If you would like to apply for a home in this district - this may be rented housing, shared ownership or low cost housing schemes - you will need to register on the Warwick District HomeChoice scheme.
How HomeChoice works
HomeChoice is a scheme which we, Warwick District Council, operate with a number of housing associations. We let available homes to those in housing need.
We advertise new and existing council and housing association properties through HomeChoice. This means that you will only have to fill in one form to apply for housing and everybody is assessed in the same way, no matter who the landlord is.
There are many more people applying for housing each year than there are empty properties to let and HomeChoice helps us to decide which applicants are allowed to register and who will be given priority for housing.
The current policy was introduced in 2016 and a review of how it has been working has been carried out. As a result the Council has agreed a number of changes to the working of HomeChoice which will be brought in later in 2018.
Registering on HomeChoice
To register on HomeChoice, you must:
- be over 16 years old (we usually only offer tenancies to applicants aged over 18 so if you are under 18 please contact the Housing Advice Team to discuss your options);
- meet the immigration rules to move into social housing;
- not have been found guilty of unacceptable behaviour which could have resulted in, or actually did result in, the courts gaining possession of your home; and
- have a local connection to Warwick district.
To have a local connection to Warwick district, you must:
- have lived in the district for at least 6 months out of the last 12 months, or at least 3 years out of the last 5 years;
- be employed in Warwick district in permanent paid work (we do not accept casual employment); or
- have a close family connection in Warwick district (son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father who is over 18 and has lived in accommodation in Warwick district for at least 5 years before the date of your application).
For exceptions download the booklet.
Application form and process
When we have received your application form, we will assess your application using our banding scheme.
We will process your application within 21 working days and will send you a letter confirming:
- your user number
- your registration date
- the band we have placed you in
- the number of bedrooms you need
- information about how you can view and bid for available properties
If you do not agree with the band you are in or have been told you are not eligible to register, you can ask us to review your application. You must do this in writing within 21 days of the date on the decision letter. We will review your case and tell you the outcome in writing. Once you have received this decision, there is no further right of appeal.
The banding system
What you can bid for
We consider that each of the following needs one bedroom:
- An adult couple (an adult couple in a bedsit is classed as lacking a bedroom)
- Any other person aged 16 or over (including a live-in carer where the need for a bedroom would be accepted under housing benefit regulations)
- 2 children of the same sex under the age of 16
- 2 children under the age of 10, no matter what their sex
- Any other child
We only take account of children if they live with you permanently and it is their main home. We take account of babies in the womb from 25 weeks into the pregnancy. We will assume their sex is the one that will minimise the number of bedrooms needed, unless you confirm the baby’s sex.
As a rule, you cannot bid for properties with more bedrooms than you need. There are 2 exceptions to this which are:
- you need to be a certain age (normally 55 or more) to live in the property; or
- you would be considered as needing an extra bedroom under the rules used for assessing claims for housing benefit.
Due to the shortage of 4 and 5 bedroom properties in the district, if you have this need, we will allow you to bid for 3 bedroom properties.
Viewing and bidding on properties
Current property list. You will need to login to place a bid.
Finding out if your bid is successful
If you are successful, the landlord of the property will contact you by phone, so it’s really important that you tell us if you change your phone number, otherwise you might miss out on the property. We will offer you the opportunity to view the property and we will check your application to make sure you are entitled to the property.
If you have not heard anything within one week, it means that your bid has not been successful and you should continue to place bids for other available properties.
We publish details of the successful applicant’s band and their application date. This information can help you decide where you have the best chance of being rehoused and to consider other housing options available to you.
Change of circumstances
If your circumstances change, you will need to tell the Housing Advice Team. This includes telling us about the following changes:
- A confirmed pregnancy
- Any member of the family or any other person on the application who has left your household
- A change of name
- An addition to the family (we will need proof of residence and identity)
- Any change in income or savings
- Changes in status of accommodation (for example, you have received a notice to quit)
If you have changed address, you need to fill in a new application form. If you tell us about your change of address straight away, the date of your application will stay as the date you first applied. However, we may change your housing priority as a result.
After we have received your filled-in change of circumstances form, we will write to you and let you know if your HomeChoice application has changed as a result.
For further advice about HomeChoice contact the Housing Advice team on 01926 456129 or email: email@example.com