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East Surrey Subregional - Epsom & Ewell

Who Can Use the Service

In June 2015 Epsom & Ewell Borough Council agreed a new Housing Allocation policy. This policy sets out how we prioritise housing needs and allocate social housing. The changes have been designed to make the allocation scheme more straightforward to administer, be fairer to all categories of applicants on the Housing Needs Register and reduce homelessness, whilst making best use of the borough’s very limited social housing.

To qualify for inclusion on the Council's Housing Needs Register applicants must be over the age of 16 and be eligible and qualifying and not fall within any of the non qualifying groups oultlined in the Housing Allocation policy.   Qualifying criteria has been introduced with strengthened criteria relating to local connection, financial resources and behaviour.  If you do not met this criteria you will not be entilted to join the Housig Needs register. This is summarised below:

A full copy of the new policy is available here: New Housing Application Policy 2016  . The new version of the policy will be implemented following the completion of the review in the meantime an interim policy is in place: Interim Housing Allocation Policy and Choice based Lettings Scheme November 2015

Eligibility 

A person may not be allocated accommodation under Part 6 of the 1996 Act if he or she is a person from abroad who is ineligible for an allocation under s.160ZA. A person is not eligible if they are:

  • subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
  • people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

Qualifying Persons

In order to qualify to be included on the Housing Needs Register applicants must have a local connection with the borough.

Local Connection

Residence

The applicant or the joint applicant must live in the borough and have done so continuously for the last 2 years.

Residence through family member

The applicant or the joint applicant has a connection with the borough because s/he has an mother, father or adult child, brother or sister (including those by legal adoption) who has lived in the borough for at least 5 years and there is an evidenced need to move/live in the borough to provide or receive care or support because of an current and ongoing welfare and/or health reason.

Working

The applicant or the joint applicant has a connection with the borough through employment, which means that s/he:

i) has been and is in continuous employment for more than 2 years (although not necessarily with the same employer), and
ii) the employment must be of at least 16 hours per week, or
iii) has been and is in self-employment for more than 2 years with an ongoing viable venture which is undertaken within the borough, and
iv) Any work undertaken must be genuine and effective.

NB: There are some limited exceptions to the Local Connection criteria for armed forces personnel, homeless applicants, Right to Move applicants and those that have special circumstances such as domestic abuse.

Non Qualifying Persons

Non-qualifying persons will not be entitled for inclusion on the Housing Needs Register regardless of local connection. Following classes of persons are classed as non- qualifying persons.

Finance

The Council has set financial qualifying criteria so that people with sufficient household income, savings or assets, or own their own home will not qualify to join the Housing Needs Register.

• Single people or couples without dependent children with gross annual earnings of £25,000 or more

• Couples or single parents with dependent children with gross annual earnings of £50,000 or more.

• Applicants with capital or assets in excess of £16,000, with the exception of compensation paid to armed forces personnel for an injury or disability sustained on active service.

• Owner Occupiers or those with a financial interest in a property – exceptions may apply on a case by case basis to elderly or disabled owner occupiers with a local connection who need sheltered/adapted accommodation and whose home/assets are not of sufficient value to secure such accommodation privately.

• Applicants who have within the 5 years prior to the date of application disposed of, or deprived themselves of an asset, which they could reasonably have been expected to use to resolve their housing difficulties.

Finance

The behaviour of applicants, any member of their household or persons who might reasonably be expected to reside with them, will be taken into account in determining their qualification to join and to remain on the Housing Needs Register.

• An applicant will not be entitled for inclusion on the Housing Needs Register if they or a member of their household has engaged in anti-social behaviour or criminal activity or conducted that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant within two years of the date of the application.

• Applicants or a member of their household has rent arrears or have an outstanding housing related debt and who have not made and maintained suitable repayment arrangements with their creditors will not qualify to join the Housing Needs Register.

• Where there is evidence that an applicant has deliberately worsened their circumstances in order to qualify for a higher priority under the scheme, they will not be able to join the Housing Needs Register for 12 months from the date the Council has informed the applicant of this decision.

For more detailed information contact Housing Services.

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