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 current & future policy for housing allocation means people who are working, in education or training will not be eligible for social housing. This policy of housing only those "in need" is why you have rough estates & "council areas" of Willenhall & Wood End being "no go" areas for the decent & the negative stigma of council housing increases. Having a mixture of households where some work (like they did in the 70s & 80s) will help those who don't see another way of life from crime & antisocial behaviour. Mixed tenancies is the way forward

    Linda asked 4 days ago

    Hi thank you for your feedback. In Coventry when new housing is developed we ask for a mixture of tenures of affordable housing (Affordable Rent, Social Rent and Shared Ownership) to develop mixed and sustainable communities. Please see the figures below. 

    New affordable housing developed in Coventry

    Year

    Affordable Rent

    Social Rent

    Shared Ownership

    Total

    2014/15

    278

    22

    48

    348

    2015/16

    45

    68

    1

    114

    2016/17

    159

    72

    123

    254

    2017/18

    131

    40

    33

    204

    2018/19

    246

    27

    36

    309

    Total

    859

    229

    241

    1229


  • Speaking on behalf of someone with late stages of COPD and lives in a flat on fourth floor and no lift He finds having to bid very difficult as he has no internet and feels he is a prisoner in his own flat due to breathing problems. He also finds it difficult to talk without being breathless. I feel that the bidding system should be looked at for people with health conditions. He also has a letter from his GP that is going to be handed in by someone else as he has had the letter a while. He has had 4 hospital admissions in the last month one which was for a cardiac arrest This bidding system can be quite stressful for such people

    Valena asked 3 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your feedback. As part of the review we are looking at both the banding system, how people bid and how adapted properties are advertised and let. The current policy has 3 levels of medical priority. if you haven't already done so you can apply for a priority band via this link https://www.coventry.gov.uk/homefinder 

  • Hello, I have been on the list for over a year. I have 2 kids boy & girl, I am in a small 2bed. Running out of space, I have been bidding but not one property has been offered to me. Please help, thank you.

    Az asked 15 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your question. Unfortunately being on the housing register does not guarantee an offer of housing. Please continue to visit the homefinder website every week and bid on available properties that meet your needs. If one of your children is over the age of 10 you could be eligible for overcrowding priority. This website page https://www.coventry.gov.uk/homefinder has a link to the priority need application form.    

  • Hi, I was expecting a bit more communication from Cov HF. I dont know much how it works. I am register over a year and dont know some details. If I reject a property (which is offered to me), how long will I be wating for another one...no one did expalined to me these rules. Thanks

    Iveta Ali asked 22 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your question. 

    Coventry Homefinder is register for housing and not a housing waiting list. This means people who are registered need to look at the properties that are advertised each week and place a bid for properties they are interested in. Properties are allocated by priority banding and length of time registered. 

    If you reject a property offered to you the length of time you wait will depend on which properties you bid for and who else bids on the same property. 

    Being registered does not mean you will be housed as there is a shortage of social housing. There are approximately 14,000 households registered on Coventry Homefinder and between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019 there were only 1400 properties advertised across all accommodation types. 

    Here is a link to the policy which explains how Coventry Homefinder works http://www.coventry.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/27066/coventry_homefinder_-_updated_policy_april_2018.pdf 

    You can also call the Homefinder team 024 7683 4024 for more information

  • Why does it take so long to hear about a priority housing application? My daughter is still waiting to hear from an application made in July. Her circumstances are urgent due to her child having extra needs

    Franbrown asked 24 days ago

    Hi, thank you for your question. 

    Unfortunately there is a backlog of priority banding assessments awaiting assessment. Once all required documentation has been received it can take up to 12 weeks. 

    Your daughter can contact the Homefinder Team on 024 7683 4024 or email coventryhomefinder@gov.uk to obtain an update and check that the team have all the documentation they need to make the assessment. - Thank you for your patience. 

  • My family and I are in a private rented flat with no garden, my children have a big fear of certain insects as they only see them in the park ect. But we can't rent a house privately as it's too expensive and we are way down on the home finder list (which I've been on since 2008) to be able to get a suitable property. I do feel that something needs to give as I know other families in my position who are priced out privately but not in need urgently, we are stuck, I think landlords need to reduce some of the rental costs they're asking

    Ali asked 29 days ago

    Hi, Thank you for your comments. The Council is working with Private Sector Landlords to encourage them offer more affordable properties. 

  • I have been with COVENTRY homefinder for many many years but the service very complicated I work all my life and I need place I can call home because I’m single so band priority I’m always on position 100 and more with what im earning I can afford a 1 decent flat but they offers bedsit with rough people living in the tower blocks for me they should considering people who contribute to the community as tax payers to get more priority then peoples who are on benefits is really hurt to see I’m renting a room for all this years

    Khula asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, thanks for your comments. 

    • All properties are let to households in housing need irrespective of their income
    • Giving additional priority to households who work can be considered as part of the consultation so would suggest could respond once formal consultation commences
    • If you believe you should have additional priority due to housing need you can apply for priority on the website. The priority need form is located here

  • Why is the registration date not taken in to account any more for properties . , that would be a fairer way for people to get a chance for a property who have been on the list for years aswell as those in need

    Jo123 asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, under the current policy registration date is taken into account alongside the banding system. 

    For example, if bids are placed by people in the same band the registration date is used to other the shortlist that Housing Associations use to allocate the property. 

    For example, if a person (person 1) registered on 1st May 2017 bids on a property and another person (person 2) bids on the same property and they are in the same band as person 1 but with a registration date of 2nd May 2017 than person 1 would be above them in the shortlisting.

    Thanks for your question.   

  • Absolute TOSH band system a joke people with certain needs or disability banded by a questionnaire rather than actually seeing someone face to face. Looks like I be stuck here forever 😭

    Biggazza asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, Thank you for your comments. As part of the review we are looking at how people apply to the register, how people are assessed for priority. We are also reviewing the current banding system. 

    We will consult on proposed changes later this year.  

  • Some families need one extra room as they are overcrowded, maybe exploring extending the home in a way or partition walls could help can help a family stay in their home and near their support network. Another thought was that there could be a separate incentive scheme for those prepared to downsize? Im not sure if its something that is already happening but was a thought I wanted to share. Many thanks

    Lana asked about 1 month ago

    Hi, Many thanks for your suggestions. I will feed these back to the project team who are working on the review of the homefinder policy. 

  • It's unfair how houses especially those provided by Whitefriars (now known as Citizen Housing) have requirements such as "must have children". If you have a 2-bed space need - why are households with only adults resigned to flats? This policy only encourages pregnancies as a way of getting "houses" rather than flats. Older people 55+ with older carers are left out of the opportunity to enjoy having gardens etc. It's an ageist policy & discriminates against certain families

    Hugh Garrett asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, Thank you for your comments these will be shared with Citizen Housing.  

  • With nearly 14000 on the housing list waiting to find a home. May I Ask how many with a priority banding are looking for each of the following 1,2,3 or more bedrooms.

    lana asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, Thanks for your comment. 

    Each year the Council publishes statistics on Coventry Homefinder. This includes information about the bedroom requirements of applicants in priority bands (1a to 2c and those applicants in 3a and 3b)  as at 1st April 2019. The report is available here. The summary provided in percentages is:


  • How many people are currently in priority bands

    Sammy asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, Each year the Council publishes statistics on Coventry Homefinder. This includes the numbers of households registered and the number in each priority band as at 1st April 2019. The report is available here  The banding summary is as follows:

    Thanks. 


  • Hiya I'm having trouble login as forgotton my reference number

    Jennaturner asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, If you cannot remember your registration number, call on 024 7683 4024 or email the Coventry Homefinder Team (coventryhomefinder@coventry.gov.uk), stating your full name, date of birth, address and National Insurance number.

    Thanks 

  • There needs to be more suitable housing for larger families, the odd one or two that come available is crazy when you have nearly 200 people bidding on these! Maybe more ways to help rent privately however many 4 beds are out of housing benefit range in price.

    amanda5577 asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, thank you for your comments. These will be fed back to Homefinder review team. 

    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/

    The Council is also working with Private Sector Landlords to increase the availability of affordable larger homes, including people who need 4+ bedrooms. 

  • How do I register to bid for a home Or who do I contact in Coventry please

    Suzy Jym asked about 2 months ago

    Hi, Please visit the Coventry Homefinder Website to apply for housing in Coventry 

    www.coventryhomefinder.com - From the front page click on Apply online and complete the online application form. 

    If you need any further help you can telephone the Coventry Homefinder Team on 024 7683 4024

    Thanks 

  • 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 4 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 4 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 4 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