Housing - Self help guide

Introduction

This pack sets out what you will need to do in order to improve your housing or homelessness situation and find suitable accommodation in Coventry. It contains advice on:

  • How you can work with the Council to prevent you losing your current home
  • How to find a property in the Private Rented Sector
  • Ways in which the council can help with the upfront costs of moving into a new property
  • Paying off your rent arrears
  • Owning your own home
  • Coventry Homefinder
  • Single people - options

Only a very small proportion of households will ever be offered social housing, and these will most often be those with the most severe need for it. This is especially true if you require a large family home, as very few of these come available per year. In fact, in 2019/20 only 20 4-bed social housing properties were let by all of the Housing Associations in the city put together!  Of those housed in social housing during 2019/20 the longest wait for a property was 14 years

People with lower housing needs are unlikely to ever be offered social housing in Coventry, so do not assume that your housing need can be met by registering for Coventry Homefinder alone. This is especially true if you are not open to living across the city and only want to live in a few places, as this will massively lower the chance of you ever finding social housing.

If you are homeless, it is crucial that you engage with your Personal Housing Plan (PHP) and allow your housing officer to prevent or relieve your homelessness. Your housing officer’s role is to provide advice and guidance – it is both the Council's and your responsibility to do what you agree to in your PHP. During 2020/21 the council will be seeking to house homeless households in the private rented sector, whenever possible, so being accepted as homeless will not automatically result in a social housing property.

If you have any rent arrears, it is important that you set up a repayment plan at the earliest possible opportunity. Housing Associations in Coventry may not make an offer of social housing to you if you have rent arrears over £1000 and aren’t in a repayment plan to pay off your arrears. This means that if you have a large amount of rent arrears you will most likely not be able to access social housing until you are in a repayment plan to pay off your arrears and can demonstrate regular payments. 

The best way to quickly solve your housing issue is to follow the actions in your Personal Housing Action Plan, and to be as proactive as you can to either keep your existing home, or to obtain alternative housing through the Private Rented Sector or elsewhere.

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