Havering Council begins phased reopening of housing services following lockdown
Havering Council will begin the gradual restoration of its housing services from next week, as the UK begins the recovery process from the coronavirus outbreak in line with Government guidance.
This will begin with the staged reopening of the Choice Based Lettings Service (CBL), which allows tenants on the housing waiting list to bid on available Council and housing association properties. Households on the Housing Register who are eligible to bid should check the website from Friday 29th May at www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk
Households who had already been offered a property but had been unable to move because of the lockdown will be the first to move in. The Council will be in contact with households in this situation to advise and support them to move into their new homes.
Bidding and selection for properties can be completed online, so face-to-face contact can be kept to a minimum. Where contact is necessary, staff will be issued with appropriate PPE and maintain strict social distancing measures to ensure everyone’s safety.
Residents should continue to check www.havering.gov.uk for further service changes in the coming weeks, and sign up for the Living in Havering email newsletter for the latest updates.
Welcome to the Havering section of the ELLC website.
We hope you find this web page useful in answering any questions you may have about Havering’s Housing Allocation Scheme.
To be able to apply for Housing under Choice Homes, you will need to apply through Havering’s online application form. Your application will be assessed and if you meet our criteria you will be accepted on to the Housing Register. On completion of registration, a letter will be sent out to you advising of your registration bidding number, date, bed size entitlement, banding and login details for the ELLC site.
Important Message - Direct Offers:
Please click here for a list of direct offers made between January and March 2019, in which the following colour applies:-
Red – Housing Association property
Black – Council property
Green – Sheltered Council property.
Average Waiting Times:
Please click here to view the the average waiting times for properties in Havering.
Multiple Viewings of Advertised Properties
In line with the Allocations Policy, the Council will commence the implementation of multiple viewings on all our advertised properties shortly. For every property advertised the following will apply:-
Havering Housing Allocation Scheme
Havering Borough is an area with very high demand for social and affordable housing and unfortunately a limited supply of homes to rent from the Council. Due to the increasing supply and demand pressures, the Council decided to review the way social housing is allocated in the borough and implement a new allocations scheme.
From 1st July 2016, Havering Council’s new Housing Allocation Scheme will come into force. The new scheme focuses on;
• Helping those in most housing need
• Rewarding residents with a long attachment to the borough
• Rewarding residents who make a contribution to the local community
• Providing a fair and transparent system by which people are prioritised for social housing.
• Supporting residents to actively pursue suitable alternative housing options
The changes to the housing register include new qualification criteria, banding system, one offer only policy, sheltered housing eligibility criteria and the monitoring of bidding activity to ensure that applicants actively participate in securing accommodation.
If you no longer qualify, you will have a transitional period of 6 months from 1st July 2016 to continue bidding for accommodation until you are removed from the Housing Register in January 2017.
A copy of the new summary and full Housing Allocation Scheme can be found on the Havering Website at: http://www.havering.gov.uk/housing
Qualification Criteria to Join the Housing Register
To qualify for the Housing Register you must meet all basic eligibility criteria and qualification criteria including;
• You must be at least 18 years of age or older to apply
• You must have lived in the borough continuously for 6 years
• You must not be the owner or have an interest in a residential property
• Your household must earn no more than £36,000
• You must not have been guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour
• You must be able to meet one of the housing need criteria
Bidding – How the System Works
Havering operates a 5-tier banding system. The bidding priorities are ranked in order of;
a) Emergency Rehousing Band (ER)
b) Community Contribution Reward 1 Band (CC1)
c) Community Contribution Reward 2 Band (CC2)
d) Home-seeker Band (H)
e) Reduced Priority Band (RP)
You can only bid for two properties per cycle but you can withdraw a bid and bid on another property if you wish.
In common with all local authorities Havering is experiencing a growing demand for accommodation that outweighs the supply and certain parts of Havering have little or no available properties. You are therefore encouraged to be as flexible as possible in your choices about where you want to live and what type of property you want. Being less restrictive could mean that you are allocated a property quicker.
After a Bidding Cycle has finished
Bids are generally ranked by the Rehousing Team according to level of priority of the band and then how long customers have been waiting on the housing register. Within these bands, applications are ranked in date order of application. The exception to this are some applicants placed in the Emergency rehousing band that have an urgent need to move and therefore receive a direct offer of accommodation.
After the bidding period has ended, staff will carry out further eligibility checks and request a full verification of applicants high enough on the bidding list. If your circumstances have changed or you have debts owing to the Housing Service or you have been found guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour you may not be selected for an offer. It may also be that when your application is verified you no longer meet the qualification criteria for the Housing register and your application will be then cancelled. If you are not made an offer for these reasons, a letter will be sent advising of the reason of why a bid has not been accepted.
Once an application has been approved for an offer, the Rehousing team will arrange for a viewing of the property and for a tenancy to be signed up.
There is very high demand for council and housing association properties in Havering. If an applicant does not turn up to view a property without telling us beforehand, we will assume that they have refused the property.
If an offer of suitable accommodation is refused by the bidder, the property will then be offered to the bidder ranked second on the list and so on until the property is let.
The map of the borough shows you the lettings areas we use to indicate where the available properties are located;
Refusals of Offers of Accommodation
If you have been successful in bidding for a property, the Council will only make one offer of the accommodation. If an applicant does not consider the property is suitable for their household at the viewing, they will be asked to complete a form setting out their reasons for refusing the offer and this will be submitted to a Reviews Officer.
If the Reviewing Officer decides the offer was suitable for the household’s circumstances, no further offer will be made and the Council's rehousing duty will end or the application cancelled with the applicant being disqualified from reapplying for housing for 12 months. Please note that an applicant can ask for a review of the suitability of the accommodation offered regardless of whether they accept the offer or not.
Void Lettable Standard – Our Commitment to You
Havering Council have an approved Lettable standard for the condition of which we let our empty properties. This standard is a guide to all incoming and transferring tenants on what works they should expect to find have been done before they move into their new home. This standard has been approved by the residents through consultation.
If you require further information regarding this scheme, or if you would like to discuss the Lettable Standard, please contact the Rehousing Team direct on 01708434055/4066
For advice and assistance please call the Rehousing Team on 01708434055/4066. Please note this is a very busy line and you may experience difficulty with getting through, it may be easier to contact us over email on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for further information.
The Council wants everyone on the Housing Register to be able to participate in Choice Homes and access the website to bid for accommodation. If you need help with bidding, please contact us and we will offer support.
Free computer access
If you do not have computer access at home, free Internet access is available at all libraries in Havering, although it is advisable to book in advance as this is a popular service.
Libraries and Local Service Centres
• Harold Hill Library - Hilldene Avenue, Harold Hill, RM3 8DJ
• Homes & Housing Office, Chippenham Road, Harold Hill
• Romford Central Library, St. Edwards Way, Romford, RM1 3AR
• Collier Row Library - 45 Collier Row Road, Romford, RM5 3NR
• Elm Park Library - St Nicholas Avenue, Hornchurch, RM12 4PT
• Central Library - 32-34 High Street, Romford, RM1 1HR
• Public Advice & Service Centre - Liberty Shopping Centre, Romford
London Borough of Havering uses The Language Shop for all its translation, interpretation and sign language needs. The Language Shop is responsible for ensuring and supporting public sector organisations across Greater London in Health and Local Government to communicate effectively with non-English speaking and Deaf patients and residents. Services provided by The Language Shop include; face to face interpreting, telephone interpreting, translation, reproduction of print material in large print and in Braille, and British Sign Language interpreting.