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Social Housing, How To Make An Affordable Housing Application By Maximising Your Scheme Points!

Updated on August 31, 2011

Looking for social housing?

Well, you have come to the right place if you want to make an affordable housing application.

This article will help you get affordable housing by guiding and teaching you how to create a report that demonstrates your overall needs.

This is useful in your application process because it empowers the Housing Officer to assess you more appropriately.

When this is done effectively, you will be awarded your points or banding allowing it to be the best it can be.

So, whether you are looking for council accommodation or a housing association property, this process really will help you with the best possible chance of fulfilling your goal.

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A Family's Housing Needs

Recently a friend of mine approached me for some advice on her family's housing needs. Of course, I am always happy to help.

She was in a rather tricky situation in that the family wanted to move, but short of winning the lottery, they were stuck in rented accommodation with an assured tenancy. This is great if you intend to stay where you are until you die because the old rent book agreements used to offer a home for life. These rules are now obselete but there are a few tenants who can be found in the UK with these rent books, albeit rare. My friend's husband is one of them!

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Delaperdated Victorian Property

As a social landlord, I asked her if she had thought of applying to the council register. This option had never crossed her mind and she asked if I could help them with the process.

Now, this family don't have a lot - they are on benefits, her husband is a pensioner with disability, her 13 year old has cerebral palsy and her other daughter - a wee six years old.

When her husband aquired the property, some twenty years ago, the Victorian house was delaperdated. He made the best he could of the place - he was still a young man at that point - and his relationship with his future wife was yet to be established. Since then, of course, things have changed, but the property hasn't. In fact, you could hardly call it livable at all for a family who have such complex needs!

Photographic Evidence Example - Mould
Photographic Evidence Example - Mould

A House Dogged With Damp, Rodents & A Busy Road

The house is dogged with damp, rodent infested, difficult to negotiate around - despite adaptations for disability - and generally unfit for family habitation! The real shocker, however, is that as soon as you walk out the door, you find yourself on a very busy A road, not so dissimilar to a lane of the M25! This is despite there being a speed restriction of 40 mph.

The only saving grace is a concealed entrance onto a rough drive-way - which, incidentally, was the cause of my friend's husband's road traffic accident, whilst maneuvering the car there. Oh, did I mention that this accident is one of the things that contributed to his disability?

Anyway, now I have set the scene, back to my cause.

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Making A Good Case For Social Housing

The aim of this article here is to try and help others make a good case to social housing and to emulate what I have done for my friend's family to help others.

Affordable housing applications are more than just form filling. Many people don't realise that for a true assessment from the housing officer, there needs to be the right information put before him or her. This is always evidence based and as the affordable housing shortage - particularly council housing and life time tenancies - becomes more sparce, it is even more important that this application has to be right.

Here I have a structure for you to build upon so as you can put your case forward for assessment. This is so as you get the best housing award (based on the local Government points scheme) that is correct and right for you!

You will be able to use this as a baseline assessment of needs that you can include with your housing application. This, of course, is one part of several things you can do to help get those social housing points you need to climb the ladder to an affordable property!

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Be prepared to submit photocopies of any evidence to support your assessment and social housing application, for example:

  • Doctor's letter
  • Health Visitor
  • Housing Officer - Shelter
  • Eviction Letters
  • Social Worker's Assessment
  • Educational Evidence
  • Photographic evidence
  • Absolutely anyone who can support you - more is not enough!

Affordable Housing Application Assessment Of Present Circumstances

I have constructed this in various headings. It is hoped that this will trigger your thought processes so as you can create your own assessment for the affordable housing application:

  • Psychological
  • Psychiatric
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Leisure
  • Finance
  • Communication
  • Emotional

Feel free to delete irrelevant sub-headings if you feel necessary. These are suggestions, rather than standard.

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Present Environmental Issues To Help Your Social Housing Application

Firstly, you need to introduce yourself. For example, in my family, I wrote:

Who they were/who you are:

This family consists of a father of retirement age, a mother in her forties and two children - their names and ages.

Now you need to create an idea of your present environmental issues. This will help your social housing application.

Where they live/where you live:

They live in a three bedroom Victorian property on the A road to somewhere but nowhere.

The property is of brick construction with flag stone areas to front and rear. The rest of the pathway is of gravel construction. The front entrance leads to steps directly to the main road. Please see attached photos. - evidence.

The property suffers damp on the walls (where?) - Photographic evidence.

There is rodent infestation as the property backs onto fields. There is evidence of fecal matter daily.

Essentially, this section is anything to do with the immediate environment.

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The Emotional, Psychological And/Or Psychiatric Effects Present Situation Has On You

Now, because my family had to live with rodent infestation, disability and negotiating this in an unsuitable accommodation, this has an effect on them. Fortunately, they could both gather the evidence for their depression - a Doctor's note would confirm this.

Obviously, their housing situation had a direct effect on their quality of life. The family's indepence is compromised because of the houses dynamics and the road.

So, how does your housing situation have an affect on you? Think about how you feel and whether you can provide evidence to support this - see box above for ideas.

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Leisure and Social Implications Of Your Present Housing Situation

Now my family were stuck without bus links, no reasonable access to parks, problematic pathways adjacent to the property. Essentially, their situation was making them social isolates and was having an overall bad effect on the wellbeing of the family. They had to run a car, which they found expensive, in order to get to the shops.

  • So what does the social and leisure implications have on you?

Are you socially isolated? Why? What links do you have to community services:- Doctors, shops, buses etc. What about leisure activities? Does you present housing situation stop you from participating in this?

It is important that you try and put down as much as you can to support your housing application and, of course, if you can provide evidence, the better!

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Photographic Evidence Example
Photographic Evidence Example

Physical Implications of Your Present Housing Predicament

Here my family is dogged with disability. I described the problems associated with cerebral palsy and how difficult it is to walk across a busy road for anyone, yet alone with calapers. I also tell of the difficulties both the husband and the daughter have with the uneven pathway, stairs and bare raised floorboards.

The housing officer needs to have a clear picture of how the present housing situation effects the applicants physically. If you don't tell them, they don't know! For example, the husband suffers with arthritis - the damp doesn't help with this and neither does it promote well being when you have a lung condition.

With the list of disabilities, I also tell of how the family nearly lost six year old to a lorry, one sunny morning. Are you getting the idea?

  • So what are the physical implications of your present housing predicament? Can you provide evidence to support what you are saying?

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Did You Know?

  • In the UK, you can make multiple applications for the housing register anywhere and all over the country.  Multiple applications to housing associations and councils opens the net further afield.  Send this baseline report to all these with photocopies of your evidence.
  • There is a change looming .  The Government is trying to put a five year rule in.  After 5 years, you could be out of your social housing property.  Get your lifetime assured tenacy secured now, whilst you can!

Your Financial Situation - Finance

Now, if you were a multi-millionaire, you wouldn't be making an application for housing, would you?

My family is in receipt of various benefits to help them support their young family. So, it was good evidence, in listing what they received in this section. This sort of evidence verifies their claim. They also used this as a great opportunity to sell themselves. They have never been in rent arrears or in debt.

  • Here you need to do the same. So what financial situation are you in? What benefits or wage to you receive? Be honest and this will help your cause. Even if you have been declared bankrupt, as long as you justify this, you will be fine.

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  • How can you be contacted? Here you can put your address, telephone number, e-mail address and any other way that you can be contacted. If you are homeless, you can place a 'care of' details.

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The following video will tell you how the process works when you apply for social housing.  Please note how important points are.  It is for this reason that you need to make sure you maximise your entitlement by referring to the outline as described in this article.

This Is A Example Typical For Social Housing Applications

Social Housing: Making An Affordable Housing Application

When making an affordable housing application, you need to keep referring to the details in you overall assessment and the evidence that you have provided. This will support your application and give you the edge above someone who hasn't bothered to put in the effort, like you have. If you provide appropriate photographic and written evidence, this gives the receiving housing Officer the feel about who you are and your present housing situation. Applying for social housing is about attitude and you can not appear helpless. In this world, God only helps those who help themselves, so think of this as a project rather than a chore. People have to fight for their rights these days and you are no exception. Good luck!

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

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    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Great Britain

      I am happy and grateful that you have enjoyed it. Bless you :)


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