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Qualifying and Qualifying Non criteria

Qualifying and Qualifying Non Criteria
 
In order to qualify to be included on the Housing Needs Register, eligible applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
 
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 of family members
 
The applicant or the joint applicant has a connection with the borough because s/he has a 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:

  • has been and is in continuous employment in the borough for more than 2 years (although not necessarily with the same employer), and  the employment must be of at least 16 hours per week
  • has been and is in self-employment for more than 2 years with an ongoing viable venture which is undertaken within the borough, and 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 Criteria
 
An applicant may not qualify to join the Housing Needs Register regardless of their local connection if they do not meet the criteria in relation to financial resources and behaviour.

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
  • 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.

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.
 
Behavior
 

The behavior 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 to be on the Housing Needs Register if, within two years of the date of the application, they or a member of their household has engaged in anti-social behavior or criminal activity or conduct that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.
  • 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.
  • An applicant will not be entitled to be on the Housing Needs Register if they are seeking to obtain accommodation by making a false or misleading statement or by withholding relevant information or by failing to inform the Council of any material change in circumstances.

A copy of this criteria and the Housing Allocation Policy is available here or from Housing Services.