It’s all Under One Roof
Changes are about to be made to the way people can access social housing in Warrington.
Warrington Borough Council is introducing a new housing allocations system, to make sure that people who have the most housing need have the best chance of getting a home.
The new system, called Under One Roof, will begin operating from 15 March 2018. It will replace the current system, Choose A Home, a choice based lettings system which has run for a number of years.
Warrington Borough Council has changed its housing allocations policy because of the increase in demand for social housing and the need to make it as simple as possible for those with the greatest need for housing to get a home. Public consultation over the change to the policy took place in January and February 2017.
Under One Roof will be different from Choose A Home, in that applicants will be matched to properties in the areas they have told us they would like to live - depending on availability - based on information they have provided about their circumstances. They won’t be able to see available homes or express an interest in them in the way that they can now.
Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member responsible for housing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “Every Council in the country has a housing allocations policy. This explains how people can access homes owned by social landlords. In most parts of the country, there are fewer homes available than people need, and Warrington is no different.
“The Under One Roof system aims to mitigate this by supporting those people with the greatest housing need, matching members with properties based upon their circumstances. This is about making sure the people with the highest level of need get housed quickly, and reducing delays in the system. It is in line with our pledge to protect the most vulnerable.”
Under One Roof will have available homes from Muir Group, Your Housing Group, Warrington Housing Association, Plus Dane, Sanctuary Housing, Clarion Housing Group, Helena Homes and Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT) who run the scheme on behalf of Warrington Borough Council
There will be two bands for housing need. Band 1 will be for people with an urgent housing need. Band 2 will be for people over 18 who meet the eligibility criteria but have no housing need.
All current Choose a Home members are now being written to, explaining the changes and inviting them to register to join Under One Roof if they are still looking for a home to rent. A special website, www.chooseahomeischanging.co.uk, has been launched to explain the changes being made.
When people register, they will be asked to provide up-to-date information about themselves and the people who will be living with them. This will inform their priority for housing and the band they are placed in.
People looking for a home to rent in Warrington can continue to use the existing Choose a Home system until Friday 9 March. From 19th February 2018 they can register to join Under One Roof. The first matching through Under One Roof, at www.U-1-R.co.uk, will begin on Thursday 15th March. Support will be available for those who need it.
• There have been extensive consultations with housing associations to develop Warrington’s housing allocations policy, with a general consensus that the current policy has to change.
• Wider, public consultation on the proposed changes to the policy was carried out from 23 January to 12 February 2017.