Apply for housing
|We are currently receiving a much higher volume of housing applications than normal. We assess applicants' housing need for admission to the Housing Register as quickly as practicable. At present, housing needs assessments are taking about four weeks. If you have submitted an application or supporting information within this timescale, please refrain from chasing - we are receiving much greater volumes of calls and emails than prior to the pandemic.|
Applicants will be asked to renew their applications online each year. They will be asked to logon to their account to make any changes to their application. Support and assistance will be given to those people who need it. You will be asked to supply supporting documentation to verify the information provided as part of your online application. You will also need to provide additional appropriate proof to confirm your circumstances at any point during your application.
Who can apply?
To qualify to join the housing register in Basingstoke and Deane, you will need:
- to be over 16 years old
- to be eligible under immigration law
- to have a local connection to Basingstoke and Deane:
- having lived in Basingstoke and Deane for a continuous period of two years
- having permanent employment of 16 hours or more in Basingstoke and Deane for two years prior to application
- to meet the council's qualifying criteria
Exceptions will be made for the following applicants:
- Applicants who have a need to move to offer or receive care or support
- Certain members of the armed forces and their families
- Care leavers
- Homeless applicants accepted by the council and placed outside of the borough by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
Additional local connection exceptions will apply for some applicants fleeing domestic violence or who have an urgent medical need. You won't be able to apply if you have a household income of over £50,000 per annum or savings/assets over £30,000.
Housing need will be assessed against statutory definitions known as ‘reasonable preference’ criteria.
The reasonable preference groups are:
- people who are homeless within 56 days
- people occupying insanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
- people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds
- people who need to move for hardship reasons, including those sharing facilities with those who will not be rehoused with them
- armed services personnel
- people who are under occupying their accommodation.
Locally adopted definitions of housing need will also include:
- people living in tied accommodation
- people living in unaffordable private rented accommodation
- registered provider tenants who are under-occupying
Housing Need Categories
- No fixed abode
- Homeless within 56 days
- Accepted Homeless
- Sharing facilities
- Armed Forces Personnel not in urgent housing need
- Welfare/Social grounds
- Mental Health/Disability Grounds
- Unsuitable Accommodation
Applicants will be placed in three bands and housed in date order within the band:
- Band 1 applicants with a reasonable preference and an urgent need to move as per the existing scheme
- Band 2 applicants with a reasonable preference
- Band 3 applicants with a reasonable preference who have reduced priority.
Applicants guilty of the following will be demoted for 12 months or until the conduct issue is resolved:
- unacceptable behaviour
- worsening their circumstances to gain advantage on the housing register
- unreasonably refusing three suitable offers of accommodation.
Housing needs advice
The council provides a general housing needs advice service. Please see our frequently asked questions below.
Frequently asked questions
- How do I qualify to join the housing register?
To qualify to join the housing register in Basingstoke and Deane, you will need:
- To be over 16 years
- To be eligible under immigration law
- To have a local connection to Basingstoke and Deane
- To meet the council’s qualifying criteria
- What is a local connection?
To have a local connection to Basingstoke and Deane applicants must meet one of the of the following criteria:
- Be continuously resident in the borough for two years prior to the date of their application to the housing register.
- Be permanently employed in the borough and work for a minimum of 16 hours per week.
- Have an urgent or exceptional need to move or reside in the borough. These are detailed fully in the policy.
- What happens if I lose my employment?
If your only connection to Basingstoke and Deane is through employment, you won't qualify to remain on the housing register.
- What is the council's qualifying criteria?
- A household income of less than £50,000
- Savings/assets or less than £30,000
- A verified housing need as described below.
- What is a 'housing need'?
There is a legal definition of housing need that the council must use within its’ allocations scheme. The law says that preference should be given to certain groups of people and these are people:
- who are homeless
- occupying insanitary or overcrowded conditions
- needing to move on medical or welfare grounds
- who need to move to a particular locality to avoid hardship.
- Will there be help for people who do not qualify to join the housing register?
The council will still provide a comprehensive housing options service. This is available by calling 01256 844844 and in person.
- How do you decide what order people get housing in?
All applicants for housing will be placed in one of three bands. The bands are:
Band 1 – applicants with a reasonable preference and who have an urgent need to move as per the existing allocations scheme.
Band 2 – applicants with reasonable preference
Band 3 – applicants with a reasonable preference who have reduced priority.
Applicants will be housed in date order of registration within their band.
- What happens to applicants who have the same level of need, are they all in a band together?
Yes, applicants will be placed in one of three bands. Within these bands, priority will be assessed by date order.
- How will an applicant's needs be assessed?
Applications will be assessed by the housing register team based on your application and in accordance with the allocation’s policy. In certain circumstances additional supporting information may be requested by the team, for example medical information.
- How will the system be transparent?
Applicants will be able to see all of the properties that are available over a weekly period. They will be able to bid and see where they are in the short list for the property. If unsuccessful, they will be able to see which band the successful applicant was in and how long they had been in that band.
The main criteria for allocation of properties to applicants on the short list will be length of time on the Housing Register.
- I am a tenant of a registered provider, living in Basingstoke. How will the policy affect me?
The policy only affects those people who have asked to move. If you're currently on the housing register you will need to complete a renewal and your application will be reassessed.
- What does a reduced preference for unacceptable behaviour mean?
Applicants meeting the qualifying criteria who have a history of unacceptable behaviour will be put in the reduced preference band.
Unacceptable behaviour includes:
- Having current of former housing related debts including rent arrears.
- Physical or verbal abuse to staff.
- Anti-social behaviour in the community.
- Being a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
- Not being truthful when applying for social housing.
- Deliberately worsening your housing circumstances in order to receive greater priority for rehousing.
- Refusal of three reasonable offers.
- What does demoted mean?
This means you will be in a lower band for 12 months. Or until the issue that you have been demoted for has been resolved.
- Can I appeal if my banding is changed?
Yes, you can appeal in writing, over the telephone or verbally to a member of the housing register team. You must appeal within 21 days of receiving a decision.
The appeal will be considered by a senior officer and you will receive a further decision within 56 days.
If you disagree with the outcome of the review you can appeal to the court.
- What happens if I bid successfully for a property?
If you have bid successfully for a property you will be contacted by the relevant housing association, subject to verification checks from the council and the housing association. It may take some time for the housing association to contact you.
The housing association will then go through their pre-tenancy assessment and arrange a viewing of the property with you. You will also be required to pay rent in advance, even if you will be claiming housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit to meet your ongoing rental costs. How much rent in advance you will need to provide will be noted in the details of the property you bid for, so you must ensure you have these funds ready in order for the move to proceed.