Our system problem has been fixed, so Council tenants can report repairs as normal. Thank you for your patience during the outage.
Looking for Work? Job Fair Tomorrow
The Department for Work and Pensions is holding a Job Fair in Arbroath tomorrow.
Where?: Old and Abbey Parish Church, West Abbey Street, Arbroath DD11 1EQ
When?: Tuesday 14 March 2023
What time?: 10 am – 1 pm
For more information email DWP
Choice-Based Lettings – House Size – Number of Bedrooms
Here’s the latest in our series of guidance posts about Choice-Based Lettings:
When we register your application you will only be able to bid on properties that match the number of bedrooms for which you are eligible. This helps us make the best use of the stock that becomes available.
We will work out the number of bedrooms that you need based on who will be living permanently with you. Generally, single people, couples and non-dependants are each entitled to a bedroom. However, we will allow single person households and couples to bid on properties with two bedrooms, subject to affordability checks.
We will apply Department for Work and Pension rules to assess the number of bedrooms allowed for children – considering how old they are and their sex. The bedroom entitlement rules assume that:
• Two children aged 0-9 can share a bedroom whatever their sex
• Two children aged 0-15 can share a bedroom if they are the same sex
• Children aged 16+ are counted as needing their own bedroom
We will make common sense exceptions to these rules, depending on individual circumstances. For example:
• Where we have very limited stock and turnover of the house sizes you qualify for and you request a house size smaller than you would normally qualify for
• you require an additional bedroom on medical grounds
• if you provide foster care, or have been preapproved to provide foster care or to adopt children we will provide one additional bedroom per child
We will count an unborn child or children as part of your household if you can provide us with proof of your pregnancy.
Where parents have shared care of their child or children, the parent who provides their main home and has responsibility for them will receive their room allocation. If a child or children spend equal amounts of time in different households, or there is question as to where they normally live, they will be treated as living with the person who is receiving child benefit for them.
For a property with two bedrooms, we will consider families with children who need two bedrooms before we consider single people or couples, regardless of priority banding.
For single people and couples, if you have a history of rent arrears or we think you might not manage to meet your housing costs we will restrict the size of properties you can bid for or can be matched to a maximum of one bedroom.
Choice-Based Lettings – Assessing Multiple Needs & Exceptional Circumstances
Here’s the latest in our series of guidance posts on Choice-Based Lettings:
Assessing Multiple Needs
By “Multiple Needs”, we mean you need housing for a number of different reasons, for example, you are homeless and also need an adapted property.
If you have multiple housing needs, your application will be awarded the highest priority banding for which you qualify. For example, if you are assessed as homeless and have a requirement for a house with adaptations, your application will be awarded a Gold priority banding.
Other Exceptional Circumstances
We know our allocation policy cannot cover everyone’s circumstances and all situations. The Service Manager, Housing (Angus Council) or the Director of Housing, or equivalent, of Hillcrest Homes, Blackwood Homes or Caledonia Housing Association have special powers to use ‘discretion’ where you need to move urgently.
We will only use discretion and award an “outright” priority banding awarded where:
• we decide you need to be rehoused quickly
• our allocation policy won’t give you a high priority
• there are good reasons or special circumstances’ including: significant compassionate grounds: This could include the death of a family member occurring in, or around, the house. In these circumstances, it may be very difficult for the remaining family to remain in the house. We would also consider requests for rehousing from the terminally ill living outside Angus who wish to return to Angus to be closer to their family; management reasons: such as where we need to carry out substantial works to your home and we need to move you out; community safety issues: such as witness protection measures or to ensure the safety of victims of domestic abuse, assisting them to make a planned move and prevent homelessness
• to ensure just in time allocations to prevent homelessness, in line with the objectives of Rapid Rehousing
If the Service Manager, Housing (Angus Council) or the Director (or equivalent) of Hillcrest Homes, Blackwood Homes and Caledonia Housing Association agree to use their discretion, you will be awarded a Platinum priority banding and may be matched to a property if we need to offer you housing quickly and a suitable property becomes available. We will let you know if you are eligible to bid or will be matched to suitable properties.
You or someone such as an advice worker can make an application for discretion through the Common Housing Register team or our Housing Managers can make a discretionary application. A discretionary application may be subject to a housing options and needs assessment.
Calling all Empty Home Owners
Do you own an empty home in Scotland? Scottish Government has commissioned a study to understand the experience of empty homeowners, and what helps bring empty homes back into use. Please use this link to complete the survey.
Update on Weekly Direct Debits – Problem Now Fixed
The problem we had with weekly direct debits has now been fixed – all direct debits due on Friday should now have been taken from bank accounts. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Urgent Message for Weekly Direct Debit Rent Payers
Unfortunately a system issue has caused any weekly direct debits for rent which were due to come out of tenants’ bank accounts today (Friday) to be late. We are working to get this resolved, but please be assured the direct debit will still come out of bank accounts some time next week. We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.
New Tenant Participation Strategy – Tell Us What You Think
We’ve been working with our Tenant Steering Group and our Tenant E-Panel to pull together a new Tenant and Community Participation Strategy for the next 5 years. We’ve built on the work done for the previous strategy and drafted an extensive action plan for the future. We’re now looking for tenants to tell us what they think and if we’ve got it right.
You can read the draft Strategy here.
And tell us what you think here.
Or read this QR code with your mobile device:
If you prefer, you can just email us at HousingQPP@angus.gov.uk with your comments.
Please respond by Friday 10 February 2023.
Bad Weather Causing Delays to Roof Repairs for Tenants – Update with Out of Hours Advice for the Weekend
We are receiving a lot of calls requesting repairs to leaky roofs. Unfortunately, due to the severe weather and the danger to contractors of carrying out such repairs, they may have to wait until the weather improves so they can be repaired safely. We ask tenants to try to minimise damage to their properties from leaks until we can undertake works safely. We fully appreciate that this is not what tenants want to hear but we must consider health and safety for all at this time. Please continue to report repairs as normal during normal office hours, but be aware you may have to wait as the telephone lines are very busy.
The weather will affect our emergency out of hours repairs service over the weekend. We are prioritising those who are at serious risk of flooding, so please only phone the ACCESSLine if your repair is an absolute emergency. Our contractors are having great difficulty travelling in Angus because of the weather, and if you have a roof leak, please try to contain the leak before contacting us as our repairs contractors will not be able to go onto roofs to repair leaks until the weather improves.
The Tenant Hardship and Homelessness Prevention Funds – Help for People Affected by the Cost of Living Crisis
Are you are risk of homelessness due to rent arrears or other housing-related debt? We might be able to help.
The Tenant Hardship Fund can pay towards rent arrears due to the Coronavirus pandemic between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021. Arrears before 23 March 2020 cannot be covered. Arrears after 9 August 2021 may be considered in exceptional circumstances, where we are satisfied that arrears are due to the continued impact of the pandemic restrictions.
The Homelessness Prevention Fund is to help pay towards rent arrears where there is a risk of homelessness due to housing-related debt. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the main focus being on supporting those at greatest risk of homelessness. Tenants must demonstrate that they have not intentionally withheld rent payments.
Payments towards other housing-related debt will be considered where it would prevent homelessness and there is no other help available.
If you are a tenant
It is important you include all the information requested on the form, the fund is limited and delays in providing information could mean it has been fully committed before your application is considered.
You will need to explain what has affected your ability to pay your rent and provide evidence of this. This could be due to Covid-19, the cost-of-living crisis or something else and evidence, can include correspondence from your employer or other agencies supporting you, payslips, or bank statements.
We may contact your landlord for further information. The application will be considered by our officers, and we will notify you and your landlord of the outcome. Any grant awarded will be paid directly to your landlord.
If you are a landlord
Private Sector landlords must be registered and all landlords must demonstrate that they are complying with the pre-action requirements for rent arrears. They must be willing to enter into a repayment plan and agree not to progress a repossession on the basis of related rent arrears where a grant is paid, and the tenant meets all future agreed rent and repayment obligations.
For more information, scan the code below or click here