The Allocation Scheme tells you who can join our Housing Register and how priority for accommodation is decided between different types of applicants. You can view or download:
Anyone can apply to join the Housing Register.
To be able to join the Housing Register the council will consider:
There are special rules for applicants aged 16 or 17.
We aim to process all applications within 20 working days of the date received in the office and let you know the result in writing.
You can’t apply to join the Housing Register if:
If we decide you can’t come onto our Housing Register we will write to you and tell you why. Anyone is entitled to receive advice on alternative housing options.
In recognition of the level of housing need in the district, and the shortage of available properties, applicants who already own a property (either freehold, leasehold, under mortgage or shared ownership) will not qualify for access to the Housing Register. If you are aged 60 or over, cannot stay in your own home, need specialist accommodation and you can show you don’t have enough resources to sort out accommodation for yourself, we will carry out an assessment of your housing needs.
A need for alternative accommodation might include:
You can request an application form by:
The law says we must give reasonable preference to you if you:
We can also take into account:
When we have considered all the information about your housing circumstances, we put you into one of three bands.
You must have a local connection with Cherwell to apply to our Housing Register. You have a local connection if you have:
NB. Close relatives are defined as parents, children, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren, including step relatives.
Once accepted as eligible to join the Housing Register, your housing needs are assessed and your application is placed in one of three bands. The bands are numbered 1 to 3. Applicants in Band 1 are assessed as having the most urgent housing need and those in Band 3 have the least urgent housing need.
The banding scheme enables us to meet our legal responsibilities and also provides a fair and easily understood way of selecting applicants to receive offers of accommodation. Applicants are placed in the highest band for which they are eligible.
An award of Bands 1 or 2 may be time limited and subject to review. You will be advised of this when your receive your banding letter.
Applicants are advised in writing when a banding decision is made.
We take into account such matters as:
The full banding list can be found in our Allocation Scheme.
Once we have processed your application you will be told your band, your date of registration and the type of property you can apply for.
Once your application has been agreed you can start to apply for properties that are advertised through Choice Based Lettings (CBL). However, if your application has been suspended you are not allowed to apply for properties.
If we receive an incomplete application form or supporting information is not provided, the application will be suspended. We will contact you to request the information. If the information is not received within 28 days the application will be closed.
We have to carry out a number of checks on anyone who applies for housing. If you are a tenant in the private sector, with a council or Registered Provider (housing association), we will contact your landlord for a tenancy report. If it is unsatisfactory because of rent arrears or other breach of your tenancy agreement we will close your application.
In order to keep the Housing Register up to date all applications are subject to an annual review. The review is intended to ensure the applicant still wishes to be considered for accommodation and that the most up to date information about their housing circumstances is held. Applicants who fail to respond to either the review or reminder letter within 28 days will have their application closed.
You will be removed from the Housing Register if you:
You must tell us.
Whilst we are re-assessing your change of circumstances your application is suspended and you cannot apply for properties.
The table sets out the type and size of property you can apply for. It is based on your family size and calculated according to Housing Benefit and bedroom tax rules.
Type & size of property
|Single person under 35||Studio or 1 bedroom flat (if meet eligibility criteria|
|Single person over 35||Studio or 1 bed flat|
|Adult Couple||1 bedroom|
|2 applicants not couple||2 bedrooms|
|Household with 1 child||2 bedrooms|
|Household with 2 children||Refer to table below|
|Household with 3 children||Refer to table below|
|Household with 4 children||Refer to table below|
|Household with 5 children||Refer to table below|
The Allocation of Accommodation: guidance for local housing authorities in England (June 2012) states that a bedroom shall be allocated to the following family members:
|Any other single adult aged 21 or more|
|Pair of adolescents aged 10-20 of the same sex|
|Pair of children aged under 10, regardless of sex|
Sometimes we will say you cannot apply for a certain property because it is:
We will also tell you if certain types of applicants such as those waiting for a transfer or those who are homeless will get preference. This helps us to make sure we meet our annual targets of properties let. Our targets are:
Our aim is to make a provisional offer of accommodation to the applicant at the top of the shortlist. The rules for shortlisting are:
Sometimes there are special rules for properties for the disabled or schemes for the elderly. When we advertise these properties we will make it clear in the advert that special rules apply.
In circumstances where an applicant has successfully bid but refused 3 suitable offers of accommodation, their application will be closed and they will be disqualified from reapplying to join the register for 6 months. The exception to this rule is for statutory homeless households and refusal of their offer will result in the discharge of the Council’s homelessness duty for which they will have a right of review under sections 202 and 204 of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended).
If you apply for accommodation with us you have the right to:-
We will write to you:-
You can ask us to re-consider our decision. Your request should be in writing and explain why you want to have your application reviewed.
CBL is a way of allocating housing through choice, giving you a greater say over where you live.
The scheme puts the initiative on you to apply for properties that are advertised.
That depends. If you are already on our Housing Register you don’t have to do anything. If you are not on our Housing Register you must apply to be included on it.
You can apply for accommodation if you are aged 16 or over and have been accepted on to our Housing Register. There are special rules if you are 16 or 17 and you will also need a guarantor.
You can’t apply if your application has been suspended.
We have partnership arrangements with a number of housing associations. These are;
We will advertise properties in a variety of different ways. These include:
You can find them in:
To apply for any property you need:
They are advertised every week. The advertising period starts on a Wednesday and finishes at midnight on Tuesday one week later. This may vary occasionally to allow for holiday periods such as Christmas.
When your application for the Housing Register is accepted you are told the number of bedrooms you need for you and your family. You can only apply for properties matching that information. If you try to apply for a property that doesn’t, your application will be rejected.
Each advert tells you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property to help you decide which properties are right for you. The advert also tells you if there are any special requirements that you must meet to be able to apply.
At the end of the advertising period no more applications for properties are accepted. Every applicant who has applied for a property is placed on a list. This is called a shortlist. The shortlist is sorted by:
If you are the successful applicant we will carry out checks to ensure your circumstances have not changed. If you are selected we send your details to the landlord of the property. The landlord of the property is always responsible for making offers. They may also carry out checks before offering you the property. When a provisional offer is made you can view the property and decide whether to accept or refuse it.
We will publish on this website and via property adverts the results of applications once the advertising period has come to an end. We tell you the number of applicants that applied for the property, the band and the registration date of the successful applicant. This information will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait.
You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you do not have to wait as long.
A mutual exchange is a straight swap of homes between tenants. You have a right to exchange your tenancy with another secure tenant, or with an assured tenant of a registered provider, or a charitable housing trust as long as both landlords agree to the move and confirm it in writing. This can be a really good way to move to a new home of the right size in the right area. If you have a tenancy with the council or live in a registered provider's dwelling you can advertise your property on http://www.homeswapper.co.uk/ Someone may be advertising your dream home!
There are rules about who can swap. If you find someone who wants to swap homes with you, you must get permission from your landlord.