Choice Based Lettings
Kent Homechoice is the Choice Based Lettings scheme for all council and housing association homes in Kent.
Kent Homechoice gives you more choice about where you want to live. You will now have the chance to express an interest in vacant homes that are suitable for you.
Every two weeks the bidding cycle begins on the Website on Fridays from 8am and closes at 1pm the following Wednesday.
About Choice Based Lettings
Choice based lettings is a new approach to letting council and housing association homes. It is designed to offer a system which is easy to understand, open and fair and gives everybody the chance to exercise some real choice over where they live. Rather than homes being allocated by the council, choice based lettings allows tenants and prospective tenants to bid for the empty homes they are interested in.
Available homes are advertised on the internet which allows applicants to see what council or housing association housing is available in the area. This enables them to play a greater role in the process of selecting their home.
Choice based lettings will not increase the amount of available social housing. However, people seeking re-housing have accurate information on how many homes are actually available, where these homes are located and their chances of being housed. As the system is much more transparent, housing applicants have all the information necessary to make their own informed choices.
All people registered for housing can apply or ‘bid’ for the homes advertised. There is no cost involved in the bidding process. Bidding can be done through the Internet at www.kenthomechoice.org.uk, by phone, text, digital TV or by special coupon.
People can only bid for property that is suitable for the size of their household and there is a maximum of three bids per fortnight.
A shortlist of bidders is drawn up and the applicant with the highest priority will be offered the property. If they choose not to accept the property it will be offered to the next highest bidder and so on. There is no penalty for refusing an offer.
One of the advantages of the scheme is that it helps people understand the likelihood of being re-housed. People are more likely to consider options other than being housed by the council or housing associations.
There are many other alternatives to social housing available to people in the Dover District and we will regularly publicise alternative options, such as the council’s Rent Deposit Bond Scheme, and promote the role of the Housing Options Team in working with people to resolve their housing difficulties.
Choice based lettings will also provide a forum to advertise opportunities for shared ownership, and hopefully in the future, private rented options.
Other statutory and voluntary agencies that support vulnerable members of the community will have an important role in ensuring their clients benefit from choice based lettings. We will help train these agencies so they can support their clients to bid for properties. Our staff will also provide advice and support.
There will be a variety of ways to bid and people will be able to choose a method that best suits them. Information will be available in public areas and support workers or relatives can bid on behalf of others who may have problems otherwise. We will monitor which registered applicants do not bid, to find out why and to see if there is anything we can do to help.
For further information
You can contact the Housing Needs Section on 01304 872265
Tel: 01304 872265