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Devon Home Choice

Devon Home Choice

Read on for further information or go directly to the Devon Home Choice siteexternal website

North Devon background

The council no longer owns any council housing. The stock was transferred to North Devon Homes.

In North Devon there are approximately 4400 housing association properties owned by a number of Housing Associations (about 12).

Housing association property can also be called registered social landlord (RSL) property or affordable property or social stock.

Housing associations are 'not for profit' organisations who can attract grants and loans at rates that enable them to build housing at a cheaper cost than private developers. This allows them to rent or sell the properties at 'affordable levels'.

Rented property is usually more 'secure' than the private market because of the type of contract (tenancy) that is provided to the tenant.

There are two types of accommodation general needs and supported. General needs is for households who do not require specialised or supported accommodation. Supported accommodation is for households needing some kind of support (for example, warden schemes, young persons schemes).

There are some 2500 to 3000 applications registered on the Devon Home Choice housing register for North Devon.

There were a total of 379 vacancies in North Devon in 2008/2009 - 60/40 general needs/supported accommodation split including wardened properties.

In 2008/2009 North Devon Council housed 158 households from the register – that is about 6% of people on the register got housed. 17% of the 158 vacancies (26 households) were households to whom we owed a full homeless duty.

On average households waited 1041 days to be housed from the register that is about three years.

We have high demand and low turnover of the housing stock. Only 6% of people get housed each year. It is important that customers are given the opportunity to consider the alternatives as it may be the best route to address their needs.

Devon's housing register

We have joined a Devon-wide partnership to have one choice based lettings scheme called Devon Home Choiceexternal website. The latest newsletter (pdf 870 kB) PDF logo lets you see the properties currently available through the scheme in North Devon. You can bid by going to the Devon Home Choiceexternal website website and logging on with your account login and password details.

Devon Home Choice has produced a videoexternal website, hosted by You Tube, introducing the scheme. You Tube does require later version web browsers (Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome) and later versions of Flash player.

The weekly newsletter is also available from Parish/Town Councils, Libraries and other access points (pdf 16 kB) PDF logo.

The biggest difference is that rather than us being notified of vacancies and selecting applicants – vacancies will be advertised and applicants will need to 'bid' for the vacancy. The highest priority applicant wins the bid. Applicants will still register and have priority assessed.

Assessment policy

All councils and housing associations have to have a policy to assess priority. Under Devon Home Choice there is one policy for Devonexternal website. The law (the Housing Act 1996) requires policies to give reasonable priority (not absolute priority) for certain factors, known as reasonable preference groups:
  • some homeless households (assessed by the Local Authority under Housing Act 1996)
  • living in unsanitary, overcrowded or otherwise unsatisfactory housing conditions
  • anyone who needs to move on medical or welfare grounds
  • persons who need to move to stop hardship effects

The policy places an applicant in one of five bands:

  • emergency
  • high housing need
  • medium housing need
  • low housing need
  • no housing need

The band is determined by the applicant(s) circumstances and a local connection factor. See the policy above for more details.

Application process

The quickest and easiest way to apply is onlineexternal website. If you are unable to complete an online application or would like further assistance with your application, please contact the Customer Service Centre, who will be happy to help.

Application forms

The forms are also available for download and manual completion. Once completed, ensuring you have completed all relevant parts to avoid unnecessary delays, you can hand/post them into the Customer Service Centre for the attention of the Housing Options Service, Devon Home Choice.

This is to be completed when your health and wellbeing is affected by your current accommodation, or lack of accommodation. Please note that these questions appear as part of your online application if you indicate that your health or wellbeing is affected by your accommodation, or lack of accommodation. A form will need to be printed for each member of the household whose health and wellbeing is affected by their current accommodation.

Further guidance and information

Contact information

To contact the Customer Service Centre:

Telephone: 01271 388870
For Typetalk: precede with 18001
Text: 07624 804042
Fax: 01271 388451
Join the conversation on Twitterexternal website
Compliment, complaint or suggestion? Your feedback

Face to face: Civic Centre, Ilfracombe and South Molton.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

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