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Finding Accommodation

Finding Accommodation

There are various housing options available in Hampshire and a variety of different housing products on offer. These include:

• Council and/or housing association homes.

• Temporary accommodation.

• A range of supported housing schemes designed to meet different levels of need.

• Owner occupation, including shared ownership or ‘part rent, part buy’ products.

• Private rented sector homes.

• Other housing products / types of accommodations (these are varied but include ‘hostels’, ‘rent to buy’, ‘tied accommodation’ and ‘alms houses’ amongst others) -

Some district council’s in Hampshire have retained council housing stock. These council’s generally work in partnership with local housing associations as well as offering council tenancies in the local area.

Some local authorities in Hampshire have opted to transfer all local council housing stock to a housing association partner who owns and manages the properties available, or solely housing association homes. These properties are generally let through the local authority housing register or waiting list.

Your local district or borough council has statutory housing responsibilities. These are often set out in primary legislation, and include responsibility for providing free housing advice for any person in their area, tackling homelessness, enforcing housing fitness standards, administering Disabled Facilities Grant (including minor adaptations) and allocating local council and/or housing association homes.

Anyone requiring advice with a housing related problem may wish to contact their local housing authority – contact details for your local district council can be found by adding your postcode within this link: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

How your district or borough council can help you

Your local council can help you with advice and assistance with regard to a range of housing related matters, including advice to help people to remain in their existing homes or to move to alternative accommodation, including details of the types of housing options that may be available locally.

District and borough councils can offer you information and advice:

• If you have a housing related problem.

• If you are homeless or threated with homelessness.

• If you want to apply for housing locally (including how to go about it and prospects of securing different types of housing options).

• About Disabled Facilities Grants to help people to live in their homes.

• If you are concerned about the state of repair of your home.

• About local schemes that can help with the costs of a deposit and/or rent in advance.

• How to apply for housing and council tax benefit

• Where to find advice on a range of other issues, including signposting local agencies who can help with specific problems securing council or housing association rented homes in Hampshire

Please note that Hampshire is an area of high demand for council and/or housing association homes. In most instances, securing this type of accommodation in Hampshire is unlikely to provide a quick solution to a person’s housing need. There are many and varied competing demands for these properties when they become available.

The first place to make enquiries about how to access council or housing association homes in Hampshire will be your local district or borough council. Different local councils operate different criteria for assessing applicants for housing, but they are all under a duty to provide housing advice.

Some local authorities operate ‘housing registers’ or ‘waiting lists’ while others may operate ‘allocation pools’. Generally these approaches mean that people complete housing applications which are then assessed against a locally agreed policy. Your local district or borough council will have a published allocations policy. These are generally available on the housing pages of the relevant council’s website.

People who are eligible and qualify to join the local housing register, waiting list or allocations pool are generally able to be considered for the size and type of property the local authority assesses that they may require. Applications are generally prioritised on the basis of need and considered alongside all other competing demands for available properties.

In some areas, the local district or borough will operate a ‘choice based lettings’ scheme, which is where council and/or housing association properties that are becoming available locally are advertised. People are then invited to express an interest to be considered for available homes in a process called ‘bidding’.

For more information about how this type of housing is allocated locally, please speak to your local district or borough council.

Council or housing association rental products

Different landlords offer different rental products within their rented housing stock.

Some properties may be available or advertised at a ‘social rent’; while others will be available or advertised at an ‘affordable rent’. Social rents are generally the lowest rents charged in an area, while affordable rents are set at either 80% of the open market value or at the local housing allowance rate.

Different landlords also offer different levels of security of tenure. These can depend on the type of property offered and the type of landlord.

The various types of tenancy can be found within the links below:

For an outline of tenancies offered by local Councils (who have retained their housing stock), please use this link: https://www.gov.uk/council-housing/types-of-tenancy  

For an outline of tenancies offered by local housing associations, please use this link: https://www.gov.uk/housing-association-homes/types-of-tenancy  

Temporary accommodation and homelessness

Certain classes of homeless people may be eligible to be provided with temporary accommodation under the provisions of homelessness legislation by your local district or borough council. This is accommodation provided in an emergency to alleviate or avoid homelessness.

To qualify for temporary accommodation, the local council would need to have reason to believe the person was eligible, homeless and in priority need.

To qualify for ongoing temporary accommodation the local council would need to be satisfied that a person was:

• Eligible

• Homeless

• In priority need

• Not homeless intentionally

The council may also consider whether or not the person has a local connection to the area. People who meet the above criteria but do not have a local connection may be referred to an area where they have a connection and the duty to accommodate may be transferred to that area.

For further information regarding accessing temporary accommodation and the homelessness application process, please contact your local district or borough council.

Supported housing

Supported Housing is an overarching term that encompasses a range of different types of housing schemes.

Generally these schemes provide accommodation with an element of support. How the support is provided and by who can differ depending on the type of scheme.

The type of accommodation that is offered can also vary from self-contained units to shared accommodation.

There are some ‘group living’ schemes which offer communal accommodation to small groups of people in a similar situation - a kind of house-share. These schemes are mainly for people with learning disabilities and for people with mental health problems.

Group living schemes are run largely by voluntary organisations or housing associations.

For more information on these schemes contact your local Adult Services office. You can also find housing related support on the Supporting People website

Further places to seek advice: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/housing_s.htm and  http://england.shelter.org.uk/ 

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