner-occupier or financial resources are above defined limits.

Band 5: low housing need

Can bid for properties.

Has a local connection and 1 or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Occupying a social home and seeking a transfer
  • Experiencing low level medical or welfare issues
  • Experiencing financial hardship
  • Occupying privately rented accommodation
  • Sharing facilities with other non-related households
  • Residing in an institution or supported housing scheme
  • Tenure is insecure (tied accommodation or lodging with family)
  • Live with family but want to live independently
  • Applying specifically for older persons’ accommodation
  • Applying specifically for Shared Ownership (local connection not required).

Band 6: reduced preference

Can bid for properties.

Would be in Band 5, but 1 or more of the following criteria applies:

  • Owe housing-related debts or debts to Redditch Borough Council
  • Breached tenancy conditions relating to anti-social or abusive behaviour
  • Refused suitable property after successful bid
  • Owner-occupier or financial resources above defined limits
  • Applying specifically for older people’s accommodation, but no local connection.

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Additional priority for key workers

Key workers who would be eligible to join the housing register, such as nurses, social workers, the emergency services, full time carers, members of the armed forces, volunteers, and others as defined as ‘key workers’ by the Government, can have their effective date backdated by 6 months in recognition of their service to the community.

People with disabilities that would exclude them from these roles can also receive this additional priority.

A key worker is someone who at the time of application and at the time of any reviews or offers is:

  • Meeting the criteria for armed forces or key workers as defined by the Government
  • Volunteering for at least 20 hours a month at a registered charity for at least 6 continuous months
  • Caring full time for someone and in receipt of Carers Allowance due to disability or frailty for at least 6 months
  • Excluded from the above by a disability and is receiving the support element of Employment Support Allowance or the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment.

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Updating your details once you are on the register

You must update your application on Redditch Homes if your circumstances change, for example if you have a child, or someone moves in or out of your household, or you have a change in your income, contact details, or relevant medical conditions.

Changes in your circumstances may affect your banding and effective date.

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Removal from the register

You may be removed from Redditch Homes if you:

  • Change your address and do not update your application
  • Do not contact us when we ask you to
  • Do not make a bid within 2 years.

You can also ask to be removed from the register.

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False statements and withholding information

It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly make false statements or knowingly withhold reasonably requested information relevant to an application. This includes information provided by third parties.

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Further information including full allocations policy

This web page is a simplified guide to Redditch Borough Council’s full and formal Allocations Policy.

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