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Explaining your Housing Options

The Housing Waiting List

Access to social housing is limited and it is therefore allocated to those in greatest need and with a connection to the district. The Council sold all of its housing stock in April 2000 to The Community Housing Group Ltd, (a local Housing Association) and they manage the waiting list for applicants seeking rented housing or low cost home ownership. Properties are allocated by a system called Home Choice Plus, which is a choice-based letting scheme which operates across the six districts of Wyre Forest, Malvern Hills, Wychavon, Stratford, Worcester City and Bromsgrove. This allows a single access point for people to search for social housing across the region. The housing register is managed on the council's behalf by The Community Housing Group Ltd.

Apply to register with Home Choice Plus

The Allocations Policy has recently been updated to include changes made by the Localism Act 2012.
The Allocations policy explains how the system works and how applicants are banded according to levels of need and local connection. 

Alternatives to the Housing Waiting List

Mutual Exchange (Home Swap)

If you currently live in a social housing (housing association or council house) property which is no longer suited to your needs you may wish to consider a mutual exchange (home swap).

A mutual exchange is basically a home swap with another tenant. You may be able to swap homes with any social housing tenant in the UK providing they have the right to mutual exchange and want to swap homes with you. Advertising your home and searching for swaps is a straightforward process - there are a number of websites offering this service, including the HomeSwapper website where you will find instructions on how to look for properties and advertise your home to other social housing tenants.

If you find a potential swap you must receive written permission from your landlord to exchange and the permission of the other landlord if the swap partner is the tenant of another organisation. Permission will normally only be withheld on certain specific grounds, which your landlord will be able to explain, but please remember you should never make any arrangements to move until you have received permission in writing.

Private Accommodation

You may wish to find private accommodation. You can find rented accommodation in local newspapers or via estate agents. Within Wyre Forest there are various schemes that can help people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to find a home within the private rented sector. Contact customer services to find out more, or visit the Hub and speak to our Private Sector Liason Officer. We can help with rent in advance and the rent deposit bond scheme, which has been designed to help people access the private housing rental market.

Home Ownership Schemes

You may be able to get financial help through a Help to Buy home ownership scheme if you live in England and can’t afford to buy a home. Orbit are the registered Help to Buy agent for the areas of Herefordshire and Worcestershire and provide a one-stop shop service to people interested in Help to Buy equity loans and shared ownership schemes.

If you are already a social housing tenant you may have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire

You may also be interested in building your own property as part of a community-led scheme. Find out more about Community-led Housing 

Ex Service Personnel

Ex service personnel may find the document A Guide to Housing Issues for Ex Service Personnel useful

Wyre Forest District Council