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WODC - New system offers major improvement to social housing allocation   ()

A major new online system is being introduced to allow anyone on West Oxfordshire’s housing register to apply for vacant Housing Association properties themselves.

The scheme, Homeseeker Plus, will list vacant houses across the District for rent online. Prospective and existing tenants will be banded according to their individual needs and can then ‘bid’ for properties suited to their circumstances.
 
Starting in September, it will replace the current Housing Waiting List which is based on a points system. Those who have been on the Waiting List will need to register again with Homeseeker Plus.
 
Properties will be advertised weekly. When the advertising period ends the Council will offer the property to the most appropriate bidder.
 
The aim is to match tenants with the best properties for their needs allowing them more choice over where they want to live.
 
Cllr Robert Courts, Cabinet Member responsible for Housing, said: “I am delighted to introduce this new system which is a huge upgrade to West Oxfordshire’s housing processes."
 
“It gives tenants more choice about where they want to live because they will be able to select properties most suitable for them and there will be total transparency as everyone will be able to see what is available, where and at what times.”
 
The new system will save time for the Housing Associations and the Council ensuring officers can spend longer helping people rather than allocating homes. It also helps ensure vacant properties do not stand empty for long but are re-let quickly.
 
Cllr Courts added: “I very much hope everyone will quickly get used to the new system and find it a major improvement to the way Housing Association properties are let.”
 
Homeseeker Plus will include all the Registered Social Landlords (Housing Associations) operating in West Oxfordshire.
 
Further details are on the Council’s website and this includes how to register for social housing.
 
Anyone requiring help with the new process including those concerned about using computers should contact the Housing Team on 01993 861000.