close

We use cookies on your computer or mobile device to help make this website better. You can find out what Cookies we use and how you can change your settings here. Our Data Protection Policy has been updated.

By closing this window, we’ll assume you’re okay to continue.

close
Register of Electors 2019 - Annual Canvass Household Enquiry form | Please confirm your details or submit any changes here. |

TAGS STARTING WITH:

        Housing Register FAQs

        Can I apply for a Council or Housing Association property?

        You will need to be live on the Council’s Housing Register to be considered for accommodation with the Council or a Housing Association. To apply for the Housing Register you will need to complete an online application form by visiting www.kenthomechoice.org.uk . Once your online application has been completed, this will need validating by the Housing Options Team, in order to check whether you are eligible to be accepted onto the Housing Register. You may also be asked to supply some documents to support your application.

         

        How long will my application take to get registered/validated?

        Once you have made your online application it takes on average one month before your application will be looked at, though this will dependent on workload. You may be required to provide additional documentation to support your application. Applications are validated strictly in the order they are received. Once your application is validated you will be notified in writing if your application has been successful. If you have been accepted onto the Housing Register you will be informed of your priority band and priority band date. If you have not been accepted onto the Housing Register, you will be notified of the reasons for this.

         

        What additional documentation will I have to provide to support my application?

        You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your application. We will often require proof of identity for all household members; proof of address; proof of your income; proof of your savings and capital; evidence of your housing need. If you are claiming housing benefit, we can use some of the documents on your housing benefit claim to help validate your application for housing.

         

        What is a ‘housing need’?

        In order for be eligible to join the Housing Register, the Council must consider that you have a ‘housing need’. The Council must give priority to some groups of persons. There are a number of factors where an applicant may be considered as having a need for housing and these are set out in the Council’s Allocation Policy and by law. These can included, people living in overcrowded or very unsanitary conditions; people who need to move due to a physical or mental health problem that is being made worse by where they live; people who need to move and live in a particular area due to welfare grounds or people who are homeless.

        Do I have to live in Thanet for any length of time to be able to join the Housing Register?

        The Council’s Allocations Policy sets out residential criteria that applicants must meet to be eligible to join the Housing Register. The residential criteria states that an applicant must have been living in the Thanet district for three consecutive years immediately prior to making their application. For households currently temporarily residing outside of the district and where their principle home was in Thanet prior to moving can be considered if they have been resident in Thanet for three out of the last five years.  Examples of this could be hospital, HMP’s, temporary lodgings and refuges.

        There are some exemptions to these criteria. These are: .  Armed Forces Personnel; Households that are owed a full homeless duty under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (Amended 2002); or applicants who can evidence full time employment within the district and a requirement to live in the area due to their job.

        Permalink

        Who can be included on my application for housing?

        We will only accept household members that are reasonably expected to live with you, e.g. dependent children; or parents or siblings who require you to care for them. Friends or extended family will not be considered as part of your application.

        Permalink

        How do you decide what size property I can bid on?

        The Council’s Allocations Policy sets out the size property applicants are able to place a bid on.

        Permalink

        I require an additional bedroom due to a member of my household having a disability. How do I request this?

        A request would be need to be made in writing and supporting documentation provided. Where households request an additional bedroom due to medical or health needs we will not allow additional rooms for medical equipment, or for the applicant or partner to occupy additional rooms. We will only consider the room requirement of households to be increased if:

        • The carer is not already a household member (in which case they may be able to share with other members of the household, a partner perhaps, so being a carer doesn’t entitle them to an extra room), or
        • A non-resident carer is required for either the claimant or the partner and the claimant or partner receives Disability Living Allowance care component at either middle or highest rate, or Personal Independence Allowance or Attendance Allowance and supporting evidence is provided by a medical professional to confirm this requirement.
        Permalink

        I’m on the Register, how do I get a new home?

        You will need to make bids on vacant properties to be successful.  Vacancies are advertised daily on the Kent Homechoice website. A User Guide will be sent to you by email or is available on the Kent Homechoice website that explains how to bid.

        Permalink

        Why I am unable to bid on certain properties?

        There can be a number of reasons you may not be able to bid on certain properties. This could be because the property is considered to have more or less bedrooms than we have assessed you require or you may be too young to be considered for the property i.e. sheltered accommodation. Some properties may also only be able to accommodate a certain number of occupants and your application may contain more household members than are permitted in the property, even if the property has the appropriate number of bedrooms for your household.

        Permalink

        What is my bidding number?

        Your bidding number is the same as your Housing Register number. Once your online application has been submitted you are informed of your Kent Homechoice Housing Register Number and asked to keep this safe. We will also print it at the top of all our correspondence to you.

        Permalink

        When will I hear if I’ve been successful on a bid?

        Applicants will only be contacted by the landlord of the property (East Kent Housing or Housing Association) if they have been successful with a bid. If you do not hear you must assume you have been unsuccessful on that occasion and continue to bid on other properties.  Feedback on your bid is given by logging into your Kent Homechoice account.

        Permalink

        Why am I waiting so long on the Housing Register?

        We have far more households on the Housing Register than we can re-house.  We must give priority to those people who have greatest need. Applicants awarded the same priority band are also given a priority band date.

        Permalink

        A property I have bid on has been let to an applicant with a lower priority band or later priority band date. Why is this?

        There are times when a property advertised will not be let to the household in the highest priority band or with the earliest priority band date. There can be a number of reasons for this.

        An applicant may have refused the offer; had a change of circumstances which the Council had not been informed about; or contact was not able to be made with the applicant.

        The property advert may make it clear that in order to create a sustainable community, the property will not necessarily go to the highest bidder. This is often the case when there has been a history of anti-social behaviour with a property or in a particular area.

        An applicant may not be able to be suitable for the property. For example, the applicant has been awarded an urgent medical need due to requiring a property on the ground floor, or with specific adaptations to the property, but they property they have bid does not match their criteria to meet their housing need.

        An applicant may be on the Housing Register as an existing social housing tenant for a transfer, but they have rent arrears and have not been able to clear their arrears before being offered the property.

        There may be a Local Letting Plan associated with the property. Local Lettings Plans are often associated with new housing developments and the Council has the power to implement them to help maintain and promote a balanced and sustainable community, to allocate particular accommodation to people of a particular description, even if they are not the highest bidder for the property.

        The property may be subject to a letting panel, for example, enhanced extra care accommodation and the applicant may be deemed as not suitable for the scheme.

        Permalink

        I am an older person, what housing is available for me?

        If you are over 55 years of age, you could choose to apply for sheltered accommodation. There are various sheltered schemes in Thanet, these are all owned by Housing Associations.  If you need more support, there are also some extra care/enhanced extra care sheltered housing schemes available. These vacancies are also advertised through Kent Homechoice, but unlike general needs properties, a case panel will assess the suitability of the applicants who have placed a bid on these properties to ensure they are suitable for the scheme. Therefore, the properties may not be let to the person in the highest priority band or with the earliest priority date.

        Permalink

        What is Extra Care accommodation?

        Extra/enhanced extra care accommodation is designed for single people or couples who want to live at home, but need care or support. The care is flexible and can fit around your personal needs. It is ideal for people who have long-term deteriorating health conditions, people who need care at night and people whose needs can change quickly.  Extra care housing is not a care home; you have your own accommodation with your own front door. Although carers are on-site, they will only visit you if this is arranged in advance or you need them. The on-site care team will provide your personal care and they will be on hand at time of emergency day or night.

        Permalink

        I’ve served in the Armed Forces, am I given any additional priority for housing?

        The Council is required by law to give additional preference for housing to some applicants who have served in the Armed Forces and who fall within certain categories. If an applicant has served in the ‘regular forces or ‘reserve forces’ within three years of their application for the Housing Register and  fall into one of the groups below, additional priority will be awarded to their application for housing:

        a) serving members of the regular forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their service

        b) former members of the regular forces

        c) bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces where (i) the bereaved spouse or civil partner has recently ceased, or will cease to be entitled, to reside in Ministry of Defence accommodation

        following the death of their service spouse or civil partner, and (ii) the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service

        d) serving or former members of the reserve forces who are suffering from a serious injury, illness, or disability which is wholly or partly attributable to their service.

        Permalink

        I’m being made homeless; will this help me get a property quicker?

        Applicants who are considered by the Council to have a genuine threat of homelessness within 28 days, or who are owed a full homelessness duty, fall within the Reasonable Preference category and awarded Band C on the Housing Register, in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy. Being made homeless or going into temporary accommodation provided by the Council, does not automatically increase an applicants’ priority band. An applicant may sometimes be in a higher priority band by making arrangements to stay with friends or family whereby they maybe major overcrowded, as gives a higher band on the Housing Register than being homeless.

        Permalink

        I have a medical condition, does this help by application for housing?

        We will only consider applicants, or their households members’, medical conditions if these are being made worth by where you live, when determining priority for housing on the Housing Register. A Medical or Welfare Needs Assessment form will be needed to be completed, with any supporting medical documentation, confirming why your home is unsuitable for your medical/health care needs, or a Kent Agency Assessment completed by a health care professional, in order for us to consider awarding priority on medical or welfare grounds.

        There are only two bands that an applicant who the Council considers as having a housing need on medical or welfare grounds can be placed into. Only those applicants who are considered as being in the most inappropriate accommodation for their medical needs will be awarded the higher priority band, for example, as end of life applicant in unsuitable accommodation, or an applicant who requires a wheelchair adapted property living in accommodation that is not suitable for wheelchair use.

        Permalink

        Can I appeal against the priority band I have been given?

        Applicants are placed into priority bands in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy. If you believe you have been placed into the wrong band under the Allocations Policy, you can request a review of your banding or priority band date, by writing to the Housing Options Manager within 21 days of being notified on your priority band. Late reviews will not be accepted.

        Your review will be considered by the Housing Options Manager and you will be notified of the outcome of the review. We aim to make a decision on your review and notify of this within 8 weeks of receiving the request for a  review. If you are unhappy with the review decision, there is no further right of review.

        Permalink

        My application to the Housing Register has been refused. Can I appeal against this decision?

        If an applicant is not accepted onto the Housing Register the reasons for this will be notified to the applicant in writing. Applications are assessed in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy. If you believe you should be eligible to join the Housing Register inline with the Allocations Policy, you can request a review of the decision to refuse your application, by writing to the Housing Options Manager within 21 days of being notified of our decision. Late reviews will not be accepted. Your review will be considered by the Housing Options Manager and you will be notified of the outcome of the review. If you are unhappy with the review decision, there is no further right of review.

        Permalink

        I’ve changed address or my circumstances have changed since making my application how do I update these?

        You can update your Housing Register application by logging into your Kent Homechoice account and going to the ‘My Details’ section and following the online instructions to update your application. Once you have updated your Housing Register application, this will need to be validated again to confirm that you remain eligible for the Housing Register. During this time you will not be able to bid.

        Permalink

        What happens if I refuse a property that I have bid on and been offered?

        If an applicant refuses two offers of housing that they have placed bids on within the last 12 months, we will suspend their application for 12 months, after which we will re-assess the applicant’s priority for housing.

        If an applicant awarded Band A as having an urgent medical or welfare need rejects two suitable offers of accommodation, they will have their priority reduced to Band C for 12 months, after which the priority awarded will be reassessed.

        Permalink

        Can my priority on the Housing Register be reduced?

        Yes. There are some circumstances where an applicant’s priority on the housing Register may be reduced. This could be because following the applicant having a change of circumstances or moving to a new address, they are no longer assessed as having the same housing need and priority for housing.

        If an applicant awarded Band A as having an urgent medical or welfare need rejects two suitable offers of accommodation, they will have their priority reduced to Band C for 12 months, after which the priority awarded will be reassessed.

        If an applicant makes their housing situation worse (for example by moving to a house that is more overcrowded than your previous one) we will assess their application as if they were still living in their previous home for 12 months. At the end of this period we will re-asses their priority.

        If an applicant has been awarded additional priority due to their home having major disrepair, but they fail to co-operate with their landlord when trying to carry out the repairs, their application will be placed in band D until the works have been completed. After this, the applicant’s priority will be re-assessed.

        Permalink

        What is the Allocations Policy?

        The Allocation Policy is the set of rules explaining how Thanet Council has decided how to allocate social housing (Council housing and Housing Association properties) in Thanet. Some of the rules are based on the law and others were decision made by the Council. These rules cover: who can join the Housing Register; how the council decides who gets priority on the Housing Register; how transfers and exchanges of council housing are dealt with.

        The Council must stick to these rules when letting properties and can’t make decisions according to other rules which aren’t written down.

        Permalink

        What is a Local Lettings Plan/Policy?

        The Council has the power to allocate particular accommodation to people of a particular description, whether or not they have the highest priority date or earliest priority date. This is done by the implementation of a Local Lettings Plan/Policy. These are often implemented for new housing developments; to reduced anti-social behaviour in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour; or rural developments where a local connection is identified. The aim of a Local Lettings Plan is to help maintain and promote a balanced and sustainable community.

        Permalink

        What other housing options are available to me other than applying to join the Housing Register?

        The Housing Register is heavily over subscribed, and people may face a very long wait to be re-housed by the council or a housing association.  It is often quicker to find a private tenancy.  There are a number of letting agents in Thanet you can contact.

        You may be eligible for the Government backed Help to Buy Scheme.  To find out if you qualify, visit the Help to Buy website.

        Permalink

        Help & support

        Did you find this page useful?