Coventry Homefinder Policy (Housing Allocations Scheme) summary

Coventry Homefinder.

Contents

  1. Introduction - What is the Housing Allocations Policy?
  2. Who can apply?
  3. How do I join the Housing Register?
  4. How are my housing needs assessed?
  5. What is the Reduced Preference Band?
  6. What is Local Connection?
  7. What will the date of my application be?
  8. What size of property will I be able to bid for?
  9. What type of property can I bid for?
  10. How do I apply for a property (bid)?
  11. What happens after I make a bid?
  12. How are offers made?
  13. What does it mean if my bid is overlooked - ‘skipped’?
  14. What happens if I refuse an offer of a tenancy?
  15. What if my circumstances or contact details change?
  16. Renewing your application
  17. What information about me will be shared with other organisations?
  18. Can I request a review of a decision about my housing application (an appeal)?
  19. How can I make a complaint?
  20. Contact details for Coventry Homefinder Partners

Introduction - What is the Housing Allocations Policy?

Coventry Homefinder is the scheme that is used to assess housing need and to allocate the majority of social housing in Coventry. The policy sets out who can register, how properties are advertised and who is given priority for social housing in the city The scheme was reviewed, and the policy was re-written in 2020 following consultation with customers and stakeholders. The Policy changes will come into effect in September 2021. The Policy ensures that the scheme is fair, transparent and gives priority to the people who have the most urgent housing need.

The Coventry Homefinder Partners are:

  • Coventry City Council
  • Accord Housing Association
  • Bromford Group
  • Citizen
  • Clarion
  • Midland Heart
  • Nehemiah and United Churches Housing Association
  • Optivo
  • Orbit Heart of England
  • Starley Housing Co-operative
  • Stonewater Limited

This is a summary of the Coventry Homefinder Policy, for full details please refer to the full Coventry Homefinder Policy, also available to view in the Council’s Customer Contact Centre (Broadgate House, 3 Upper Precinct, CV1 1FS)

Who can apply?

To join the Housing Register you must be eligible; over 16 years old and meet the qualifying criteria. If you do not meet the qualifying criteria you will not be accepted on to the Housing Register. Certain persons from abroad are not eligible to join the register – this is detailed in section 4.2 and 4.3 of the full policy. The rules are complicated, and if this section applies to you, you may wish to seek independent advice.

You may not qualify to join the Coventry Homefinder register if:

  • You are currently adequately housed and have no assessed housing need
  • If you have no local connection to Coventry (unless there are exceptional circumstances)
  • Your gross household income is £50,000 per year and/or you have assets of £50,000 or more (savings, investments or other assets)
  • You are a homeowner but do not have a housing need
  • You or any member of your household have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make you unsuitable to be a tenant (e.g. non-compliance with a previous tenancy agreement)

How do I join the Housing Register?

From 14 June 2021 to the date of implementation

If you are already registered with Coventry Homefinder, you will need to re-register on the new system.

You should receive a letter and a message on your current Homefinder account with details of how to do this.

From implementation

You must complete an online application on the Coventry Homefinder Website. Once completed, the online form will tell you whether you appear to be eligible and qualify for the Housing Register. As part of the application process you will need to provide the following documentation or information:

  • National Insurance Number
  • A list of your addresses over the last 5 years
  • Information about your income
  • Information about the reason for your current housing need

Computers are available in the Customer Service Centre and public Libraries for applicants who don’t have access to the internet. Support is also available from various advice agencies in the city.

How are my housing needs assessed?

The Coventry Homefinder Policy gives priority to people who have particular housing needs. This is required by law and is called ‘Reasonable Preference’. This is done using a banding system. In Coventry there are housing needs bands 1 to 4 and a reduced preference band. A higher band means higher priority. The band assessment will look solely at the impact of your current housing on your particular needs/situation.

Band assessments
Level of Need and Homefinder Band Housing Need Category
Urgent Housing Need Band 1
  • Statutorily Homeless (Main Housing Duty accepted as homeless household). This also includes the National Witness Mobility Scheme.
  • Urgent housing need due to health and/or social care difficulties
  • Urgent housing need due to Social and/or Welfare issues (including unsanitary conditions, fleeing violence, moving due to redevelopment, moving to release disabled persons and/or adapted accommodation, Approved foster carers and adopters who require more appropriate accommodation, Families who are being reunited following the children being returned from the care of Local Authority)
  • Coventry Care Leavers who are assessed as tenancy ready
  • Tenants of partner housing providers who are under-occupying a property by 2 or more bedrooms
High Housing Need Band 2
  • People living in named short-term supported accommodation including hostels, and who are assessed as tenancy ready
  • Overcrowding – require an additional 2 or more bedrooms
  • Homelessness Relief (households at relief duty stage of the Homelessness Reduction Act)
  • Tenants of partner housing providers who are under-occupying by 1 bedroom
Medium Housing Need Band 3
  • Homelessness Prevention (households at the prevention stage of the Homelessness Reduction Act)
  • Homeless households who do not have a priority need
  • Housing need due to health and or social care difficulties
  • Housing need relating to Social, Welfare or Hardship issues
  • Overcrowding – requires 1 additional bedroom
Housing Need Band 4
  • Housing need with local connection (including newly forming households – applicants living with friends or family wanting their own accommodation or applicants currently living apart who want to live together, applicants who are or could potentially experience financial difficulty if they remained in their current accommodation, applicants who are currently living together who want to live separately, applicants who are currently living in a property in disrepair)
  • Coventry Care Leavers (who are not tenancy ready) or Care leavers with no local connection)
  • People living in named short-term supported accommodation including hostels who are not tenancy ready
  • Intentionally homeless households
  • Housing need - no local connection (exceptional circumstances)
Reduced Preference
  • Reduced priority status due to unacceptable behaviour or rent arrears
  • Households where the main housing duty has ended due to refusal of a suitable offer of accommodation
  • Households who have refused 3 offers of accommodation under the Homefinder Policy
  • Households in bands 1 and 2 who have not actively bid for suitable accommodation

More details about the different housing need categories is available in the full policy document. The full policy explains which housing need categories are due to ‘Reasonable Preference’ as set out in law, additional preference specifically related to the Armed Forces and other local housing priorities for Coventry.

What is the Reduced Preference Band?

Some applicants could be placed in the Reduced Preference Band, for example if they have rent arrears, for anti social behaviour, for refusing 3 offers of housing, or not placing bids on suitable housing (see full policy for details – www.coventry.gov.uk/homefindersignup). Applicants in the reduced preference band will only be considered for housing after those households in bands 1 to 4. It is very unlikely that applicants placed in this band will receive offers of housing. An applicant being placed in the reduced preference band could occur at any stage of the Housing Register process (e.g. at application or offer stage) and is subject to the right of review (the applicant must request a review within 28 days of receiving the notification of the decision). If an applicant is placed in reduced preference at offer or any other stage other than application, they retain their original registration and/or effective date for their identified housing need band once the issue that has reduced their preference has been resolved. The Reduced preference band is intended to be a temporary band – applicants who are placed in this band can apply for their banding to be re-assessed if their circumstances have changed and the reason they have been given reduced preference has been resolved.

The following list provides details of possible changes in circumstances:

  • A housing-related debt is reduced to below £1,000 and the applicant has entered and adhered to a repayment plan to reduce their arrears.
  • That there have been no further reported incidents of antisocial behaviour 6 months prior to the applicant applying to have their banding re-assessed.
  • That a period of 6 months has passed since the applicant was placed in reduced preference due to non-bidding activity.
  • That a period of 6 months has passed since the applicant was placed in reduced preference due to the refusal of three offers of accommodation. Please see section 6.12 of the full policy for the definition of a refused offer.
  • A homeless household who refused a suitable offer of accommodation will need to demonstrate they have had a change of circumstances since their homelessness application was closed to request a re-assessment of their housing register application.

Please note this list is not exhaustive and each re-assessment will be on an individual basis. Applicants will need to complete a change of circumstances form to have their banding re-assessed. Alongside completing the change of circumstances form applicants may be required to provide supporting evidence.

What is Local Connection?

Local Connection is used to determine the level of priority you should have on Coventry Homefinder in addition to your housing needs.

You will have a local connection to Coventry if at least one of the following applies:

  • You have lived within the Coventry local authority area for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years (such time periods being continuous in each case), or
  • Your regular place of work is within the Coventry local authority area (not including casual or seasonal work with daily pay rather than contracted work or those with a zero hours contract), or
  • You have close family connections with someone currently living in the Coventry local authority area and who has lived within the local authority area for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years (such time periods being continuous in each case). This includes parents, siblings and adult children.
  • Other family members such as step-parents, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts or uncles may also demonstrate a local connection if there are sufficiently close family links in the form of frequent contact and established family relationships or the applicant or extended family member is providing significant ongoing care and support to the other person.

Applicants without a local connection to Coventry will only be able to register in exceptional circumstances and the reasons will need to be explained as part of the housing application process. The decision to register an
applicant without a local connection will be assessed on a case by case basis.

The local connection criterion does not apply to:

  • People moving to escape violence.
  • Those applicants connected to the Armed Forces who are classed as a relevant person under The Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012 (See section 5.3).
  • For existing social tenants seeking to transfer from another local authority who have a need to move to avoid hardship or to move to take up an offer of work under the Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Right to Move) England 2015 (See section 5.8.4).
  • Children in the care of the Local Authority for whom the allocations policy applies.

What will the date of my application be?

All applications will be given a registration date which reflects the time that they have been registered.

An effective date is the date from when the current priority band was awarded.

For new applicants to the register the registration date and the effective date will be the same. If an applicant’s assessed housing need changes and they submit a change of circumstances form their effective date may change if there is a change to the applicant’s band.

Applicants who were registered on Coventry Homefinder prior to the scheme changing will keep their original application date provided they have completed the re-registration and were still eligible to re-register for housing based on their current circumstances.

The effective date will be used when shortlisting to determine how long the applicant has been assessed as requiring priority in the band and/or has been registered with Coventry Homefinder.

What size of property will I be able to bid for?

When assessing the size of property that a household will be eligible for, Coventry Homefinder will use the Bedroom Standard.

The Coventry Homefinder Policy will allocate a separate bedroom to:

  • Each married or cohabiting couple (including civil partners).
  • Each adult aged 21 years or more, not in a couple.
  • Any two children/adolescents of the same sex under 21.
  • Any two children of opposite sex under 10.
  • Any other child who cannot be paired with another as above.
  • A carer who does not live as part of the household but provides the applicant or a member of the household with overnight care on four or more nights per week.
  • Additional bedrooms (if required) for pregnant applicants will be awarded after 26 weeks of pregnancy. Proof of pregnancy will be required.

Living areas can be used as a sleeping area for occasional carers. Only in exceptional circumstances will applicants be eligible for an additional bedroom.

Where properties have two living rooms (also known as parlour houses) one of these rooms could be used as a downstairs bedroom with the agreement of the Registered Provider. This will be specified on the advert for the property.

Where an applicant has a shared residence order or staying access for a child or children (under 18 years old), they may not be automatically entitled to bedrooms for their children, as the Coventry Homefinder Policy adopts the principle that the children need one home of an adequate size.

Applicants must be able to show, through an affordability assessment, that they are able to cover the full rental costs of the property. If they cannot, the Registered Provider may not make an offer of accommodation for the property.

What type of property can I bid for?

You will normally be able to bid on any type of property that matches your bedroom requirements.

Eligibility for Houses

Registered Providers may restrict the allocation of houses to households with dependent children under the age of 16.

Households made up entirely of household members aged 16+ would not normally be considered for the allocation of a house.

Age Restricted Properties (including Bungalows)

Some properties (or property types) may have an age restriction. This will be noted in the property advert.

Most Registered Providers will only let bungalows to people over the age of 55 or over the age of 60, if an age restriction applies, it will be clearly stated in the advertisement details. Some Registered Providers will consider applicants who are younger than the age restriction if the applicant has a health or social care need for bungalow accommodation.

Adapted Properties (homes with specific adaptions – for example, suitable for a wheelchair user)

In order to make the best use of available accommodation that is either a purpose-built disabled persons property or has substantial adaptations installed, these will be advertised on Coventry Homefinder to support the identification of suitable
applicants. Whilst all applicants can bid for these properties (apart from purpose build disabled persons accommodation); priority will be given in the first instance to those applicants requiring an adapted property, secondly to applicants who require
adaptations to a property and only following this to applicants who require general needs housing.

The property will be allocated on the basis of ‘best fit’ of an applicant’s specific requirements and how the property is adapted in consultation with an Occupational Therapist (where required). This may mean that offers made are
not prioritised in order of priority band or effective date. In the event two or more applicants bid for the property with similar needs, the property will be allocated by priority band and/or effective date.

More information about how adapted properties are categorised can be found in the full Coventry Homefinder Policy.

How do I apply for a property (bid)?

Applicants may register an interest (bid) for up to three homes every week. Applicants can bid for properties online by logging into their Coventry Homefinder Account.

The applicant bidding cycle will run from Monday morning (00.00am) to Sunday evening (11.59pm). Properties can be advertised on any day (Monday to Friday) and will be open for ‘bidding’ for 7 calendar days, (with the exception of the Christmas period when the bidding cycle usually runs for two weeks).

Applicants can withdraw a bid at any point during the bidding period (Monday to Sunday) and may then place that bid on an alternative property.

Auto bidding is available for applicants who cannot access the system themselves to place bids and have no other support available to them. Auto bidding means that bids are placed automatically on suitable properties, on behalf of the applicant. Auto bidding can only be added to an applicant’s account with their consent. To request auto bidding an applicant will need to contact the Council’s Customer Service Centre on 024 7683 4024 or email their request to [email protected].

Please note:

  • Bids are shortlisted at the end of the property’s bidding period, based on priority banding and the effective/registration date of everyone that has placed a bid. There is no advantage to placing bids early in the bidding period.
  • When you bid for a property, you will be informed of your current position in the shortlist. However, as more people place bids throughout the bidding period, your position may change. You are advised to check your bid positions near to the end of the bidding period, in order to make the best use of your bids.

What happens after I make a bid?

Each week after the bidding cycle closes, the system will sort all of the people who have bid for each advertised property into a shortlist. Bids will be placed in order of priority band – Urgent Housing Need (Band 1) is first, then High Housing
Need (Band 2), Medium Housing Need next and so on.

If there are two or more bids from people in the same band, these will be placed in order of effective date (earliest date first). Housing Associations may prioritise their own tenants within the shortlist for an agreed percentage of their properties
– this will be clearly stated in the advert.

How are offers made?

When the shortlist has been created, the Housing Association will contact the top shortlisted bidders to arrange a viewing, carry out their own tenancy checks and make the offer of a tenancy. If you are to be made an offer, the Housing Association will contact you directly.

What does it mean if my bid is overlooked - ‘skipped’?

There may be times that a Housing Association decides not to make an offer to the highest ranked applicant who has expressed a preference on the property on the shortlist. This is known as ‘skipping’ the bid. Shortlisted applicants may be overlooked for a number of reasons.

Where an applicant has been ‘skipped’ the Housing Providers will notify the applicant through their Coventry Homefinder Account when a bid has been skipped, and the reasons for the bid being skipped. This will include details of how the applicant can resolve any issues to prevent further skipped bids (if possible).

Depending on the reason applicant was ‘skipped’ the Housing Provider may contact the Coventry Homefinder Team to request the applicant is placed in the Reduced Preference Band or that their qualifying criteria are reassessed.

Common reasons for skipping a bid and the possible outcome
Reason for skipping Possible action taken (Moving to Reduced Preference Band or no
longer qualifying for the Housing Register)
Anti-Social Behaviour There is evidence which had not been identified at initial application, that an applicant or a member of their household has committed anti-social behaviour. In this case, the application will be reviewed and may be deemed non-qualifying due to seriousness of unacceptable behaviour or placed in the Reduced Preference Band.
Debts There is evidence which had not been identified at initial application, that an applicant owes money to a Registered Provider partner, Local Authority or private sector landlord due to rent arrears, sundry debts, damage to property or any other identified costs. In this instance the application will be reviewed and may be deemed non-qualifying due to the significant amount of rent arrears or placed in the Reduced Preference Band.
Excess Income or Assets The individual Registered Provider considers that the applicant or any member of their household has the financial means to resolve their own housing situation in accordance with their allocations policy. Having regard to income, equity, savings, and the price of buying or renting a home privately. In this instance the application will be reviewed and may be deemed non qualifying due to the amount of household income or savings.
Applicant already in
Reduced Preference
Band and cannot
demonstrate a change in
circumstances
An applicant in Reduced Preference who cannot demonstrate a change in their circumstances since they were place in Reduced Preference due to the fact that they or a member of their household has displayed unacceptable behaviour or have current or former rent arrears.
Affordability concerns The applicant cannot demonstrate that they can afford to pay the rent. Consideration will be given to the welfare benefits that may be paid to the applicant/.
Individual applicant
requirements
The property is specialist or has been adapted and the applicant does not require these adaptations; or the applicant requires specific adaptations that cannot reasonably be provided in that property.

The criteria used when an applicant is overlooked for an offer of accommodation will be contained within the individual Registered Provider’s Housing Allocations Policy and may not necessarily result in an applicant being placed in the Reduced Preference Band or being disqualified from the register.

Each individual Registered Provider (Housing Association) has their own policy and they can have different rules. This means you may not be automatically skipped by all Registered Providers (Housing Association).

To find out more you will need to read the full Coventry Homefinder Policy and the Housing Allocations Policy for the Registered Provider who has skipped your application.

Important information on Skipping and Reduced Preference Band

If your bid is skipped:

You will be contacted by the Housing Association on the first occasion to explain why they have skipped your bid via your Coventry Homefinder Account.

If you are skipped this may result in your application being place in the Reduced Preference Band or disqualified from the Housing Register (depending on the reason your bid has been skipped).

Applicants may then continue to be skipped until they can demonstrate that the reason for skipping has been resolved. For example, if the applicant has been skipped due to rent arrears, they may have to demonstrate that the arrears have been paid off
or a re-payment plan has been adhered to for a certain period of time.

What to do if your application is placed in the Reduced Preference Band after being skipped

If you are placed in Reduced Preference Band you need to resolve the reason why you were placed in reduced preference band.

Once you have done this you must complete a change of circumstances form on the Coventry Homefinder Website in order for housing application to be re-assessed.

The Reduced Preference Band is the lowest band on the housing register and applicants in this band are very unlikely to be housed.

The demand for Social Housing in Coventry is very high and this means available properties will have been allocated to applicants in the higher housing need bands.

What happens if I refuse an offer of a tenancy?

Coventry Homefinder allows you to choose which properties you wish to be considered for. You must think carefully about the property and whether you want to move there before placing a bid

If you refuse three offers made to you following successful bids, your application will be placed in the Reduced Preference Band. You will need to contact the Coventry Homefinder Team within 28 days if you believe the refusals were reasonable in order for your application to remain in their housing need band and for this to be agreed by the Housing and Homelessness Service.

If you do not, the application will remain in the Reduced Preference Band for a period of six months (from the date your application was placed in the Reduced Preference Band) or closed if the application is not renewed.

The Coventry Homefinder Team will consider each household’s individual circumstances to decide if it was reasonable to refuse the offer.

If you do not respond to contacts made regarding the offer of a property, if you fail to attend a viewing or if you refuse a property following a viewing, these will all be considered to be a refusal.

It will not be considered reasonable to refuse a property on grounds that were made clear in the property advert (for example, the location of the property) unless there are exceptional circumstances.

You must consider all factors carefully when deciding whether to bid on a property.

What if my circumstances or contact details change?

You must make sure that the information on your application is accurate and up to date. This includes changes in personal circumstances, household members, contact details and household needs.
This ensures that:

  • You are able to bid on appropriately sized properties
  • You are provided with the correct priority for your household’s housing needs
  • Housing Providers are able to contact you to make an offer of accommodation.

You can update your housing application by logging into your Coventry Homefinder Account on the Coventry Homefinder website.

To update your current circumstances which may change the level of priority your application is given on the housing register you need to complete a change of circumstance form.

Renewing your application

You must renew your Coventry Homefinder application each year. This will ensure that your details are correct and confirm that you want to stay on the register. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they respond to the notification and carry out the review.

The annual renewal process takes place on:

  1. The first anniversary of your initial application date; and then
  2. Subsequently the anniversary of the renewal date each year.
  3. Where an applicant has been accepted as homeless by Coventry City Council their renewal date will be amended to a year from date the homelessness decision was made.

On the anniversary of your application, you will be sent a message on your Homefinder application account (log in to your account to see your messages) and an email to the email address that has been provided by the applicant.

If you do not renew your application within 56 days of receiving the email, your application will be closed, and you will have to re-apply to the housing register. This means will be given a new registration date and effective date. This may mean that it takes longer for you to receive an offer of housing from the register.

Only in exceptional circumstances, where the applicant has demonstrated that they have been unable to review their application due to circumstances beyond their control (for example, due to prolonged hospitalisation), will the application be reopened by the Coventry Homefinder Team.

Computers are available in the Customer Service Centre and public libraries to facilitate this online renewal process for applicants who don’t have readily available access to the internet.

Support is also available from various advice agencies in the city.

Where the Homefinder Team have been informed that the applicant is vulnerable, cannot use the system and does not have any other support available to them, the Homefinder Team will contact the applicant directly using other contact details provided.

What information about me will be shared with other organisations?

We collect your personal information for the following purposes: To process and assess your application in order to deliver the service to you; To share with housing associations who may allocate you properties; To comply with the Housing Act for the allocation of social housing; The prevention and detection of crime; To conduct appropriate checks e.g. former tenancies, criminal convictions.

Personal information will be shared internally within Council and with Coventry Homefinder Partner Organisations (Registered Providers) for the purposes of shortlisting and allocation of a property under this Policy.

In addition, information may also be shared with other organisations to make sure that it is correct or ask other organisations to share information with us to help us to understand your housing, personal health or family situation. Where you have had involvement with these services this may include: GP; Probation Services, Current/ Previous landlord, substance misuse or mental health services;
Social Services; The Police; Support Services you have told us you are engaged with.

There may be circumstances where Coventry City Council is required to make disclosures to other organisations (for example, law enforcement agencies) if there is a valid and lawful reason.

For more information as to how your personal data is handled, please refer to the Homefinder Privacy Notice.

Can I request a review of a decision about my housing application (an appeal)?

Yes. There are certain decisions which an applicant can request a review of the decision made (appeal).

Under Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996, applicants for housing have the right to request a review of certain decisions made about their Housing Needs Register application. The following are examples of decisions that can be of reviewed under this Policy;

  • the decision that an applicant is not eligible to join the Register.
  • the decision that an applicant does not qualify to join the Register.
  • the housing need band assessment.
  • the decision to cancel and remove an application from the Register.
  • the decision to place an application in the reduced preference band.
  • the decision for an application to remain in the reduced preference band following a change of circumstances request from the applicant.
  • the decision that an applicant has deliberately worsened their circumstances band following a change of circumstances request from the applicant.
  • the facts that have or likely to be taken into account when considering making an offer of housing.

Coventry Homefinder will notify the applicant via the Coventry Homefinder system of any decisions that are made concerning eligibility, qualifying requirements and housing need band assessment. The notification of the decision will also contain details regarding their rights to request a review if they disagree with the decision made.

The following procedures will be used in administering the review process:

  1. Applicants will be notified that they will have 28 days in which to request a review from the date of the notification of the decision.
  2. Requests for a review should be made in writing (including email) by the applicant or a person nominated by the applicant in writing as acting on their behalf; the applicant should provide details and further independent information to support their disagreement with the decision that has been made.
  3. The review will be considered on the basis of Coventry City Council’s Choice Based Lettings Scheme and the application of the criteria for eligibility and qualifying; the priorities included in the scheme and the categories of accommodation defined in the policy; and any additional information the applicant is able to provide that may be relevant to the decision being made.
  4. Reviews will be completed, with a full written response to the applicant detailing the outcome of the review within 56 days. In exceptional circumstances, the applicant will be notified of any extension to this deadline and the reasons for this.

Notification of decision and a right to review – the offer of housing

Where an applicant has ‘bid’ and has subsequently been skipped for that property, the applicant has a right to raise a complaint through the housing providers’ complaint process if they believe it was unreasonable for their bid to be skipped with the outcome of no offer being made. The applicant is required to make written representation to the Housing provider within 28 days of them being skipped for the property; The applicant would expect to receive a response within 56 days of the complaint being raised.

The applicant is required to make written representation to the Housing provider within 28 days of them being skipped for the property; The applicant would expect to receive a response within 56 days of the complaint being raised.

How can I make a complaint?

A request for a review is in effect an appeal against a decision which has been made with which you do not agree.

A complaint is different – it is an expression of dissatisfaction with the level of service received, or the way it was provided.

Coventry City Council’s complaints procedures should be followed if an applicant is not happy with the level of service provided by the Coventry Homefinder Team. Details of the Council’s Complaints procedure are available on request or can be found on the Council website.

The Registered Provider’s own complaints procedure should be followed if an applicant is not happy with the way that the landlord has dealt with their application relating to:

  • The advertisement of a property.
  • The decision as to whether to accept the Council’s nomination.
  • The decision as to whether to allocate a property to the applicant.

Details of each Registered Provider’s complaints procedures are available on request from the appropriate provider.

These procedures are available when an applicant feels that errors or omissions have been made in the way that their application has been administered. They are not intended to provide further reviews of decisions that have been taken – this is dealt with under the review process described above and in section 7.6 of the full policy.

How is the policy monitored and how often is it updated?

To ensure that the aims of this Policy are met and that overall, priority for accommodation is given to applicants in the reasonable preference categories set out in legislation, robust monitoring will be carried out to monitor lettings outcomes.
The impact of the Policy will be monitored to ensure lettings are fair, transparent and in accordance with the allocations scheme, to ensure that the system is accessible to all, and does not discriminate on the grounds of: race, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief.

The day to day operation of the choice-based lettings scheme will be monitored by the Council’s Housing and Homelessness Service in conjunction with Partner Registered Provider staff who have responsibility for letting properties.
The Strategic oversight and co-ordination of this policy will be undertaken by the Coventry Homefinder Steering Group who will meet at least quarterly for the first year of policy and at least twice a year in subsequent years. The Homefinder Steering Group will include representatives from:

  • Coventry City Council
  • Citizen
  • Midland Heart
  • Orbit Heart of England
  • Advice Services Coventry (Welfare Reform Working Together Group)

Reviews of this policy may be undertaken by the Council when required and in response to any updates required to reflect changes to administration of the choice-based lettings scheme, for example any change in IT Provider.

Further public consultation will take place if any additional significant changes are proposed in future due to changes in legislation and/or national guidance. The changes would also be subject to Cabinet approval.

Contact details for Coventry Homefinder Partners

Contact details for Coventry Homefinder Partners
Organisation Address Telephone number
Coventry Homefinder Customer Service Centre, 3 Upper Precinct, CV1 1FS
www.coventry.gov.uk/housing
024 7683 4024
Accord Housing Association 178 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich,
West Midlands B70 6QG
https://accordgroup.org.uk/
0300 111 7000
Bromford Group 1 Exchange Court
Brabourne Avenue, Wolverhampton Business Park
Wolverhampton, WV10 6AU
https://www.bromford.co.uk/
0330 1234 034
Citizen 4040 Lakeside, Solihull Parkway
Birmingham B37 7YN
0300 790 6555
Clarion Gee Business Centre
Holborn Hill, Aston, Birmingham, B7 5JR
https://www.myclarionhousing.com/
0300 500 8000

Midland Heart Housing Association
20 Bath Row, Birmingham, B15 1LZ
www.midlandheart.org.uk
0345 6020540
Nehemiah UCHA 1-3 Beacon Court,
Birmingham Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 6NN
www.nehemiah-ucha.co.uk
0121 358 0966
Optivo 41 Poplar Road, Kings Heath,
Birmingham, B14 7AA
https://www.optivo.org.uk/
0800 121 60 60

Orbit (Heart of England) Housing Association
Garden Court, Harry Weston Road,
Binley Business Park, Coventry, CV3 2SU
www.orbit.org.uk
0800 678 1221
Starley Housing Co-operative 17A Starley Road, Coventry, CV1 3JU
www.starleyhousing.org.uk
024 7622 3111
Stonewater Limited Suite C, Lancaster House
Grange Business Park, Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6EP
www.stonewater.org
01202 319119

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