More choice for people seeking housing, as Hampshire Home Choice goes live

Press Release: 20/04/2009

An innovative and streamlined new system for allocating council and housing association properties will go live on Wednesday April 22nd.

Hampshire Home Choice – a joint scheme run by East Hampshire District Council, Havant Borough Council and Winchester City Council – means that applicants can bid for available properties across the three areas, rather than being assigned housing by their local council.

The scheme replaces the old points-based system with a simpler band scheme, with applicants being given priority according to their individual circumstances, need for housing and local connection.

Cllr Tony Coates, Winchester Council portfolio holder for Housing, said: “This scheme will offer housing applicants a greater choice and the opportunity to become more involved in the housing process. Hampshire Home Choice is a great example of what can be achieved through working in partnership with other councils and landlords.”

All available properties are advertised weekly on the website www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk and on the property line 0300 300 0028. They are also displayed at Winchester City Council offices. The adverts are like estate agents’ adverts, including detailed information about the property ensuring potential applicants can make informed decisions about where they would like to live.

Applicants are able to ‘bid’ on up to three properties each week according to their band; no money is required to place a bid. They can bid via the website, using the automated phone line, or in person at council offices. They can also see how popular particular properties are and how many properties become available every week.

Housing minister Margaret Beckett MP is due to launch the scheme officially on 30 April 2009 at East Hampshire District Council’s offices in Petersfield.