- Published: Monday, 29 April 2019 15:24
As a responsible social housing provider and managing agent for the City of Wolverhampton Council's housing stock, we are committed to providing decent homes and delivering great housing services to the people of Wolverhampton. With limited housing stock and around 10,000 people wanting for a council home, catering to the individual needs of our highly diverse city is a big challenge. That's why it's important to us that we support housing applicants with information and advice, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions about their future. Below, you'll find some useful information, including hints and tips, that will help you to find a long-term home that's right for you and successfully manage your tenancy.
Are you ready to move?
Our properties represent a long-term home for many of our customers and we work hard to get them repaired and let as quickly as possible. Applicants have a role to play in this by making sure that they are ready to take on a new home before bidding for one.
So, before you apply for housing and bid for a home, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself:
- How are you going to pay your rent? As a tenant you will be responsible for paying all rent and service charges connected with your new home.
- Can you afford a month's rent upfront? Rent is due in advance and you'll be asked to pay enough to cover your rent up until your next regular payment date before you're given the keys.
- Have you thought about furniture and decorating? Have you already got all the furniture you need or have you saved up enough money to decorate your home on top of your first month's rent?
- Have you worked out exactly what bills you'll have to pay? This includes things like gas, electric, water, internet, any phone or TV contracts, and council tax.
- Have you planned for the future? Only a small number of homes become available; this means that once you move into your new home it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to move again through Home in the City. Due to the number of people on our housing list, you may have a long wait if you need to move to a bigger property in the future.
Can you answer "Yes" to all of the questions above? If not, you should carry on planning and saving before you apply for a council home. You can start preparing now by saving up a 'moving fund' and by thinking about where you might want to be in the next five years.
Refusals and withdrawals
It's important to us that we provide quality homes that help people to get on in life.
For this reason, we need to make sure that when homes become available we let them as quickly as possible, and customers have a vital role to play in helping us do this.
As a customer it’s essential that your application is up to date, as you will have to provide evidence of everything you’ve told us on your application if your bid is successful. If you can’t evidence something on your application, we will review your application based on what you can evidence, correct your priority or the type of homes that you can bid on, and move on to the next person on the shortlist.
It’s also really important that if you bid for a home, you are prepared to take on that home if you’re offered it. If you turn down an offer of a property, this delays us in letting that property and potentially deprives a person, couple or family of a much-needed home. Also, we're unable to collect rent on empty homes and rental income is essential for us to continue providing housing services.
You must bid regularly on Homes in the City to be considered for homes, but please be ready to take on the homes you bid for. If you refuse a home, your application will be reviewed, your priority may be removed or your application closed.
Other housing options
We have around 5,000 people on our housing register with a housing need, desperate for a home. Sadly, we only have around 1350 properties that become available each year, so we will never be able to re-home everyone. This is why we ask all applicants to consider other housing options.
Here are some useful hints and tips:
- If you are a social housing tenant with a secure or assured tenancy, register with the mutual exchange website Homes Swapper to see whether there are other tenants that would be willing to swap with you.
- Have you considered flats and maisonettes as well as houses? – Houses are extremely popular; demand is lower for flats and maisonettes so you stand a better chance of getting one.
- It's important to give fair consideration to all homes that you are eligible for and avoid limiting bids to small areas of the city as this will delay you finding a suitable home.
- We prioritise customers in bands two and three for 10% of our homes. If you’re in bands two or three, look to bid for eligible homes advertised to bands two and three, as this will increase your chances of being successful with your bid.
- 25% of our homes are advertised with a local connection. If you have a local connection to an area of Wolverhampton registered on your application, look to bid for homes advertised to customers with a local connection to that area.
- Please consider Housing Association properties advertised on Homes in the City, as these organisations provide very similar tenancies to us, in terms of both security of tenure and affordable rents.
- Register with Midland Heart’s choice-based lettings system at the Homes Directwebsite.
- Look into the possibility of renting privately, as you will often find a suitable home quicker in the private market than what you would if you wait for a council home.
- Take a look at the options offered by WV Living at .
Plan for the future
With so many people waiting for a council home and as few as 1350 becoming available each year, we will never be able to house everyone. That is why it’s important that you think about your future when considering your housing options.
Homes that are too small
Is your home going to be large enough for a family? If your home becomes overcrowded, it could still take a very long time for you to find and secure a new home that's more suitable.
Instead, consider swapping with someone in a larger home via www.homeswapper.co.uk. We also recommend you bid for flats and maisonettes as these homes are in lower demand than houses.
Homes that are too large
Are you going to be able to manage a large home in years to come? If your home becomes too big for you or you think it may become too big for you in the near future, we can help you to downsize to something more manageable and can even assist you with high priority – apply now!
Homes that don't meet your specific needs
Are you struggling with stairs or getting in and out of the bath due to a medical condition?
Complete a medical form here and provide us with supporting information from a medical professional working with you, that confirms the medical conditions you have, how they are affected by your home and how a move to another home will improve these conditions or make them easier to manage.
Please keep in mind that it is extremely unlikely that we will adapt your home to your needs if it's too large for you and you could move to a smaller home.