All Partnership properties are allocated through Home4U, which gives you the opportunity to bid on your choice of area and the type of home you want to move to.
Important: Stevenage Housing Applicants
Stevenage Borough Council have implemented a new Housing Allocations Scheme on 15 January 2015 which will affect those who qualify for housing in the Stevenage area.
There are six priority bands on the new Housing Register (Band A – Band F). You can find full details of these on the banding guide sent to you with your letter confirming your Band.
Qualifying applicants in each band are prioritised in date order. Your priority date is the date you were placed in the band, which may not necessarily be your registration date. If you have had a change of circumstances during your time on the housing register which resulted in a higher priority, the date used will be the date you notified us of the change, NOT the date the change occurred. For more information, please refer to the banding guide.
The new scheme has new rules and penalties that you need to be aware of. Applicants placed in band F are registered but unable to bid under choice based lettings. Applicants will be demoted to band F for a number of reasons, including:
• failure to place a bid in two years
• two successful bids but declined both properties and/or failed to attend the viewing/pre-tenancy interview
• no longer qualify following verification checks
• housing related debt
If you are successful in a bid and decline the offer this will count as one of your two offers. Before a property is offered to you we will either carry out a home visit or invite you to attend a pre-tenancy interview to verify your application. Please ensure you have information to hand relevant to your housing circumstances when we visit or interview you including proof of identity for all household members, proof of residence as stated in your housing application and five years continuous residence in Stevenage.
NEW - Updated Login details
We have added an additional security question, so when you next login you will be required to enter your Date of Birth.
GREAT NEWS - OUR NEW MUTUAL EXCHANGE SCHEME IS NOW HERE!
The scheme is called Exchange Locata and is available NOW.
To register with Exchange Locata for the very first time please click here
The new scheme has access to available properties both locally and nationally offering existing tenants access to a wider range of properties than ever before. It offers the opportunity to move anywhere in the country, useful when considering new job opportunities or perhaps a move closer to their family.
PLEASE REMEMBER Mutual exchange is only available to public sector tenants. You are a public sector tenant if your landlord is a council or a housing association. If you are on the housing list and wish to search for a mutual exchange you will need to register with Exchange Locata.
You can use the Mutual Exchange service to find another home you would like to exchange your own home for. For an exchange to take place all tenants and landlords all have to agree to the exchange.
Changes to housing benefit that may affect you from this April
If you claim Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent, you may be affected by changes from this April.
Some people will get less Housing Benefit than they did before. That means that you may be bidding on a property, but if you need Housing Benefit it won't cover the rent of the property, so you will have a shortfall to make up. Click here for more info
Changes to tenancy types that may affect you from this April
With effect from 01 April. North Hertfordshire Homes will be offering five year fixed term tenancies, as our standard tenancy.
This will not affect those who already hold an assured tenancy or those applying for retirement living or flexi care housing.
Further information will be provided to applicants at the offer stage, if they are successful.
If you need help and advice in using the scheme please ring:-
Howard Cottages Housing Association on 01462 683307
North Hertfordshire District Council – 01462 474000
North Hertfordshire Homes on 01462 633397
Stevenage Borough Council on 01438 242666
Helping you find a home in Stevenage or North Hertfordshire
Do you need us to explain Home4U?
In Stevenage you can contact the Customer Service Centre on 01438 242666 or textphone 01438 242150 (for people who are deaf or have hearing difficulties.
In Stevenage there is an automated document reader in the centre that reads text aloud. It is free for you to use. You can visit the Customer Service Centre in Danestrete, Stevenage (to the left of HSBC) who will deal with enquiries about Home4U.
Or you can log onto www.stevenage.gov.uk.
Stevenage Borough Council Empty Properties Service Standards click here. This Leaflet explains the standards you can expect in your new home, and the repairs we will carry out before and after you move into your new home.
In North Herts the North Hertfordshire Housing Partnership is made up of North Herts District Council, North Hertfordshire Homes and Howard Cottage housing association.
You can contact North Hertfordshire District Council on 01462 474000 or visit the Council Offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth and speak to a member of staff.
You can contact North Hertfordshire Homes on 01462 633397.
You can contact Howard Cottage Housing Association on 01462 683307.
You can also download the North Hertfordshire Housing Partnerships Common Allocations Booklet
You can download Stevenage Borough Councils Housing Allocations Scheme
At both centres there are computers for you to place your bids online, again free of charge.
We can make information available on request:
• In large print
• On audio (information on CD)
• In different languages
If you have other requirements, please contact us to discuss alternative ways of taking part in the Home4U scheme. We will do our best to help.
Apply here to join the North Herts housing register.
It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the online application.
You will need to send in photocopied documents (please do NOT send originals, they cannot be returned to you) within 14 days of your application, to your landlord if you are a tenant of North Herts Homes or Howard Cottage, otherwise to North Herts DC at PO Box 480, M33 0DE.
If you do not have a local connection to North Herts, and you don't have a need for social housing, you will have low priority and be very unlikely ever to be offered social housing. You should consider whether it is worth you applying to join the housing register.
The only exception to this would be for people aged 55 years or over, with a support need, looking for retirement living (sheltered housing). There is a low demand for this type of accommodation, and you may still be able to obtain such accommodation, even though you have no local connection, and no particular need for social housing.
An applicant will be deemed to have a local connection if s/he:
• has been continuously resident by choice in the district for the last 12 months: or
• has been resident, by choice, in the district for 3 out of the last 5 years; or
• is a current or former member of the Armed Forces and the application is made within five years of discharge; or
• is the bereaved spouse or civil partner of a member of the armed forces leaving service family accommodation following the death of their spouse of partner; or
• has an immediate family member, (this would normally be their mother, father, brother, sister, or adult child), resident in the district. their residency must be by choice and have been so for a minimum of 5 years; or
• has permanent employment in the district; or
• is a former asylum seeker who has occupied accommodation provided by NASS in the district; or
• has another special reason why they need to live in the district.