New scheme for tenants wanting council houses

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GREATER choice will be given to Hucknall tenants applying for a council house after the launch of a new Homefinder service in the New Year.

The scheme is a joint venture between Ashfield and Mansfield District Councils, Ashfield Homes and local housing associations.

It means applicants bidding for a council-owned or housing association property will only have to fill in one form to be considered across the whole of Ashfield and Mansfield.

Homefinder will replace Ashfield Council’s existing points-based lettings scheme whereby applicants are given points for aspects of their circumstances, such as health and number of children.

All applications in the future will be assessed and placed in one of five housing-needs bands. Those with the greatest needs will be placed in band one and those with the lowest needs in band five.

If an applicant has failed to re-register with Homefinder, it will be assumed they are no longer looking for social housing and their current application for housing will be closed.

As part of the new scheme, which launches on Wednesday January 4, all of the available properties across both districts will be advertised weekly in the councils’ housing offices, including the one on Watnall Road in Hucknall.

A weekly property magazine called ‘Letterbox’ will also be published.

Each advert will include basic property-details, such as the number of bedrooms and the rent. It will also include details of who can bid for the property. For example, a three-bedroomed house may state that only applicants with a minimum of two children can bid.

Registered applicants will be able to apply for up to two properties each week online at www.amhomefinder.co.uk or by an automated phone line.