Your housing options.

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1 Your housing options

2 Contents Under Occupation Scheme 3 Applying for a Transfer 4 Mutual Exchange 6 Fly the Nest 8 Local Authority 10 Enhanced Mobility Options 12 Home Ownership 14 Private Rent Deposit Scheme 16 Structural Remodelling 18 Under Occupation Scheme If you are on the transfer list and you want a smaller home, we will pay you for moving. Am I entitled to the money? How much can I get? 500 for moving to a home with one less bedroom than you have now, then 500 for each bedroom you give up after the first bedroom up up to a maximum of When will I get the money? When you have moved in and given us back the keys for your original home. How to Apply? If you think you qualify, you can speak to the Housing Options Team to find out more and discuss how you can move to a smaller home and get paid for it. Introduction Circle Housing Circle 33 has set up our housing options service to deliver a wide range of housing mobility options for tenants wishing to move home Since the introduction of the original service in 2009, the social housing environment has changed considerably leading us to review our service offer and this booklet now sets out the full suite of housing options schemes that we offer. Circle Housing Circle 33 is ambitious and wants to continue to deliver innovative services and solutions to improve our customers mobility options. We have therefore modernised the products we offer. So, if you move to a two bedroom home from a four bedroom home, you can get So, if you move to a two bedroom home from a five bedroom home, you can get

3 Applying for a Transfer 4 We process all transfer applications in line with our local Allocations Policy. We acknowledge and process applications within 10 working days. This may be longer if we require further documentation to support your application. We will confirm the outcome of your transfer application giving clear reasons if you do not qualify for a transfer. If you do qualify for a transfer we will confirm your banding on our transfer list. Supporting Documents To allow us to process your transfer and correctly band your application we will require supporting documents for each member of your household. This includes birth certificates and child benefit letters. If you are completing a Health and Disability form you will be asked to provide any supporting medical evidence. Transfer Review We regularly review all transfer applications. If you receive a Transfer Review form, you must fill them in and return them to us. If you do not, your transfer application will be cancelled. Bidding for Properties We operate an online choice based transfer system. If you have a transfer application you will receive a letter containing your unique individual login details. Transfer properties are available to view and bid on from Wednesday 12.00pm through to Monday 9.00am. You will only be able to place bids on properties that suit your needs. Once you place a bid you will see a confirmation message that you have placed a bid. You will not be contacted if you are not shortlisted to view a property. How do we prioritise transfer list allocations? We prioritise allocations for transfers on bids received. We will prioritise using the order set out below, but will ensure we make the best use of our homes and take into account housing need issues: 1. Decants and other Band A Urgent Need 2. Band B High Need 3. Band C Medium Need Then by those who most closely meet appropriate property size criteria, and then 4. By date order of confirmed registration date. For more information on how we allocate our properties, please see our Allocations Key Information Sheet on our website. 5

4 Mutual Exchange How about swapping your home with someone else? This is called Mutual Exchange. It is a selfhelp scheme where two or more tenants swap their homes. The swap can be between you and someone from any other housing association or council. This website is free to all Circle Housing Circle 33 tenants. The site is easy to use and matches you with people who have homes that potentially suit your requirements. Are there reasons I would be refused a swap? A swap would be refused if: The property you intended to move to was too large or too small for you and your family. You have rent arrears. Can a swap involve more than one partner? Yes. For example, you swap to a home in Camden, the Camden tenant swaps with someone in Hackney and the Hackney tenant moves into your old home. What if I don t have access to the internet? If you do not have the internet at home, you can use one at a library or other local services in your area. We have computers in the reception area at our Corsica Street office that you can use to access the mutual exchange websites. For more information and to find a swap, please visit 6

5 Fly The Nest If your home is too large or too small for your family, and you have children over the age of 18 living with you, we may be able to help your child move into their own home. How does it work? If you are overcrowding or under occupying we may be able to help your adult children find their own home to help resolve the family s housing situation. We may be able to offer your adult child their own home as part of our transfer system. Who is eligible? Any Circle Housing Circle 33 tenant who is already registered for transfer due to overcrowding or under occupation, who: have adult sons or daughters in need of their own home. have adult sons or daughters with proof of identity and residency for the last 3 years. have adult sons and daughters willing to take part in an assessment of affordability. Successful applicants will be considered for suitable properties which have been unsuccessfully let via choice based lettings. How to Apply? Adult sons or daughters will need to fill in a Fly the Nest application form and provide all required supporting evidence. What type of tenancy will be offered? All successful applicants who are offered a property will be signed up to an Affordable Rent Fixed Term Starter tenancy for an initial period of 12 months. At the end of this probationary period, a 5 year fixed term tenancy will normally be offered as long as the tenancy has been conducted satisfactorily. How much will it cost? The majority of our properties are in the following boroughs: Camden Hackney Haringey Islington Waltham Forest The average weekly rent costs for 1 bedroom properties in these boroughs on affordable rents are: Camden 173 Hackney 187 Haringey 126 Islington 178 Waltham Forest

6 Local Authority Circle Housing Circle 33 residents are eligible to register with their Local Authority. The Local Authority is the main provider of social housing and housing is allocated according to eligibility and need. If you meet the criteria and are accepted as eligible, you will be placed on a Local Authority waiting list and given access to bid on Council properties and other properties that they advertise for other housing associations. Residents should either contact their Local Council by phone or register online. How councils decide who gets housing? Contact your council to find out what priority or banding you ve been given. Council homes are normally offered to the people who need them most. Councils use either a points or banding (grouping) system to decide who gets offered housing first. Ask your council if you can apply for a reciprocal arrangement. If they re-house you we would re-house someone from their list in return. How to apply for council housing? You ll need to complete an application form and join a waiting list. Contact your council for an application form or for more information on how to apply By applying for both a Local Authority move and a transfer with us, you will increase your chances of moving home. 10

7 Enhanced Mobility Options 12 Housing Moves Housing Moves is the Mayor of London s housing mobility scheme that allows tenants of London boroughs or housing associations to move outside their existing borough to a different part of London. It is run by the Greater London Authority and the majority of London boroughs and housing associations are participating. Housingmoves is a choice-based lettings scheme. Once you have registered, you can view details of all available properties on the housingmoves website and express an interest in the ones that might suit you. If you are 60 or older and you wish to move to a home outside of London then you may be interested in the Seaside & Country Homes scheme. If you think you might be eligible for either scheme, you can register at or contact our Housing Options Team for more information. Home Finder UK Home Finder UK is an easy to use on-line service for social housing tenants who would like to move to another area, but want to stay within the social housing sector. Home Finder allows tenants to access vacant properties provided by a range of landlords across the UK. By working in partnership with social landlords Homefinder UK helps households who want or need to move to find a home that better matches their household size and personal and financial circumstances. Properties are made available by landlords and advertised on the Home Finder website By registering on Homefinder households are able to see all immediately available homes and mutual exchanges in the areas they wish to live in. Households who need to relocate because of the welfare reforms may find that housing opportunities in other parts of the country will prove to be more than their current location. If you require any further information on the Homefinder UK, please contact 13

8 Home Ownership First Steps FIRST STEPS offers options to Londoners who cannot get a foot on the housing ladder. These are provided by a range of housing associations providing new homes in the capital. FIRST STEPS offers a range of products: Shared Ownership You purchase a new or existing home from a housing association. You purchase the maximum share in the property that you can afford with a minimum requirement of 25% and pay rent on the remaining share (often referred to as part buy part rent). Homes are either brand new or being sold by existing shared owners. The rent on the outstanding share is usually set a maximum of 3% on the value of that share when the home is first sold. Rent levels on resale homes can be higher. Rent to Save You rent for a fixed period, up to five years, at up to 80% of the equivalent market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation. A savings plan is put into place to help you save for a deposit. At any point during the tenancy you can purchase on shared ownership or shared equity terms. If you no longer wish or are able to buy you can end your tenancy on the terms of your agreement. You can visit the First Steps website at for more information. 14

9 Private Rent Deposit Scheme Need to move? Is Private Renting an option? Considering our Rent Deposit Scheme? The Rent Deposit Scheme was introduced to help customers move. You can rent a property from a private landlord and we will help pay for the initial deposit and administration fee s. Who qualifies? Tenants considering the scheme must: have a live transfer application pay rent on time behave within the conditions of their tenancy agreement If you think you qualify and you want to know more, the Housing Options Team can carry out a complete affordability check and assessment to ensure the rent is manageable and that you understand the differences between housing association and private renting. How does it work? Housing Options are able to link you to approved estate agents so that you can look for a property. We will then support and guide you through the things that need to be done to enable you to move. Is it for me? Private sector renting provides a faster way of moving compared to waiting for a transfer and enables tenants to select a property in a more exact area of their choice. 16

10 Structural Remodelling Overcrowded? Is converting or extending your property an option? What is this? If you are overcrowded, but want to remain in your home, you may be eligible to have your property inspected to see if we can create additional bedrooms, bathrooms or living areas by extending or partitioning your hour home. Tenants considering the scheme must: Have a transfer application on grounds of overcrowding Have a transfer banding of Urgent Overcrowded Be paying rent on time Behave within the conditions of their tenancy agreement It is worth remembering that if you increase the size of your home and increase the number of bedrooms you have, your rent will go up. What happens next? If your home is suitable, we will rearrange for a surveyor to carry out a follow up visit to asses and plan what can be done and how it can be done. We will consult closely with you about any plans and what you need and what we can do. If you think you qualify and you want to know more, the Housing Options Team can carry out an initial visit to see if there is room for an extension, conversion or partition

11 Our Housing Options Team can be contacted using any of the contact methods below: Tel: or BC

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