The Joint Housing Register is the way that all moves into housing association homes are managed, including where the move is a transfer from one housing association home to another.
To be considered for a move you need to apply to the Joint Housing Register. When you apply your application is assessed in accordance with the Joint Allocation Policy. The Policy tells us who gets priority and how we give that priority.
Once we have assessed your application we will tell you how many points you have, the priority that this gives you and the size of property that you will be considered for.
So that we can advise you on your options we need you to complete a Housing Options Assessment Form.
Assessment packs are available from the Housing Options Team either by calling in to the Council Offices, ringing on 01276 707100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can anybody go on the Joint Housing Register?
As there are always more people looking for homes than homes available the Council has decided only certain people can join the Housing Register. You can join if you meet Government rules (which apply to certain people from abroad) and you meet the following qualifying criteria:
- You are over 18;
- You have a local connection to Surrey Heath (by living here for 3 out of 5 years); or, by having settled employment here for at least 12 months and of at least 16 hours per week; or, you have a close family member (father, mother, brother, sister or adult child) who lives here and you can show you need to live near them to provide or receive care or support;
- You are not guilty of anti-social behaviour that is serious enough to make you unsuitable to be a tenant or, if you are already a tenant, you have abided by the terms of your tenancy agreement (e.g. looked after the property, not accrued arrears and not caused anti-social behaviour).
- You do not own a property or do not have the resources to secure your own housing;
- You do not have housing or Council Tax debts you are not addressing; and,
- You have not deliberately made your housing situation worse to obtain social housing.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness you will also be expected to work with the Housing Options Team to find a home.
In certain circumstances 16 and 17 year olds can join the Housing Register, as can former members of the Armed Forces. People over 60 years of age who want to move to sheltered housing can be considered even if they do not have a local connection or own a home.
Who gets priority on the Joint Housing Register?
The way people are given priority is a mixture of Government requirement, local policy and the feedback we had from customers about who should be a priority.
Priority is given to:
- People who are overcrowded or live in poor accommodation
- People who are homeless
- People who need to move for a medical reason
To ensure that we have a way of treating everyone in a consistent way while recognising their individual circumstances we have a points system. When you apply for housing you are given points based on your circumstances.
Points are given for:
- the facilities that you have, or lack;
- how secure your home is;
- any disrepair in your current home; and,
- any medical or other factors that make your current home unsuitable or mean that you would be better off in alternative accommodation.
We also give points if you have a connection with Surrey Heath through living, working or having close family here that you need to move near, and we give priority to Housing Association tenants in the area who need to move.
What points are given?
|Other||5,10 or 15|
|Bedrooms||Every bedroom the household is short||20|
|Bath or Shower||None||20|
|Hot Water||None to bathroom||10|
|None to kitchen||10|
|Garden||No garden access for children||10 for each floor above ground floor|
We can also give points if your home is in poor repair although we will see if there is a way to improve your home first rather than move you.
If you have a license e.g. you live with family, a resident landlord or your employer
or you are a tenant or owner with notice or a possession order
|If you have a tenancy in the private sector or have a tenancy tied to your job.||15|
|Housing Association Tenants, Council tenants and owners||0|
We also have separate points for families who are homeless, those people who have no fixed accommodation and families living on Gypsy and Traveller sites.
|Medical points - awarded following an appointment with the Medical Advisor who will look at the evidence linking your health with your housing||0 - 80|
|People who need to move to the area to give or receive care and support||15|
|People who need to move to the area to take up the offer of a job||0|
|People with a local connection: this is people who have lived in the borough for three out of 5 years (this does not include supported housing placements or homeless accommodation arranged by another Council); people with employment of over 16 hours in the borough; and those who have close family who have live in the borough and there is a care or support need to live near them (Close family is father, mother, brother, sister or adult children).||80|
|Housing Association tenants in Surrey Heath, points for each bedroom being freed up by moving.||20|
|Families who have to live separately because they have no accommodation together||20|
What size property do I qualify for?
These are examples of the size of properties we consider families for:
|Bed sitting room||Single person|
|1 bedroom property||Single person or couple (including same sex couples)|
|2 bedroom property||Single parent/couple and 1 child , or 2 children of same sex under the age of 16, or 2 children of different sex under the age of 10|
|3 bedroom property||Single parent/couple and two children of different sex over the age of 10, or two children over the age of 16, or 3 or 4 children|
|4 bedroom property||Single parent/couple and three children over 16, or 4 or more children|
In exceptional circumstances an additional bedroom may be awarded for families with a severely disabled child who is not able to share a room. Advice can be found here.
Sheltered Housing Schemes at Ballard Court, Cranmore Court, Derek Horn Court, Orchard Court, Heathermead Court, Windsor Court, Meade Court, Bowling Green Court, and Pollard Grove are for people over 60 years of age. Housing Associations also have some other schemes that are specifically for older people and those with special needs.
What properties will I be considered for?
Housing Association homes in Surrey Heath are let through Surrey Heath Home Choice.
Every Wednesday we advertise the housing association homes that are becoming available. The adverts are like estate agent adverts, telling you the type of property available, where it is, how much the rent is, along with other details like whether there is a garden or garage.
The adverts are displayed in the Council and Surrey Heath Housing Association's offices and on the Internet. You can also check what is available by calling the bid line.
If you see a property you would like to be considered for you can make a 'bid'. A bid does not involve money: it is you saying 'yes, I want to be considered for this home'. In fact, what you are bidding with is the points that you have on the Joint Housing Register.
The adverts say who is eligible to bid. For example if it is a three bedroom family home then single people will not be able to bid, and if it is a bedsit people then people with children will not be able to bid. You can only bid for properties that have been advertised.
You can bid:
- By telephoning on: 01276 707100
- By e-mail to: email@example.com
- In-person at the Council Offices.
- Directly through the website
You must make your bid by the closing date shown on the advert or your bid will not count - bids will always close at noon on a Tuesday.
When bidding has closed we take everyone who has made a bid, check that they qualify for the property and put them in order of their points. The home is then offered to the bidder with the most points. If they change their mind it will be offered to the person with the next highest points.
Successful bidders will be called within 2 days of the bidding closing. If you have not been successful you will not hear directly. There is feedback on the website in a regular newsletter. This includes the bidding details of successful customers so you know how many points and how long people have been on the Housing Register when they make successful bids, and how many properties have been available.
You can use this feedback to decide what type of property that you are going to bid for and in what areas.
For example if you are being considered for a two-bedroom home and you want a house you will have a long wait. Of the 989 two-bedroom homes in Surrey Heath only 321 are houses. In light of this you might want to start bidding for a flat.
Will all the homes go to the people at the top of the Housing Register?
There will be people at the top of the Housing Register who want to wait for a home in a certain area. This means that they will choose not to bid for other properties and this will allow customers with fewer points to make successful bids.
Popular properties like houses will attract lots of bids and are more likely to go to people at the top of the Housing Register. We will give you regular feedback so that you can see what your points are worth. For example you may see that although you would ideally like a house, people with more points are always getting them. On the other hand flats may be going to people who have bid with fewer points than you. It will then be your choice whether you change the way you bid to secure a housing association home.
There will be some properties, such as those adapted for wheelchairs, which will benefit customers with special needs. These will first be offered directly to such customers and will not be advertised as part of Surrey Heath HomeChoice.
How many offers will I get?
You will get three offers before any action is taken on your application. If you refuse three offers of accommodation your active date will be changed to the date of the last offer you were made. This means that you will lose any priority you have for the time you have been waiting on the Joint Housing Register.
If you have been accepted as homeless you will only get one reasonable offer before any temporary accommodation provided to you is ended. You can still bid for homes but will have to secure other accommodation yourself.
Want to know more?
A full copy of the Joint Allocation Policy is available at the bottom of this page or by calling the Housing Options Team at Surrey Heath Borough Council on 01276 707100.
We welcome genuine enquiries to check your circumstances and update us on any changes. However, contacting staff on a weekly or monthly basis does not give you any additional priority - you can be assured that when we are in a position to offer you a home we will contact you.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness the Register may not provide you with an offer of housing and you should contact the Housing Options Team to discuss your options.
The Joint Allocation Policy describes the way in which those looking for a move into, or between, housing association homes are given priority. It is a mixture of legal requirement and local policy.