Before you decide to register for a Northwards home, there are some things you need to be aware of:
Longer waiting times
We have far fewer homes becoming available these days, so waiting times are longer for all applicants and there is much less choice about where to live. There is no way of telling you how long you will have to wait, but it could be a very long time.
It also means that homes usually go to people in the higher Rehousing Priority Bands (1, 2 and 3 – especially 1 and 2), with not many homes for people in Bands 4 and below.
What are Rehousing Priority Bands?
As the properties we manage are owned by Manchester City Council, we must follow their rehousing rules when we let a property. These rules control what kind of home we are allowed to offer you. How urgently you need a council property is also worked out using these rules.
After registering for a home, you are put into one of six Rehousing Priority Bands based on these rules: Band 1 is the most urgent, Band 6 is the least. The closer to Band 1 you are, the more priority you have and the more likely it is you will be offered a home. People in lower rehousing bands have less priority and less chance of being offered something.
You are less likely to be offered a home if:
You live in a private rented home which has enough bedrooms for the people you are moving with
You won’t get priority just for being in a private rented home and wanting to move into social housing. If your current home is suitable according to Manchester City Council's rules, then you will be placed in a "no need" category, meaning your chances of getting a social rented home are small.
You live in a private rented home which is in a poor condition
You are unlikely to get rehousing priority for this. You will need to talk to your landlord about putting the problem right and consider getting specialist advice and help if that doesn’t work.
You live in someone else’s home
For instance, if you are an adult living in your parents’ home and there are enough bedrooms for everyone in the property, you are unlikely to get priority.
You already live in social rented housing which is suitable for your needs
If there is a problem with your current home, such as property condition or neighbour problems, you will not automatically get priority because of this. You will need to start by discussing the problem with your current landlord – if they think that you might be considered to be in housing need then they will advise you about that.
You owe money on your current tenancy or a previous one
This is likely to affect your chances of getting priority for rehousing, even if you are considered to be in housing need.
You own your own home
If you own your own property, you are not eligible for social housing, unless you are looking to move into a retirement scheme.
If any of the above applies to you, then the likelihood is that we would not consider you to be in housing need based on Manchester City Council's rules – in which case, you are likely to be better off looking for something in the private rented sector or, if you are already a social housing tenant, trying to exchange your home.
You will wait longer if you don't tell us right away about changes in your circumstances
It's your responsibility to make sure that the information you provide with your application is correct and up to date.
This includes letting us know about any changes to this information. If you don't, then this could affect your chances of getting a home. For example, you need to make sure you tell us as soon as possible if you want to be considered for extra priority due to, for instance:
- becoming overcrowded
- changes in your health
- getting a job and wanting to apply for working household status
Extra priority is only given from when you tell us and we agree that you qualify - if you don't tell us at the time, it won't be backdated to when the change actually happened.
If you are being made homeless…
In most cases, being homeless or threatened with homelessness will not give you extra priority. If you register for a Northwards home, there is no way of knowing how long you will have to wait, so you may be best contacting Manchester City Council's homelessness service. They may be able to help you with accommodation while you wait, or give you advice about staying in your current home.
The homelessness service have also put together an advice guide, giving you lots of useful information about what you need to know if you are being made homeless. Take a look at 'Keeping your home: your options' (PDF 7MB).