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How do I join the Housing Register?

The housing register is for people who are 16 and over, who are interested in being considered for a council or housing association home for rent or shared ownership.

Not all applications are accepted onto the register. For those that are accepted, applicants generally wait a number of years before they are successful in being offered accommodation.

Not all applications will be accepted onto the register.Tho se that are applicants generally wait a number of years before they are successful in being offered accommodation.

You will need to complete an icon application form [326.14Kb] . The application form enables you to apply for a council or housing association rented home, shared ownership home, or both.

You will need to provide the following documents when you return your application:

  • proof of identity for all household members who need to be rehoused with you in the future (e.g. passports, birth certificates - copies are acceptable, but originals will need to be seen prior to rehousing)

  • proof of your current address (e.g. recent gas or electricity bill)

  • proof you no longer have a financial/legal interest in any previously owned properties and details of any equity received (e.g. completion statement)

  • evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport and other relevant documents from the Home Office)

  • proof of employment if you work in the Guildford area but do not live in the borough

These documents must be up to date and valid. A full list of acceptable documents can be found on the application form. Please note any proof documents will need to be translated into English.

If you do not provide us with the documents required your application will not be considered. Once the documents are received your application will be assessed and placed in the appropriate band from the date the documents were received.

Details on our banding scheme can be found below under Prioritising Applications.

Who can join the Housing Register?

Most people aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register, although there are some exceptions. Please see  the following section "Who Cannot Join the Housing Register" for more details.

Who cannot join the Housing Register?

There are also some people who will not be eligible to join the housing register. These are people:

  • who own a property, either in the United Kingdom or abroad

  • who have sold a property within the last 5 years, either in the United Kingdom or abroad

  • who have sufficient income or savings to secure their own accommodation

  • certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act

  • certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland

  • people (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant

  • whom owe money to a current or previous landlord and are not repaying it

Prioritising applications

The Council maintains a list of people in need of affordable housing known as the Joint Housing Register. The demand for both rented and shared ownership housing exceeds supply and applications for both are prioritised using banding schemes.

If you are applying for rented accommodation then your application will be placed in one of five priority bands, A to E, according to your level of housing need. Band A is the highest priority band.

If you are applying for low cost home ownership then your application will be placed in one of three priority bands, one to three, based on an assessment of your housing need and circumstances. Assessment is based on different criteria to that for rented accommodation. Band one is the highest priority band.

If you apply for both rented and low cost home ownership accommodation your application will be assessed and you will be placed in a suitable band for each.

Housing for rent

The information below sets out the banding scheme and gives examples of those applicants who would be eligible to be placed in each band. If you require more detail the icon allocation policy is available to download [630.23Kb] .

Band A

Criteria

Additional Preference (emergency and high priority applicants who have a substantive and long standing local connection).

Examples

Applicants who are eligible with a substantive and longstanding local connection and:

  • a medical emergency, where an applicant's housing is wholly inappropriate and adversely affecting their medical condition

  • a need to move so that their existing council property can be repaired, modernised or redeveloped

  • are an existing council or housing association tenant(s) moving in order to downsize to a property 2 bedrooms smaller than their current home

  • are moving to make best use of an adapted property

  • are being supported by the Council's housing management team to move because of exceptional circumstances

Band B

Criteria

High Preference (applicants with an urgent need to move).

Examples

Applicants who are eligible with a substantive and longstanding local connection and:

  • are an existing council or housing association tenant(s) moving in order to downsize to a property 1 bedroom smaller than their current home

  • are an existing council or housing association tenant(s) who are entitled to a property that has 2 or more bedrooms than their current home

  • are suffering medical hardship because of their current living conditions

  • have been asked to leave accommodation tied to their employment

  • need to move on from certain supported housing schemes

  • are a young person who is leaving care where rehousing has been agreed by a senior officer of both housing advice and children's services

  • have been discharged from Her Majesty's Armed Forces within the last 5 years, following 5 continuous years of service

Band C

Criteria

Normal Preference (applicants with an identified housing need to whom the Council is required to give reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) and who have a local connection, or where there is a more limited local connection but an agreement exists with a partner agency to provide move on accommodation.)

Examples

Applicants who are eligible with a substantive and longstanding local connection and:

  • are living in private rented accommodation

  • are homeless applicants found to be in priority need and have been placed in temporary accommodation

  • are living in unsanitary or other unsatisfactory housing conditions

  • are an existing Council or Housing Association tenant(s) who are entitled to a property that has 1 bedroom more than their current home

  • are existing tenants of the Council or a Housing Association who have lived alone in a bed-sit or studio flat for 2 years or more

  • are moving on a from supported accommodation scheme

  • are applicants of no fixed abode and are engaging with outreach services

  • are living in accommodation tied to their employment, but do not need to move at the present time

  • are approved for sheltered housing

Applicants who are eligible, and have been discharged from Her Majesty's Armed Forces within the last 5 years following 5 continuous years of service but do not have a substantive and longstanding connection to the borough of Guildford.

Band D

Criteria

Reasonable Preference with a lower priority and or a limited local connection (applicants with a local connection or who live or work permanently in the borough of Guildford who have either a low level of housing need or where no agreement exists for move on or it is not appropriate).

Examples

Applicants who are eligible with a lesser local connection and:

  • have a reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) who live or work permanently in the borough of Guildford

  • residents of other local supported housing projects with a local connection of less than 3 years and a no duty to accommodate has been agreed

Applicants who are eligible with a substantive and longstanding connection, who are of no fixed abode, but are not engaging with outreach services.

Band E

Criteria

All other cases (to include applicants who have a reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) who do not live or work in the borough of Guildford and anyone who does not qualify for bands A to D.)

Examples

Applicants who are eligible:

  • applicants who have been found intentionally homeless under Housing Act 1996 Part VII (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act)

  • are living in supported accommodation or specialist placements suitable to their needs, with no need to move in the foreseeable future

  • are in prison

  • are detained on a hospital order

  • are in residential care suitable to their needs, who have been assessed as unable to live independently

  • elderly owner-occupiers who wish to move to sheltered accommodation

Priority within bands

Where applicants have been assessed as being in the same priority band, preference is given to the applicant who has been waiting in that priority band the longest. The date that is normally used is the date that you provided all the necessary information to assess your application.

Moving between bands

If your circumstances change and you move up a band the date used will normally be the date you moved into that band. If you move down a band the date used will normally be the date that you were previously in that band or a higher band.

Time limited bands

If your application is placed in band A or band B there is a limit on the length of time you can remain in these bands. For band A this is 3 months and for band B it is 6 months. At the end of the time allowed your application will be reviewed and the time extended or priority reduced. There are a few exceptions to this rule where it is unlikely that suitable housing will become available within the timescale.

Additional preference

In exceptional cases where you can demonstrate that you have a wide range of needs that when considered together are so severe as to warrant higher priority, your application may be given additional preference and moved to a higher band.

Local connection

To be eligible for bands A and B you must have substantive and long-standing local connection through 3 years continuous settled residence in the borough. If you do not meet this criteria when you initially make your application you may meet this criteria during the life of your application.

To be eligible for band C you must have a substantial and longstanding connection. To establish a substantial and longstanding connection, you must meet one of following criteria:

  • live in the borough by choice, and have done so continuously for at least 3 years prior to making an application

  • have permanent employment for a minimum of 16 hours per week in the borough, and have been employed on this basis for 2 years continuously prior to making an application

  • have a close relative (mother, father, sister, brother or adult child) who lives in the borough and has done so for the past 5 years continuously

To be eligible for band D you must have at least a lesser connection by meeting one of following criteria:

  • live in the borough by choice, and have done so continuously for at least 6 out of the last 12 months prior to making an application

  • have permanent employment, for a minimum of 16 hours per week in the borough

Forces Personnel

From 24 August 2012 forces personnel and others specified in the legislation - Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012 S.I 2012/1869 - will not have to meet any local connection criteria. These applications will be prioritised purely on housing need as laid down by our allocation policy. Therefore it is anticipated that, should the forces personal criteria be met as laid down in the Statutory Instrument, most applicants will be placed in B and C.

Financial assessment

If you have the financial means to purchase a property suitable for your needs or to put right problems with your current home you will be ineligible to join the register. The gross annual income limit applied to your application depends on your household size:

  • for a single person living alone the gross income is £40,000 per annum

  • for couples without children the gross income is £60,000 per annum

  • for families with children (including single parents) the gross income is £70,000

The maximum savings and investments threshold is £30,000 for all households. This would normally exclude pension funds or investments that are in place to provide income during retirement. Each application will be considered on its merit and exceptions may apply in special cases.

Deliberately worsening circumstances

Where there is evidence that an applicant has deliberately worsened their circumstances within the last five years to gain higher priority on the Register, they will no longer qualify to be on the Register and be excluded for one year.

Any period of exclusion will not count when calculating the length of time the applicant has been on the Register. Examples of applicants who have deliberately worsened their circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • failure to take up an offer of suitable private or social rented accommodation which, given their situation, would be reasonable to do so

  • deliberately moving to unsuitable accommodation where other more reasonable housing options are available

  • deliberately remaining in unsuitable accommodation where other more reasonable housing options are available

  • failure to bid for suitable accommodation that was available which they would have been offered

  • if they have a need for specialist accommodation on grounds of health or disability where such accommodation is in very short supply[1] and they are unreasonably selective about the type of accommodation or area they will consider

 


 

[1]  Some applicants with disabilities require, for example, specialist wheelchair housing or other housing that is adapted. Not all our accommodation lends itself easily to adaption at reasonable cost. This could apply if an applicant needing ground floor accessible accommodation will only consider a bungalow and not a ground floor flat.