Our Allocations Policy
As a provider of social housing it’s important that we set out clearly how we let our homes. We need to ensure that we comply with all relevant housing legislation and that we let our homes in a way that is fair to everyone.
Look at our Q&A’s below that summarise our Allocations Policy:
Q. Am I eligible to apply for a home with Stoke on Trent Housing Society?
A. You’ll need to be 18 or over and be a permanent resident in the UK. You should not be exempt from holding a tenancy by your immigration status. This means you should either hold a British passport or have been granted legal leave to remain
Q. Who’s not eligible?
A. There are a few reasons why you may not be eligible:
If you can’t meet the affordability assessment and won’t be able to pay your rent.
If you can’t conduct a tenancy without appropriate support and where this support isn’t available.
If you have a certain criminal conviction that is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
If you have failed to conduct a current or previous tenancy or licence in a satisfactory manner.
Where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour or serious unacceptable behaviour
If you provide false information or deliberately withhold information.
Q. Do I need a Local Connection to Stoke on Trent?
A. You don’t need to have a local connection to Stoke on Trent to apply for properties but priority may be given to those with a local connection before those with no local connection. Local connection means permanent residence in the Stoke on Trent area for at least the past six months or for three out of the last five years. Temporary residence at supported accommodation or on licence will not be a local connection
Q. Where do you advertise your properties and how do I bid?
A. We advertise available homes at www.homehunt.co.uk and you’ll need to register there to bid on properties – don’t worry, bidding is just expressing an interest, there’s no money required. There’s no limit to the number of properties you can bid on however bids can only be considered where you have completed the relevant series of questions that appear on Homehunt once you’ve bid for one of our properties. Adverts will appear at www.homehunt.co.uk as and when we become aware of a vacancy and we’ll include as much property information as possible.
Q. What’s a Local Lettings Plan?
A. A local lettings plan allows us to be more flexible in allocating homes to meet specific local issues. For example, a local lettings plan might include specific age criteria to help us achieve a balanced community in a block of apartments. Where we develop a local lettings plan it will be flexible and non-discriminatory. We may also have to consider some applicants before others irrespective of their application date or housing need.
Q. What size property can I be allocated?
A. We won’t allocate a property that you can’t afford so we’ve used the criteria from the Government’s Welfare Reform Act to assess the size of property a household needs. We will allow you to have a property with more bedrooms than you need but we will check first that you can afford it and that you don’t rely on Housing Benefit to help pay the rent. Divorced / separated parents who have weekend/midweek access to their children can have a 2 bed but again we’ll have to check that you can afford it and don’t rely on Housing Benefit. Pregnant women will be considered for 2 bedroom properties when they produce their MATb1 Form at 26 weeks.
Q. How will you prioritise my application?
A. We have a simple Banding Scheme:
BAND 1 – for those who are already a tenant of Stoke on Trent Housing Society and need to move for health/property size/welfare grounds
BAND 2 – for anyone else who isn’t a tenant of Stoke on Trent Housing Society
Your application will be placed into one of these Bands and then we will check to see if you are eligible for a Community Contribution Award.This means that if you work for a minimum 16 hours per week, volunteer for 6 hours or more per week or are undertaking work preparation training then you will get priority within your band above anyone that isn’t eligible for a Community Contribution award.
Q. How do you decide who can have a property?
A. The customer who has bid on the property and has the highest priority and earliest registration date will be contacted to discuss a tentative offer of the property. This means that it’s not a firm offer at this stage but we want to discuss the offer with you. We’ll make arrangements to visit you in your current home or we’ll arrange an office interview. This will give us the opportunity to confirm the details of your application and suitability for the property. We’ll also verify your right to rent a property, complete an affordability assessment and discuss with you the Society Deal – what you can expect from the Society and what the Society expects from you. Following a successful interview and once you have provided any relative documentation we’ll invite you to view the property and make you a firm offer.
Q. Why do I need to contact Stoke on Trent City Council and register with them as well?
A. A percentage of our available properties are let to households selected by Stoke on Trent City Council. It’s around 50% of our vacancies and sometimes on new build vacancies it can be more. To be considered for these vacancies you’ll need to apply directly to Stoke on Trent City Council and will be assessed and selected as per their priority system.
Q. What if I’m not happy with the way you deal with my application?
A. You can call us on 01782 968566 or we can arrange to see you in your home or you can come to our office. You can also request a copy of our Allocations Policy to see what our policy says in respect of how we allocate our homes. If after this, you’re still not happy you can appeal, but it must be done within 21 days of us notifying you of our decision about your application. We’ll deal with this appeal in line with our Formal Complaints procedure.