myhomefinder.org.uk myhomefinder.org.uk
The current advert cycle is closed.
The next advert cycle will open on 21/08/2019 00:00:00

What is My Homefinder?

My Homefinder is all about you. Giving you the choice to see what properties we have available to let and allowing you to make an informed decision if a property is right for your needs by viewing the weekly adverts of our vacant properties.

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Can anyone register to join the My Homefinder scheme?

Yes. However, it will depend on your personal circumstances as to whether you are accepted onto the waiting list.

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How does SSHA decide if I am accepted onto the waiting list?

Your personal circumstances will be assessed from the information that you provide us on your application form. From this, you will be placed into either Gold, Silver or Bronze band depending on the level of your needs. Here are some examples of the types of need for each banding.

  • Gold Band – You need to move urgently and can no longer live in your current home i.e. you have been accepted as being unintentionally homeless and in priority need by the Homelessness department at South Staffordshire Council or when you have been awarded high medical priority to move to other accommodation.
  • Silver Band - Your current home is not suitable for your needs but you are able to stay there whilst you choose another i.e. you have been accepted as homeless by the Homelessness department at South Staffordshire Council but not in priority need or when you need to receive support from or give support to a close family member.
  • Bronze Band - Your current home meets your needs but you want to move.
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How do I apply for a home?

Weekly adverts will be displayed on this website which will detail all available properties. They will also be displayed in places such as local libraries, leisure centres, doctor’s surgeries etc. If you see a property that you are interested in you will be able to express your interest for the property by telephone or via this website.

You can choose your home in any of these 3 ways...

  • Online – you can view all of our available properties on our website at www.myhomefinder.org.uk and if you would like to express your interest on any of them just follow the links
  • In person – call in to our Head Office at Acton Gate and one of our team will help you
  • By phone – call us on 0800 121 8961 or 01785 312084, listen to the recorded message then leave us your details by giving us your application reference number and the property reference number. This will then be recorded on your behalf.
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When are properties advertised?

All vacant properties will be advertised every Wednesday until 12 p.m. the following Tuesday when the expression of interest cycle ends.

If your expression of interest is successful you will be contacted as soon as possible at the end of the cycle and usually by 3 p.m. on the Friday.

If you do not hear from us by the end of the week it is unlikely that your expression of interest has been successful. Remember, we have new properties most weeks so don’t let it put you off, just keep trying!

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Can I view the property?

We can only make an appointment for a viewing if your expression of interest is successful. Please do not visit the property without an appointment.

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How do we select the successful applicant?

The successful applicant will be the person who is in the highest band and who has been on the waiting list the longest, this being the date the application was registered.

SSHA operate a strict lettings criteria policy. Please click here to view details of this criteria.

If your expression of interest is successful, you will need to provide 2 forms of I.D. for all people that are applying to move (just 1 for children). This information will be required before you can view the property. This can be letters from benefit offices, driving licence or utility bills such as gas/electricity/telephone.

Once these details have been checked, you will be able to view the property with one of our officers and make your decision about accepting it.

If you do accept, a housing officer will advise you how long it will be before you can sign for the property. They will also make an appointment for you to receive the keys and all the other relevant tenancy information to help you in your new home.

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What will happen if my expression of interest is successful and I am made an offer?

Once you have been successful you will be asked if you wish to view the property and if so an officer from SSHA will arrange to meet you at the address and show you around. If you decide to accept the property you will be sent a formal offer letter.

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What if my circumstances change?

You will need to inform SSHA as soon as there are any changes in your circumstances to ensure that you are always in the correct band for your needs.

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Will I be able to find out more about who properties have been let to?

Each month you will be able to see the feedback results from the advertising cycles.

The feedback will detail all the properties that were advertised during that period and will list the following:

  • Address of the property
  • Successful applicant details - i.e. band & date of registration
  • Number of people who expressed interest on the property

If your expression of interest was not successful then this information will allow you to see what band the person it was allocated to was in and the date they registered.

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Why hasn’t my application been banded/what further checks need to be made before my application can be banded?

All applications have to go through our strict verification processes and occasionally require further checks to be made before they can be banded into Bronze, Silver or Gold. The list below, explains the various verification folders that your application may move into before you can be banded and then eligible to express your interest in our properties

Pre-Reg – If you have ticked yes to:

  • Subject to Immigration Control
  • Commonwealth Citizens with a right of abode in the UK
  • Citizens of a European Union Country or Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein

UnderAge – If the main applicant is under 18, as rent guarantor details will be required

Disagree –  If you have ticked that you disagree to the online declaration

Incorrect – If you have filled your application details incorrectly. An example would be a marital status of married when no other household members are on the application with you, as the system will assume that if you’re married, then your marital partner will be moving home with you. If you are separated and require a property for yourself, then the status of Separated or Single would be the correct choice.

Owner Occupier  - If you currently own your own home

Duplicate – If our system recognises your details or you have already registered an application with us

Query – If you or your partner has ticked yes to:

  • Having a criminal offence
  • Served with a Notice to Quit/Notice Seeking Possession/Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Victim of physical/mental abuse/crime/racial harassment/threats of violence
  • Require Shared Ownership/Private Rent information to be sent to you

Homeless – If you have ticked that you are currently or about to be made Homeless

Tenant – If you are currently a tenant or have been a tenant in the past 6 years we have to verify your tenancy details, this involves writing to your current/former landlord for a reference

Medical – if you have ticked that you have medical circumstances. An assessment form will need to be sent to you if you have not already received one and returned before your application can be assessed for the correct level of banding, dependant upon your needs

Transfer – If you are currently a tenant of South Staffordshire Housing Association you will be required to have a clear rent account and a satisfactory property inspection as we need to ensure that your details are correct and you’re not in arrears

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What does the 'energy performance' of the property mean?

The energy efficiency rating is a measure of the overall efficiency of a home. The higher the rating the more energy efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.

The average UK rating of a domestic property is 'E' on the A to G scale. Please do not be concerned if the property does not reach the rating you expect as this depends on many factors including the age of the property, type and age of boiler, insulation thickness etc and ultimately the main aim is to improve the rating of the property.

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Bedroom Tax - Will this affect you?

If your rent is currently paid either in full, or in part, by Housing Benefit and you are of working age there are some major changes which may impact on the amount of money you receive.

Bedroom Tax (also known as under occupation)

This is in effect a charge for having spare bedrooms, which comes into effect in April 2013.

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Bedroom Tax - What will the changes mean?

A size limit rule is being introduced to Housing Benefit for working age people renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other registered social landlord. By working age we mean anyone under state pension credit age. The new rules will restrict the size of accommodation you can receive Housing Benefit for, based on the number of people in your household.

The new rules allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child, (other than a foster child or a child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care
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Bedroom Tax - How might the changes affect me?

It is possible that the amount of Housing Benefit you get to pay your rent and any service charges could go down. If, under these new rules, it is decided that you have more bedrooms than are necessary for your household your Housing Benefit will be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have 1 extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have 2 or more extra bedrooms

If you are getting, or thinking of claiming Housing Benefit, or thinking of moving home, you need to consider this change before you renew or make a new tenancy agreement.

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When is my rent payable?

If your tenancy begins on or after 4 December 2017 your rent is payable two weeks in advance. Before you start your new tenancy you will need to pay two week’s rent. Your last payment will be due two weeks before the date your tenancy ends.

If your tenancy began before 4 December 2017, or you are moving into a home which is part of a retirement living community, your tenancy agreement sets out when you should pay your rent. This is usually every week or every month. Your rent is paid in arrears. This means that your last rent payment will be due at the end of your tenancy. Rent in advance is payable regardless of your income.

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Why do we ask for rent in advance?

Paying your rent in advance reduces the possibility of rent debt and gives you the peace of mind that your home is secure.

As a social landlord it is important that we help all our customers to avoid rent debt. We want to provide support including debt advice and help into work. We want to meet the growing need for affordable housing and keep investing in home improvements. Most of all we want to provide people and families with secure homes.

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Can I get help to pay my rent in advance?

If you can’t afford to pay rent in advance you might be able to apply for a budgeting loan. To qualify for a budgeting loan, you or your partner must have been receiving income support or income based jobseeker's allowance for at least 26 weeks.

You can apply for a budgeting loan at your local Jobcentre Plus. You can also apply online or download a claim form here.

Budgeting advances are available to people to people claiming Universal Credit.

If you already claim housing benefit or universal credit in your current home, you can ask your council for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) towards your rent in advance payment.

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What type of Tenancy Agreement will I sign?

If you begin your tenancy on or after 4 December 2017 you will be given a six-year fixed-term tenancy agreement. You will be required to complete a 12 month probationary period to the satisfaction of the association. As long as there haven’t been any problems with the tenancy at the end of the 12 month probationary period you tenancy will continue for a further five years.

At the end of the six-year fixed-term tenancy agreement, your tenancy may be renewed, as long as there have been no tenancy breaches or significant changes in your circumstances.

Throughout the term of the tenancy and in the final year of the agreement, we will review the conduct of the tenancy as well as household circumstances, to help us understand whether a particular property is still suitable for the customer.

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