Your Housing Options

There are a range of different housing options available, depending upon your circumstances. With the demands for social and affordable housing ever increasing, not everyone will be successful in applying for a home through Home4U, please be aware of all the options that may be open to you:

 

Social and Affordable Housing

With social and affordable housing, renting from a registered provider, you tend to have more security, providers often offer five year tenancies or long term assured tenancies, and guarantees of service such as repairs. Rents are generally lower than if you rent privately.

Demand for social and affordable housing can be very high, and you may experience a long wait for a move.

 

Private Rented Accommodation

Private landlords offer a wide range of accommodation. They tend to offer properties on six monthly tenancies, which can be renewed if they are happy with the way you have managed your tenancy.

You don't have the same security, but the shorter tenancies and higher mobility can work for people who need to move frequently.

Rents can be higher than in social housing so if you need help with your rent, check out the Local Housing Allowance before you commit to a tenancy.

The following websites can be useful when looking for private renting opportunities:

 

Right Move - www.rightmove.co.uk

Zoopla - www.zoopla.co.uk

Friday-Ad - www.friday-ad.co.uk

DSS Move - www.dssmove.co.uk

Prime Location - www.primelocation.com

Spare Room - www.spareroom.co.uk

Gumtree - www. gumtree.com/property-to-rent

Open Rent - http://www.openrent.co.uk

Further information on ‘how to rent’ can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england

 

Low Cost Home Ownership

Outside the traditional route to buying your home, there are a number of schemes to help you get on the property ladder. More information can be found on the Government's Helptobuy website.

 

Mutual Exchange

If you are already a social housing tenant, you may be able to advertise your home for a mutual exchange.

You advertise your home to other tenants who are looking for a move. If you find someone with whom you want to swap homes, your landlord will carry out some checks to make sure the properties are suitable for swapping and that there have been no problems with the tenancies. If everyone is ok, you arrange a date for a move and off you go.

Visit the Exchange Locata to see what’s available. If you wish, you can then register your details and advertise your property. Your landlord may also subscribe to other mutual exchange schemes such as House Exchange or Homeswapper - ask them for details.

 

Sheltered Housing

Sheltered housing (also known as Retirement Living) could suit you if you want to live independently but need a bit more support, or if you want to live in a smaller and easier-to-manage home. It is usually only available to those aged 55 and over.

Some common features of sheltered housing include:

  • help from a scheme manager (warden), or support staff
  • 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system
  • communal areas, such as gardens or lounges
  • social activities for residents.

Features vary from scheme to scheme. At some schemes you get more support than others. If you’re interested in a particular scheme, make sure you understand what services are available.

 

Flexicare Housing

Flexi-care housing is purpose-built accommodation with care and support for older and vulnerable people.

Flexicare housing offers you the opportunity to live independently while having the reassurance of staff on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional support can also be arranged for those who need it.

This a joint scheme managed by settle and First Garden Cities Homes.  Depending on the scheme you are interest in, more information can be found at settle and/or First Garden Cities Homes

If you would like to know more about extra care housing, visit HousingCare

 

Social Housing outside of North Hertfordshire

Social and affordable housing is in high demand in North Hertfordshire, but waiting lists may be shorter in other parts of the country.

If you are looking for a new home and are willing to consider properties further afield, you may wish to register with HomefinderUK which will give you access to available social, affordable and private rented properties.  It can provide a faster option than waiting to be housed via the Common Housing Register or in the private sector in North Hertfordshire.

If you are interested in settling elsewhere in the UK, visit their website HomefinderUK, or apply directly to registered providers on their website.

 

Housing Advice

The Council’s Housing Options team offers free and confidential advice to anyone who has housing problems. Complete the Housing Assistance Referral Portal if you wish to speak to a member of the team or visit the Council’s website for more information.