Homefinder Review

Homefinder

Coventry Homefinder

Coventry is a great and welcoming city, with a vibrant and diverse community, an international outlook and proud local identity. As we all know, decent housing is not simply about bricks and mortar, it is absolutely crucial to sustaining and creating prosperous, thriving communities

Whilst the Council no longer owns any housing itself, it is legally required to have a scheme that allocates social housing. The aim is that those with the greatest need for housing are prioritised. In Coventry, this policy is called the Coventry Homefinder Policy.

There is an increasing demand for housing in Coventry. There are approximately 14,000 households registered on Coventry Homefinder.

This means we need to review the current Homefinder Policy and the system for allocating social housing. We also need to ensure the policy supports the city to prevent or relieve homelessness.

Coventry Homefinder is used by thousands of people in our city. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback before making any changes.

Coventry Homefinder

Coventry is a great and welcoming city, with a vibrant and diverse community, an international outlook and proud local identity. As we all know, decent housing is not simply about bricks and mortar, it is absolutely crucial to sustaining and creating prosperous, thriving communities

Whilst the Council no longer owns any housing itself, it is legally required to have a scheme that allocates social housing. The aim is that those with the greatest need for housing are prioritised. In Coventry, this policy is called the Coventry Homefinder Policy.

There is an increasing demand for housing in Coventry. There are approximately 14,000 households registered on Coventry Homefinder.

This means we need to review the current Homefinder Policy and the system for allocating social housing. We also need to ensure the policy supports the city to prevent or relieve homelessness.

Coventry Homefinder is used by thousands of people in our city. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback before making any changes.

Ask us a question or leave a comment about Coventry Homefinder

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  • The housing situation needs a review, I'm am not against anyone being giving a home but think there should be a rotation in place where families in flats for years are given the houses & the new on the list no matter what band are given the flats. Also more bungalows need to be built so the over 55 can downsize to free up more houses.

    Cath asked 13 days ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

    Currently, the properties that new applicants can bid for are based on their priority banding and the number of bedrooms required. Some new applicants may require larger properties from the outset, making flats unsuitable in these circumstances. We can only consider rehousing tenants when their circumstances or priority changes. This has been necessary due to the very high demand for larger properties which we expect to continue.

    Thank you for your suggestion regarding downsizing. We are actively considering how to encourage more tenants to downsize. At the same time we are working with our partners to build more suitable properties to allow for this.


  • I live in another Midlands LA, and as a suggestion, they have stopped accepting applications from people with no housing need, equivalent of Homefinder's band 3A. So basically first port of call is to make a priority application if appropriate. This would reduce users, and manage expectations of applicants. Inevitably everyone in rented accommodation would like to benefit from social rent charges, so the people that are adequately housed would move their attention away from the local authority. It is also a big issue I see, where people are purposefully living in unsustainable accommodation, in order to eventually fulfil a priority need, overcrowding as one example. Is it an option that the LA works with estate agents and private landlords in order to reduce them letting to families who would over occupy the property?

    laura.swingler asked 16 days ago

    Hi and thanks for your suggestions.

    Having a housing register only for those with a housing need is an option we're aware of and are exploring. As you mention, there are pros and cons to this approach, so keep an eye out for the full consultation in due course.

    We're also looking at ways to work more closely with private landlords across the city and we know private renting has increased greatly in Coventry, and across the UK, in recent years. I'll pass your thoughts on unsuitable accommodation onto the team. 

  • Do the officers who bid on behalf of households place bids on different types of properties (flats and houses) as the Recent Lets section often shows that houses, and in particular new builds, are allocated to mainly Band 1A?

    Den_CC asked 23 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your question,

    We do place bids on the behalf of customers where we owe a Main Housing Duty to make a suitable offer of accommodation. These bids are placed on properties that meet the customer's needs and circumstances. This means the bids could be specific to a property type, including the ones you mention, or could mean bidding on any type of property based on bedroom need.

    Thanks

  • Why are they not building enough 4 bed property for big family.

    Eunice asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, thank you for your question.

    The Council is working closely with Homes England who provide funding for building new homes and Housing Associations, particularly Whitefriars, to develop more affordable housing for larger families. These initiatives take time to plan, as you need to identify potential land, obtain money to build properties and get planning permission before any building of homes can begin.

    Currently, a number of homes with four or more bedrooms are in development. This includes the Grange Farm development, which will have one 6-bed, two 5-bed and three 4-bedroom properties.

    More details about recently announced developments can be found at at https://www.wmhousing.co.uk/news/development-underway-to-build-shared-ownership-and-affordable-rent-homes-at-four-sites-across-coventry/ and https://www.wmhousing.co.uk/news/major-21million-regeneration-project-to-transform-wyken-coventry-over-next-five-years/

  • Why are some properties been given to band 3A and not 1A or 2A.

    Eunice asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, thanks for your question. 

    Some properties are let to households in band 3A. These are normally smaller properties, for example bedsit / studio  or 1 bedroom flats suitable for a single person or a couple. Households in a higher band have the opportunity to bid for these properties.  


  • As a former Director of Whitefriars Housing, and as I am often asked for help over finding social housing, I am well aware of the problems. I would encourage regular updates for the media and Councillors. Cllr David Skinner

    Councillor David Skinner asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your comments. We will be providing regular updates as the review progresses. Thanks again.

  • Do Coventrians have priority over others that come from outside?

    hillderk asked about 2 months ago

    In the current policy all applicants that are eligible and that meet the qualifying criteria can register, regardless of local connection (meaning they don't need to be a Coventrian). However, applicants without a local connection will be placed in a lower priority band, typically Band 3A or 3B. 

    You can see more about the banding and criteria of the current policy by downloading the current Homefinder Policy in the 'Documents' section or by clicking here

    Thanks

  • How come there are so many people in the system - is it because there are not enough homes, not enough of the right sort of homes, people want something that doesn't exist or what? Will all the new student accommodation going up change the situation? What is your research showing about that?

    Heather asked 2 months ago

    Hi - The demand for social housing is significant nationally and Coventry is no exception. There is an acceptance that there needs to be an increase in Social Housing in the city and the council is working with its key partners (Housing Associations) to seek to meet the housing need of Coventry’s citizens.

    The council has not undertaken specific research into the impact of the increase in purpose built student accommodation yet, however we are looking at schemes to increase access for families into private rented accommodation, which could include accommodation that was previously student lets.

    Thanks


  • Will Coventry City Council be looking to build council houses again so more are available for people who are in need of immediate housing? I think by building council houses these then can be offered to homeless people as there is still a big issue with homelessness that the council is failing to address. What worries me about the consultation into making changes to Homefinder is that people's issues and ideas won't be taken into consideration and the council will do what they want as per usual and change it for the worse. This review needs to be done very carefully and not to be rushed and passed until you know that it will work out for the best and not leave people who are in dire need of a house ín a worse situation then they are all ready in, in the first place.

    GazJP asked about 2 months ago

    Hi - The Council does not currently own any housing and does not currently have any plans to build council properties. However, we work with a number of Housing Associations in the city to increase the level of social housing available. This includes a joint venture with Whitefriars which will lead to the building of 150 new homes in the city on land owned by both the council and Whitefriars. All of the new social housing built in the city is let through the Homefinder Allocations Policy.

    The council will be undertaking a range of consultation with both individuals and organisations to ensure that any changes made to the allocations policy have a positive impact on residents in the city. Keep an eye on this page or click the 'subscribe' button to see when the consultation is launched.

    Thanks