Following recent changes to the way affordable housing is allocated, the number of people registered to be rehoused across the county has reduced dramatically from over 5,000 to below 1,000.
As a result, those who are registered as being in need of affordable housing are being offered accommodation more quickly. However, the council is concerned that there may be people who are in need but are not coming forward or going through the proper application process and are therefore failing to become registered.
The county’s affordable housing is for households that cannot afford to buy or rent off the open market. Residents of all ages currently living and/or working in Herefordshire are eligible to register for affordable housing if they have a housing need and meet the criteria.
To help people with their housing options, everyone seeking advice and assistance, including those who are currently a housing association tenant, must complete an enhanced housing options questionnaire online which will provide suitable options depending on circumstances. If affordable housing is an option, an online application form can be completed. To complete registration applicants must provide Home Point with the appropriate supporting documentation (e.g. proof of residency, income and savings).
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “Demand for housing is greater than ever, so it is really important that when allocating affordable housing, priority is given to the households that have the greatest need.”
“Since we changed our allocations policy to reflect this, we have found that many are not getting through the process of applying for housing because they are failing to provide the documentation that is requested.”
“Applying for affordable housing is a three step process and everyone needs to go through this properly. I am concerned that some households are not doing this and are therefore not getting through the system, regardless of whether they have need or not. I would urge anyone struggling with the application process or are in need of assistance to contact Home Point or visit the info centre in Hereford for help.”
People can contact Home Point online at www.home-point.info, ring 01432 260300 or visit the council’s information centre, Franklin House, Commercial Street, Hereford between the hours of 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday. They can access the internet at libraries, the information centre at Franklin House or via Home Point’s partner organisations.