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Coventry

Frequently Asked Questions

A summary booklet is available which explains the main points of the service and the policy. You may find answers to your questions in here:

Coventry Homefinder Summary Guide (2014)

The Frequently Asked Questions below will also provide further information:

What is Coventry Homefinder?

Coventry Homefinder is the system used to allocate social housing in the city. The policy sets out how properties are advertised and who is given priority for social housing.

Who can register?

Most people aged 16+ can register, although you may not be eligible if you are subject to immigration control or you are not habitually resident in the Common Travel Area. You will not be able to use Coventry Homefinder if you are not eligible.

Please note - if you are under 18 you are unlikely to be offered a property. If you are an owner-occupier you will not qualify to join the register unless you have specific housing needs.

How do I apply?

You can register by completing the online application form on this website - Login/My Account.

If you have difficulties in accessing the internet to complete an application form please contact Coventry City Council on 024 76 834024

Please complete the application form accurately and fully; providing false information is an offence. 

Online registration is fully automated and you will be able to access the bidding system as soon as your application is completed. Applicants are automatically placed in Band 3A or 3B depending on their local connection

 

Questions about registration:

I cannot complete an application because my National Insurance (NI) number is already listed in your database.

This means you are already listed on a Homefinder application.  

NI numbers are requested from all main and joint applicants, to prevent duplicate applications.  If you receive the following message when you enter your National Insurance Number:

The following errors have occurred, you must resolve the issues highlighted before continuing:
•You are unable to continue with this form as your National Insurance number already exists in an application.  Please contact Coventry Homefinder for further advice, details can be found on the website, or email:coventryhomefinder@coventry.gov.uk or telephone: 02476 834024

Please contact us and provide your name, date of birth, national insurance number, current address and contact details. We will then check our database and advise you of the correct Registration Number to enable you to access your current or previous account. 

When I log into my account it says I do not have an Active application.

Please follow the link ‘Apply Online for Social Housing’ where you can update your details and reactivate your account.

Your application may not have been completed correctly – follow the link ‘Click Here to Resume your Housing Application’ where you will be able to complete the application form and activate your account. 

What do I do if I have lost my registration number?

If you cannot remember your registration number, call on 024 7683 4024 or email the Coventry Homefinder Team (coventryhomefinder@coventry.gov.uk), stating your full name, date of birth, address and National Insurance number.

 

Questions about keeping your application up to date:

My contact details have changed.  How do update my application?

If you need to make any amendments on your application, please log into your account (Login/My Account) and go to ‘My Social Housing’. You must go through all the pages and click ‘submit’ at the end for any changes to be saved.

It is very important that you keep your contact details up to date, so that housing associations/ landlords can contact you if you successfully bid for a property.

My circumstances have changed.  How do I update my application?

To update or amend any details on your application, ie. Change of address, add a new child, add/delete family members, please log into your account (Login/My Account) and go to ‘My Social Housing’ where you can go through your application details and amend/update your details. You must go through all the pages and click ‘submit’ at the end for any changes to be saved.

Do I have to Review my Application?

You must renew your Coventry Homefinder application each year.  This is to ensure that your details are correct and confirm that you want to stay on the register. 

On the anniversary of your application, you will be sent a message on your Homefinder application account (log into your account to see your messages) and an email, if you have provided an email address.  You can then review your application, making any updates that are needed.  You must go through all of the pages and click ‘submit’ at the end.

 If you do not renew your application within 4 months of receiving the message, your application will be closed and you will lose your effective date and band.

I am pregnant.  Can I apply for an extra bedroom?

You can apply - please provide proof of your pregnancy, (a copy of your maternity notes, confirming your name, your date of birth and your Estimated Due Date).  The Coventry Homefinder team will then assess if your household will require an additional bedroom. 

Priority is not awarded due to pregnancy.  If your current accommodation is not adequate for your needs you can request an assessment for priority on the grounds of overcrowding when your child is born.  To apply for priority click on the link https://myaccount.coventry.gov.uk/service/Homefinder___Application_for_priority

I can only bid for bedsits and 1 bedroom properties but I have children.  Why is this?

Check that your children are listed on your application by logging in to your account (Login/My Account) and going to ‘My Social Housing’.  When your application is listed correctly, with the correct family members, the system will calculate the correct number of bedrooms for your household. 

I can only bid for flats/maisonettes but I want a house.

Houses are normally only available for households with dependent children under the age of 16.

I have my child/ren every weekend.  Can I apply for a larger property?

If your children do not live with you on a permanent basis, please provide a letter from their full-time carer confirming your access arrangements.

If you have staying access to children who are otherwise adequately accommodated you will only be able to bid on a property that is one bedroom larger than you would otherwise need without the children.

 

Questions about priority:

I have been put into Band 3A/3B, but I have a Housing Need and should be in a higher priority band.

All applications are placed into Band 3A (if you have a local connection) or Band 3B (if you do not have a local connection) at the registration stage.  Any further priority is only awarded following an assessment by the Coventry Homefinder team. 

The Coventry Homefinder Policy gives priority to people who have particular housing needs.  This is required by law.  This is done using a banding system – a higher band means higher priority.  The banding system can be found on our website. 

If you believe that you or someone in your household has a housing need which would place you in a higher band, you must provide information to the Coventry Homefinder Team.  To apply for priority click on the link https://myaccount.coventry.gov.uk/service/Homefinder___Application_for_priority

The band assessment will look solely at the impact of your current housing on your particular needs/situation.  Increased banding is not awarded if your current home is suitable for you and your household. 

I/My Partner is a former member of the Armed Forces.  Am I/Are we entitled to any priority?

If you or anyone in your household is a former member of the Armed Forces AND you have a housing need in Bands 1A to 2C, you may be able to get additional priority.  Please provide evidence of this with your priority application. 

My property is damp and I think I should have a higher priority

In all cases the property would need to be assessed by Coventry City Council Environment and Housing Enforcement Service and priority will only be given if action that they have taken has been unable to resolve the situation.  Please refer to our Policy, Point 3.15.

 

Questions about bidding:

How do you decide who is offered a property?

To apply for a property you must tell us that you wish to be considered for it. This is known as 'bidding'. You can find out how to place a bid on the ‘Choosing’ page.

At the end of each bidding period, the shortlist of bidders is arranged in order of priority band – Band 1A first, then Band 1B, Band 2A etc. If more than one person in the same band places a bid, they will be shortlisted in order of their ‘effective date’ – the date that they applied for that banding.

I placed a bid on a property and my queue position has changed.

Bids are shortlisted at the END of the bidding period. When you bid for a property, you will be informed of your current position in the shortlist.  However, as more people place bids throughout the bidding period, your position may change.  You are advised to check your bid positions near to the end of the bidding period, in order to make best use of your bids.  There is no advantage to placing bids early in the bidding period.

When I Log into my Account, it says I am not eligible for any properties.  

These are some reasons why it may say this:

  • Properties are advertised from Thursday to Tuesday each week; no properties are advertised on Wednesday. If you log in to your account on a Wednesday it will state ‘You are not eligible for any properties’.  Please try again during the bidding round, Thursday to Tuesday.
  • You may be matched to a property, please check your recent bids on your account.  If you have been successful, the Housing Association/landlord of the property will contact you directly.  
  • There may be no properties available this week that meet your requirements. If a property does not match your requirements, as listed on your application, you will not be able to bid for the property. 

If I am offered a property, can I view it before making up my mind?

Yes, the housing association will contact you to arrange for you to view the property before you decide whether to accept it. You should consider carefully before placing a bid on a property.  

What happens if I refuse an offer of a Tenancy?

Coventry Homefinder allows you to choose which properties you wish to be considered for.  You must think carefully about the property and whether you want to move there before placing a bid. 

If you refuse 5 or more offers made to you following successful bids, your application may be suspended.  You will need to contact the Coventry Homefinder Team within 28 days to show that the refusals were reasonable in order for your application to be reopened.  If you do not, the application will be closed.  You will then lose your effective date and priority band if you have one.

What does ‘Skipped’ mean?

There may be times that a Housing Association decides not to make an offer to a person on the shortlist.  This is known as ‘skipping’ the bid.  Common reasons for skipping a bid are include rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. Please read this summary for more information on skipped bids: Why your bid may be 'skipped'.

If your bid is skipped, you will be contacted by the Housing Association on the first occasion to explain why they have skipped your bid. If you have arrears, even if they are from a previous tenancy, you must arrange to make payments to clear the arrears.

What does 'Pending' mean?

The Housing Associations update the shortlist for each of their properties, once the bidding round has closed.  The status may show as ‘Pending’ whilst they are working on the shortlist.

How long will I have to wait to be offered a property?

It is very difficult to say how long it will take to be offered a property as there are many things that can affect this, including;

  • The type and size of property that you require
  • The areas that you choose to place your bids in
  • Your previous tenancy history and any issues that may result in you being skipped
  • Your band and effective date

You should consider a wide range of property types and locations in order to maximise your chance of being offered a property.

 

Questions about homelessness and housing options:

I am homeless or about to become homeless.  What do I do?

If you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, please contact The Housing Options team via our Contact Centre, on 024 7683 4025 for advice and assistance.

I don’t want to wait to be housed through Homefinder - what other housing options are there?

You can complete the Housing Options assessment to find out about other housing options available to you.

You may find it easier to find a suitable property in the right location in the private rented sector. Check lettings websites, letting agents and the local papers.

If you are already a social housing tenant, you may be able to swap your property with another tenant who wants to move. This is known as ‘mutual exchange’. You should look at www.homeswapper.co.uk (a national mutual exchange website) and www.lets-swap.org (a West Midlands mutual exchange website).

Midland Heart also operate a West-Midlands choice based lettings scheme called Homes Direct. You can apply at www.homesdirect.org.uk 

 

Other questions:

I cannot see the properties that I am eligible for

This may happen if you use Internet Explorer on your computer and you have installed a piece of software called Ad Blocker.  You will need to turn this off as we do use adverts to show the properties.  This should then solve any problems you have seeing the adverts of the properties.

I want to apply for a garage

You can make an application for a garage. Available garages are advertised on the Property Search page – select ‘garages’.

Garage applications are processed by Whitefriars Housing group.  For any further details please contact Whitefriars directly on 024 7676 7182.

I want to live in another city – how can I apply for those properties?

Coventry Homefinder is the register for social housing properties in Coventry only.  If you wish to live in another area of the country, you will need to contact the Local Authority of the area you wish to move to and register on their housing waiting list.

I don’t agree with a decision – how do I request a review?

You are able to appeal if you are unhappy with certain decisions made regarding your Coventry Homefinder application. The decisions that you can appeal against are:

1. That you are not eligible for an allocation of social housing

2. The type of property that you are able to bid on

3. The people that you want to be housed with

4. The medical condition or other social needs that you have

5. Any other circumstances that might mean you could get a priority band

Where a decision has been made you will be notified of that decision in writing and you will have 28 days in which to request a review from the date of the letter. Reviews are undertaken by the Senior Housing Review and Communications Officer.

How do I contact you?

The Coventry Homefinder team can be contacted by:

Telephone – 024 7683 4024
Email – coventryhomefinder@coventry.gov.uk
Post – Coventry Homefinder, 1st Floor Spire House, New Union Street, Coventry CV1 2PW

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