The Council also uses DHC to assess housing need. The system allows applicants to make a choice about the housing which will best meet their needs, from the options that are available, whilst still meeting the Council’s statutory duties to those in greatest housing need.
When an applicant has been accepted onto Devon Home Choice, they will be able to view properties that the Council and RPs are advertising on the system. The advertisements will provide details of the property, the rent to be charged and the tenure the property is offered under. Applicants will then be able to apply/bid for the property of their choice as long as they meet the relevant qualifying criteria.
Currently, properties are advertised on a weekly basis. At the close of the bidding the Landlord will consider the shortlist of applicants and select the applicant who meets the need for the property, consideration will be given to banding and time on the housing register. A check will be done to ensure that the allocation would make best use of the property.
Feedback on the bidding cycles is published on the DHC website at the end of each quarter of the financial year. This provides information on successful lets.
Under the Localism Act 2011, EDDC has taken the opportunity to restrict access to the housing register and to prioritise those in the most housing need. This is on the basis that the supply of affordable housing does not currently meet the demand. Housing is a limited resource which needs to be targeted at those in the greatest housing need.
Access to the housing register will be via an application through the DHC website. For potential applicants unable to utilise this facility a telephone application may be accepted. Special arrangements will be made for potential applicants unable to access Devon Home Choice through these routes. Housing Allocation Officers will be able to provide advice and assistance, if required.
The Housing Allocations team can provide guidance and will offer realistic advice in terms of the chances of success. Evidence of an applicant’s housing history; income, medical needs, criminal convictions, family make up and any other information that may be required will be sought when considering a property allocation.
On completion of the DHC application form and the receipt of any additional information or supporting evidence relating to the applicant’s eligibility and housing need, a relevant priority for the applicant will be awarded. The application will be reviewed by the Devon Home Choice Officer to ensure that the banding is correct. Further verification of the information provided by the applicant may be required.