Your banding

Are you saving for your first rent payment?
Whatever tenure you move into you will need to pay rent in advance, even if you are claiming benefits.

Your application will be assessed and you will be given a priority band based on your housing circumstances. There are five bands, simply called emergency, band one, band two, band three and band four. The time you spend in a band will be taken into account when a shortlist is drawn up.

Depending on your circumstances, social priority can affect whether you are placed in band one, band two or band three. Social needs awards can be awarded if there are negative factors affecting you which could be solved if you moved. We may need supporting evidence from professionals working with you before we can award social needs. Social need awards will be reviewed after three months or if you refuse a suitable offer of accommodation.

For full details of the bands please read the allocations policy.

Emergency Band

Cases where:

• Applicants who are homeless and are owed the main duty including when they have become homeless or the Relief Duty has come to an end and they have been assessed as being in priority need and unintentionally homeless;

• There has been a Multi Agency Panel review and immediate rehousing is required;

• A substantially adapted or purpose built property is required. This category includes those applicants covered by regulations which apply to members and former members of the Armed Forces and having particular regard for those injured or disabled in action;

• A substantially adapted (2 or more adaptations in the property) or purpose built property is being freed; or

• An appointed Occupational Therapist has decided the applicant’s property is unsuitable for the applicant or a member of their household needs and where adaptations would cost in excess of £5,000 or cannot be carried out due to the construction of the property

Band One

Cases where:

• There is an urgent need to move on medical or social grounds;

• There is a young person leaving care;

• Applicants who are homeless and are owed the Relief Duty and would be owed or likely to be owed the Main duty when the relief duty came to an end, because they are or are likely to be in priority need and homeless;

• The applicant is freeing a placement in a specialist housing scheme, or subject to a single referral forum decision, and has been assessed as ready to move on;

• The household is short of three or more bedrooms in their present accommodation or are experiencing overcrowding that results in a child over the age of 10 having to share a room with a child of the opposite sex;

• A tenant of Wolverhampton City Council or a Registered Provider wishes to leave a house and move to a flat, maisonette or bungalow;

• The applicant’s home is subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order/Closing Order;

• The applicant has an urgent need to move to a particular area in the City and where not to do so would cause hardship to themselves or to others.

• Wolverhampton City Council or Registered Provider tenant releasing three or more bedrooms;

• Armed Forces personnel with families upon the provision of a Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Living Accommodation; or

• Where a Council service tenants occupying tied accommodation whose contract states that accommodation must be occupied and their employment is terminated, the service tenant retires or tied accommodation is no longer available. This will not apply to Employees leaving as a result of dismissal.

Social Priority - Band One

• Move to enable a disabled/mentally ill/elderly person & carer to be close in order to prevent immediate admission to hospital or a home where essential support is given. Will only apply where applicant is looking to move to the same estate as carer

• Violent injury/death, suicide, rape or attempted rape in or near the home which directly affects the applicant or a member of the applicants household

• Where a neighbourhood dispute/racial harassment/hate crime incident results in court action and the applicant needs to move away from an area;

• Life threatening violence or the likelihood of it

• Children being returned from care but dependent on a change of accommodation

• Freeing a hospital bed or residential home placement where present accommodation is deemed unsuitable following professional advice

• Change of accommodation required for exceptional social/medical factors where moving would enable the delivery/monitoring of essential support services. Awarded when Housing Support have confirmation that the applicant is engaging with supporting agencies

• City of Wolverhampton Council tenants wanting to move to an age designated block reserved for older households who are currently living in a flat that was a former sheltered scheme and the age designation was removed in April 2016.

Band Two

Cases where:

• The applicant is freeing a placement in a supported housing scheme e.g. hostel / foyer etc. has been assessed as ready to move on;

• Applicants who are threatened with homelessness and are owed the Prevention Duty and would be likely to be owed the Main duty if both the Prevention Duty and any Relief Duty that followed on were to end unsuccessfully and they would be, or would likely to be, found to be in priority need and unintentionally homeless;

• The household is short of two bedrooms in their present accommodation;

• A family, couple or pensioner is sharing any of kitchen, bathroom or toilet. (does not apply to owner occupiers or anyone who is a tenant of any kind that has their own kitchen, bathroom and toilet);

• There is a significant need to move on medical or social grounds;

• Wolverhampton City Council or Registered Provider tenant releasing two bedrooms; or

• The applicant is a tenant of WCC or RP who has children under 12 years of age but does not have access to a private garden, this would not apply for a like to like property.

Social Priority - Band Two

• Burglary: where the applicant is considered vulnerable and is the target of repeat offending

• Neighbourhood disputes/racial harassment incidents/hate crime resulting in intimidation or serious threats or damage to property which are recurrent

• To move away from criminal activity and/or drug problems where the applicant would be vulnerable to being drawn back to previous criminality

• Couples/Families/Single people in financial hardship actively looking to downsize from larger accommodation to smaller accommodation and circumstances currently assessed as band 2

• Applicant is a current or former member of the armed forces, injured serviceman or woman, bereaved spouse or civil partner or existing or former member of the reserved forces who is suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is attributable (wholly or partly) to their service (families).

Band Three

Cases where:

• There is a need to move on medical or welfare grounds but which is less than that required for Bands 1 & 2;

• The household is short of one bedroom in their present accommodation;

• The applicant is a single person sharing any of kitchen, bathroom or toilet (does not apply to owner occupiers or a tenant of any kind that has their own kitchen, bathroom and toilet);

• Wolverhampton City Council or Registered Provider tenant releasing one bedroom; or

• Applicants owed a Prevention duty, or Relief duty for as long as that duty is owed but would not be or are unlikely to be owed the Main Duty when any relief duty came to an end and intentionally homeless.

Social Priority - Band Three

• Accident or bereavement in or near the home which is seriously affecting the applicant or a member of their family.

• Neighbourhood disputes/racial harassment resulting in graffiti, gestures, letters.

• Where, following the breakdown of a marriage, civil partnership or established common law relationship the former partners are still living in the same property.

• Couples/Families/Single people in financial hardship actively looking to downsize from larger accommodation to smaller accommodation and circumstances currently assessed as band 3

• Applicant is a current or former member of the armed forces, injured serviceman or woman, bereaved spouse or civil partner or existing or former member of the reserved forces who is suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is attributable (wholly or partly) to their service (singles). Note: Where a particular circumstance, or set of circumstances, has been taken into account when awarding social priority, that same circumstance, or set of circumstances, will not be taken into account in any request for medical priority or vice versa.

Band Four

Cases where there is no housing need and cases with lesser housing preference:

• People who live outside of Wolverhampton who do not have an emergency or band 1 identified need to be in the City;

• People who have not lived in the City for at least two years unless there is an emergency or band 1 need to move on medical or social grounds or the applicant or a member of the household is seeking employment in the City and has a firm offer of employment. The requirements to be resident in the City do not apply to:

        a) those who are currently serving in the regular forces or who were serving in the regular forces at any time in the five years preceding their application for an allocation of social housing;

        b) bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where

        (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or civil partner, and

        (ii) the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service; or

        c) existing or former members of the reserved forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is attributable (wholly or partly) to their service.

        d) eligible homeless applicants that are not subject to a referral to another Local Authority AND they meet the Housing Act local connection criteria.

        e) when an applicant is being supported as they need to move due to domestic violence.

• Owner occupiers who have more than £48000 equity in their present property or did so in a property sold in the past two years. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are proactively marketing their property and regularly update the Council as to the situation regarding the sale; Housing Allocations Policy 11

• Anyone who owes debts of more than £60 to a Council or Registered Provider.

This does not apply to:

        a) current Council or Registered Provider tenants who are requesting a transfer to a smaller, more affordable property due to the financial hardships making their rent unaffordable and there is no possession order;

        b) eligible homeless applicants that are not subject to a referral to another Local Authority AND they meet the Housing Act local connection criteria.

        c) when an applicant is being supported as they need to move due to domestic violence. The allocation of alternative accommodation will be dependent on if (a),(b) and (c)

do not apply:

        (i) The tenant making regular payments (for a minimum of three months) to show commitment to the repayment plan;

        (ii) The tenant will be subject to a full income and expenditure exercise by/on behalf of their managing agent where a repayment plan will be agreed with the tenant; and iii. the debt owed at the current property being transferred to the new tenancy and any agreement to discharge the remaining debt will become a condition of the new tenancy;

• Tenants of the Council who have been in their property for less than one year;

• Tenants of the Council whose property has failed a pre leaving inspection;

• Applicants who have been involved in unacceptable behaviour such as persistent non payers, applicant or member of his or her household involved in anti-social behaviour but not serious enough to be excluded from the housing register.

• Applicants who do not have a settled address from where their housing needs can be assessed.

• Applicants living in hostel or supported housing until assessed as ready to move on.

Medical Priority

You may feel that living in your current property is making a medical condition worse and that a move would help.

To give your case proper consideration, we need you to fill in our medical form. Please read our medical assessments page for more information and to fill in the form.

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