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Welcome to Epsom and Ewell Homechoice, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council's new way of allocating housing association properties for rent and shared ownership properties for sale.     

HOMECHOICE aims to give you more choice in deciding where you want to live. Properties that are available for rent will be advertised from midnight Thursday each week. Shared ownership properties for sale and mutual exchanges will also be advertised.        

You must then tell us which properties you are interested in. This process is known as "bidding". You will be able to bid for up to three properties each week. You may only bid for a property if your application has been accepted onto our Housing Needs Register.

Our website contains useful information to help you find a suitable home. You can use this website to:

Search for available properties

Apply for a property

View results of previous lettings

If you or someone you know would like would like help to use Homechoice please contact Housing Services. Click How to Contact Us for contact details and opening hours.

NEWS - May 2015 

Draft New Housing Allocation Policy – Consultation Survey

We are reviewing our Housing Allocations Policy. The Council’s Housing Allocation Policy sets out how we prioritise housing needs and allocate social housing. It aims to meet housing need, prevent homelessness, assist vulnerable households and promote safer and stronger communities within our Borough, whilst making best use of the Borough’s very limited affordable housing stock.

There is currently very high demand for social housing with over 2500 applicants on the register, with on average 120 properties becoming available each year. Therefore it is important that we ensure these homes go to those who most need them.

The Localism Act 2011 allows the Council to review our Allocation Policy so we can  set our own local priorities and restrict who will be eligible or qualify for the Housing Needs Register, removing the requirement to have an ‘open’ Housing Needs Register.

New Government guidance also encourages the Council to make full use of the flexibilities within the allocation legislation to ensure that social homes go to people who need them whilst giving greater priority to locally identified needs.

In addition the Council are no longer required to offer homeless households choice or the ability to be selective about where they live, as long as any housing we offer is suitable.

These changes have provided the Council with the opportunity to review the Housing Allocation Policy. The proposed changes are designed to make the allocation scheme more straightforward to administer and fairer to all categories of applicants on the Housing Needs Register.

A number of changes to the Housing Allocation Policy are proposed. An initial draft policy has been prepared and is available to view here - Draft revised Housing Allocation Policy & Choice Based Lettings Scheme (790KB).

The key changes proposed are:

The register will no longer be an open register and stronger restrictions will be placed on who can qualify for social housing with strengthened criteria relating to local connection, financial resources and behaviour

  • The existing points based scheme will be replaced with a banding scheme
  • Qualifying applicants will be placed in an application category as either a homeless applicant, a waiting list applicant or a transfer applicant
  • A quota of properties will be attached to each of these categories
  • The level of choice available to homeless households living in temporary accommodation will be reduced  and they will be made one direct offer of suitable accommodation
  • Reduced priority will be given for waiting list and transfer applicants who refuse 3 suitable offers of accommodation
  • Specific provision has been made for armed forces personnel
  • Household and property size criteria will be aligned with the DWP Bedroom Standard.

The Council would like your views on who can join the Housing Needs Register, the changes proposed on how applicants are prioritised and how properties are allocated. Please would you complete our survey to help us shape our Housing Allocations Policy.

Housing Needs Allocations Survey

This survey is available in alternative formats if required. For more information please contact us on c&c@epsom-ewell.gov.uk.

The deadline for completing this survey is 8 June 2015.


 
Affordable Rent & Fixed Term Tenancies

The Government have introduced a range of changes to the way social housing is delivered.  Housing Associations are now able to let their new build properties, and a some of their relets, at new "affordable" rents as opposed to subsidised “social” rents.  Affordable Rent homes are a form of social housing however “affordable" rents are likely to be set at a level of up to 80% of the market rent. Housing Associations will also be able to let their properties on fixed-term tenancies of at least five (occasionally two) years as opposed to the current assured periodic tenancies.

 

Help to Buy and Low Cost Home Ownerhip

If you are interested in low cost home ownership or Help to Buy you will need to register with Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing (bpha) who provide a 'one stop shop' for all government supported homeownership and rental opportunities.  bpha are delivering this service on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency in the East and South East of England. For more information please visit www.helptobuyeastandsoutheast.uk.com or call 03333 214044 or email helptobuyeastandsoutheast@bpha.org.uk . More details about the available options and schemes are available on this website. 

ETHOS - Employment, Training Housing Options Support

 If you are not already in work or training Housing Services now offers specialised employment advice service that can assist you, or members of your household, to get access to training, learning and employment opportunities. This will include better off at work calculations, assistance with CV, job applications, interview techniques and work action plans, as well as financial management and benefit advice. I enclose a leaflet which explains more about this service and if you would like to arrange an appointment please contact Nannette Chandler on 01372 732000 or 07904908871.

Please Be Aware Of The Following: 

The pictures of properties that you will see on the property search pages are generic pictures of the roads, blocks of flat or schemes and are meant to give general guidance of the location that the available property is in.

Your bidding position will not take account of our lettings plans. This will mean that the bidding position may not be a true reflection of whether you will receive an offer.

Your bedroom eligibility is for Epsom & Ewell Homechoice and East Surrey Homechoice.  There are slight differences between these policies. This will mean that you may be able to bid for East Surrey Homechoice properties that you would not necessarily be entitled to under our own policy.

You may NOT AT ANY TIME view the interior of any available property until you have been contacted by the landlord and arrangements for viewing have been made.

If you have logged in to your account page on a public PC, please remember to log out before leaving the PC.  You can do this by using the Log our button on the right hand side of the tab bar above.

Helping You to Use the Service

If you have been unable to log in please contact us as soon as possible.  

 

If you or someone you know would like help to use our service please contact us. Click  How to Contact Us for contact details and opening hours.
If you would like to use the telephone bidding service call

Property Information Line 01372 732666

Take down the Reference number of any properties you are interested in, make sure you have your log in details to hand, and then call

Property Bidding Line 0845 2701908

All calls are charged at local rates

We would welcome your feedback on this service.  If you have any comments to make please contact us at housing@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Some information on this site is in PDF format (Portable Document Format) To view these documents you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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