There is an upcoming change to the way that people express an interest in properties through their Council’s Housing Register throughout Kent. On 20 March 2015, Kent Homechoice are due to implement daily bidding in place of the fortnightly property advertising cycle that is currently in place.
Some key information is detailed below:
· Housing Associations can upload a property at any time to advertise
If they get an unexpected void or an eviction is confirmed, they can advertise straight away. We hope that this will result in fewer properties being withdrawn, more accurate adverts and shortlists being open for shorter times.
· Properties have to be advertised for a minimum period of 5 full days, but some can be advertised for longer if they are particularly hard to let
Each advert will now show the date that the advert will close, so bids will need to be placed by midnight on the deadline day in order to be received. We will also have the ability to extend an advert to advertise for longer if there are no or few bids. We would advise applicants to check what properties are available twice weekly, and this should guarantee that they will see all properties advertised and have the opportunity to bid if they wish. Properties advertised on a Monday are given an extra advertising day due to the weekend and close the following Sunday at midnight.
· There is still a 3 bid limit, but this will operate a little differently.
People can only have 3 live bids at one time. For example, if a person logs in on Monday and bids for one property that ends that day and two that end on Wednesday – when the bidding closes for the first one, they will have another bid available.
· Ways to bid
People will still be able to bid online at www.kenthomechoice.org.uk, on the Kent Homechoice mobile app, DigiTv, by text message or by seeking assistance from Gateway or Housing Needs. Coupon and telephone bidding will no longer be available.
· Personalised property sheets
We will also no longer have the ability to generate a personalised property sheet for our vulnerable applicants, as the properties will be uploaded so frequently. We will be contacting those who need assistance bidding before this goes live to find out if they have any other support network that can assist them with bidding. For those who do not, we will bid on their behalf with their agreement.
· Spreading awareness to applicants
An electronic version of an information leaflet is attached, and we will be sending this out to all applicants on the housing register within the next week either by email or by post. We will also have a stock of these at the Gateway by the end of next week. In the meantime, there is an advert currently running on thewww.kenthomechoice.org.uk website main page with all of the details.
We wanted to make sure that you are aware of the changes in case your residents, clients or constituents contact you with any queries. If there are any questions, we would be glad to help or if they wanted to drop into the Tunbridge Wells Gateway, the Customer Service Advisors will be able to advise them. In practice, there should be little change apart from checking more frequently for advertised properties.
If you could pass this information on to any other members of your organisations as relevant, it would be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Housing Allocations Officer
T: 01892 554239 ext: 3239 | VPN: 7035 3239
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS
Bidding for homes is changing!
We want to advertise homes as quickly as possible, so we can house people quicker. We will be moving from a fortnightly bidding cycle to advertising homes daily from 20 March 2015.
You can find out more about how daily bidding works by clicking here.