Shortlisting for social or council housing is one of the steps involved in getting your council house of choice. Through this article, we aim to explore the meaning of being shortlisted for social housing if you are a member of Kent Homechoice. In addition to this, we will also discuss the priority criteria for being shortlisted as well as the next steps before you are allotted tenancy of your social housing property.

What Does Shortlisting Mean On Kent Homechoice?

Being shortlisted on Kent Homechoice means that after a successful bidding cycle, your name has been added to the priority list of eligible candidates in Kent. If your name stays on top of the priority bands as they are finalised at the end of a bidding cycle and your verification check is successful you can expect to be invited to view the social housing property that you have chosen. 

How the process on Kent Homechoice works is that as soon as you are registered with the council’s housing register, you are automatically given the membership of Kent Homechoice; the partnership of Local Authorities and Housing Associations in Kent that offer affordable housing solutions.

Once your registration is complete, you will get a confirmation letter from your local council office and a separate letter from Kent Homechoice explaining the size of the proeprty that you are eligible for and the priority band assigned to you. You can then bid on properties that are available in your area using the Kent Homechoice website. 

This means that you are now part of the shortlisting process under Kent Homechoice. The next steps will be as follows: 

  • Applicants who are found to be eligible will be asked to undergo a verification check to confirm the information shared by them. If their verification check is successful, they will make it to the shortlisting stage for social housing. 
  • The offer to view is usually followed by an offer for tenancy. However, if you are on priority for more than properties that you have bid for, the social housing landlord will decide which property will be offered to you.
  • Once you are asked to visit a property after being shortlisted and you are unable to meet the scheduled date and time of the visit, you must inform the landlord as soon as possible. 
  • If you refuse a property at this stage, it will be offered to the next person on the priority list; however, if you keep refusing properties after being shortlisted, your priority band can be reduced. This means that you will now move down in rank and will have to wait longer to be shortlisted for social housing. 

Being shortlisted for social housing does not guarantee the tenancy of your chosen property. It is merely an indication that shortlisted candidates are now being ranked in priority for the next steps involved with social housing allocation. If someone else with a higher priority rank than yours accepts the landlord’s offer and you’ve not bid on any other property, you will have to wait until the next bidding cycle to choose something to meet your housing needs. 

What Happens After Being Shortlisted For Social Housing?

If you have made it to this shortlist, you will be asked to appear for an interview and a viewing of the property. During this visit, you will need to carry some personal and official documents for a verification check to provide proof of your:

  • residence details
  • identity of the applicant and their household members
  • income from earnings and benefits (candidate and partner both) 
  • national insurance number
  • current account deposit and savings
  • dependents and non-dependents
  • discharge papers (if you have retired from the British Armed Forces)

Successful verification checks are followed by an offer and a date by when you should respond with your answer. Usually, there is a two to three-day window for applicants to share their decision of whether or not they intend to move into the premises.

How Are Housing Applications Prioritised At Kent Homechoice?

In order to assign priority to social housing applications at Kent Homechoise are assigned priority bands depending on the severity of their situation and their need for council housing. These bands are classified as follows:

  • Band A includes applicants with a critical need for social housing either due to their medical needs or due to a high risk of homelessness. They may also include applicants with multiple needs in Band B and are thus moved up a band level.
  • Band B includes applicants with serious but not urgent medical needs or someone current living in overcrowded conditions.
  • Band C includes applicants who are living in overcrowded conditions with friends or relatives, or they may have been asked to vacate their current home and have nowhere else to live. It can also include individuals whose conditions qualify them for a Band B but due to lack of local connection to the council area, they are assigned a lower band.
  • Band D applies to applicants with a reduced preference for social housing. The applicants can either be Band C candidates with no local connection to the area or they may have the resources to rent a private property or they have been known to damage council property/fail to pay rent on time.
  • Band E applies to applicants who don’t have a housing need and appear to require minor home improvement to their current home as per the verification check. It can also include individuals who are in prison or live in boats or caravans.

If you are not sure about which priority band you’ve been assigned for social housing, you can contact Kent Homechoice according to your council district.

Conclusion:

Being shortlisted for Kent Hoemchoice is pretty much similar to being shortlisted for council housing as priority bands are assigned in decreasing order of housing needs and applicants belonging to a higher priority rank are shortlisted earlier than those in lower priority ranks. Once shortlisted, the applicants can then expect a verification check and if that is successful, they will be invited for a property viewing.

FAQs: What Does Shortlisting Mean On Kent Homechoice?

What is the Homechoice queue position?

Your home choice queue position is based on the Band assigned to you for council housing as well as the effective date of your application. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

What does it mean to be shortlisted for housing?

Being shortlisted for council or social housing means that out of all the applicants who have placed bids on the property, some of them have been selected on the basis of their rank on the priority list and how far back their council housing application is dated. These selected candidates will be considered as being shortlisted to be assessed on personal and financial grounds before being assigned council property to live in.

What does your queue position mean on council bidding? 

Once you bid on a council housing property, you will be shown your queue position. This is an indicator of your ranking on the priority list for council housing. Your queue position can change at the end of the bidding process and even due to a change in your circumstances over a period of time.

What does your rank mean on housing bidding?

Your rank on housing bidding means your level of priority for council housing. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

How many bids can you make on a house?

Generally speaking, registered applicants can make 3 bids per bidding cycle while they select a council house for tenancy. In the case of a limitation on this number, the council makes sure to inform bidders before a bidding session starts.

References:

How Kent Homechoice works

Prioritising Applications – HomeChoice

This is how long you have to wait for social housing in each Kent town

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