All about Homepoint
To be eligible for any type of affordable housing in Shropshire, you need to be registered on Shropshire HomePoint.
HomePoint is the housing needs register – or housing waiting list – used by Shropshire Council. It allows Registered Providers and landlords to allocate different types of social and affordable housing across Shropshire.
However, HomePoint isn’t only for those on lower incomes or in urgent housing need – in fact, many eligible people across Shropshire don’t realise that they could get support and assistance through HomePoint.
In this guide, we cover some of the most common questions about HomePoint:
How does HomePoint work?
Once you’re on the HomePoint Register, the urgency of your housing need is determined and Shropshire Council’s housing team works to match you with the right property.
12 housing providers advertise their vacant stock on the HomePoint website, but although they are responsible for the allocation of their own stock, Shropshire Council work closely with them throughout this process.
What type of housing need does HomePoint cover?
There are four levels of need on the HomePoint Register; bronze, silver, gold and priority. Bronze covers those who want to move but have no immediate housing need, while silver and gold are higher priority households with a clear housing need.
Priority covers those with the most significant and urgent housing need, such as those facing homelessness or with medical needs.
At any given time, there are around 5,000 people across Shropshire on HomePoint, and 2,500 of those are in bronze banding.
People often assume that those in bronze banding won’t be rehoused because they’re a lower priority, but Shropshire Council does re-house people in this category on a regular basis.
How long will it take to find a suitable property?
The time it takes to find a suitable property often depends on the applicant. If you’re looking for a particular house in a particular village, for example, it’ll take longer.
However, if you’re happy with any property across Shropshire with a certain number of bedrooms, the process is much quicker.
Who is eligible to apply with HomePoint?
A commonly held perception is that HomePoint is just for people who receive benefits. Most people don’t realise that almost anyone can put themselves on the register.
If you’re an individual or couple working full time, for example – or an older couple who already own a property but are looking to move somewhere with more support – there are lots of aspects of that Shropshire Council can help with.
Shropshire Council can also advertise private rental properties on HomePoint, and are seeking to offer a wider range for those seeking private rented accommodation throughout the county.
What do I do if I’m facing homelessness?
Shropshire Council usually finds out about someone facing homelessness through HomePoint or through support agencies who are already in contact with them, but it might also be through the individual themselves.
Some people have a few months’ notice before they’re required to leave a property; others have less than 24 hours – and this dictates the level of support they receive at the time.
Anyone facing homelessness is allocated a Housing Options Officer who’ll provide advice and support throughout the whole process. Shropshire Council’s website provides more advice and guidance around what to do if you’re facing homelessness.
What emergency accommodation is available?
Shropshire Council has a duty of care to anyone facing any type of housing need. For some, that may just be providing advice and support on the options available to them.
For others – such as those who suffer from poor physical or mental health, women who are pregnant and those fleeing domestic violence – the duty of care is greater, and this includes providing emergency and long-term accommodation as it’s needed.
How can I register for HomePoint?
You can register for HomePoint through Shropshire Council’s website, or collect a paper copy from one of their Customer Service points. The paper copy is 28 pages long so it’s much quicker to complete it online, as it automatically cancels any pages you don’t need to fill in.
The team can help you to apply over the phone, looking at your personal details, your current property and how suitable it is for your needs. Shropshire Council can also refer you to a support worker who can assist with the completion of your application.