Event on housing allocation

With a number of schemes for affordable homes in the pipeline, a meeting has been organised in Wooler to look at how properties are allocated.

The event, which takes place in the Cheviot Centre on Friday, February 21, between 10am and 12.30pm, has been organised by three parish councillors under the banner of C4A (Co-ordinating for Age).

It will involve members of C4A, representatives of Glendale Gateway Trust and some of the housing providers in the area and will look at how Homefinder – the county council’s system for allocating social housing – works, as well as looking at ways that the community could access the system more easily.

One of the organisers, Alfreda Hindmarsh, said: “Firstly, a lot of people don’t know about Homefinder. Secondly, if you don’t have a computer, you are stuck.

“But there could be other ways of accessing the Homefinder system, for example, elderly people being able to go into the Cheviot Centre and see what houses are available.

“The event is about bringing all the issues out into the open and seeing how we can move forward.”

Northumberland Homefinder is a partnership between the county council and housing providers and to be considered for a property, you must apply to join the housing register by filling in a form available at any council office or online.

If your application is accepted, you will be given a housing register number and a PIN.

Properties available will be advertised on the council website, at offices, council information centres and other locations such as libraries and Citizens’ Advice Bureaux as well as on an automated telephone line on 0845 60 66 546 between 00:01 on a Thursday until 23:59 the following Monday each week.

If you see a property, you need to bid via the website – www.northumberlandhome finder.org.uk – or at any of the locations listed above.

You can also call 0845 270 1977 or text 07781 486956.

The decision is based on eligibility for the property advertised coupled with priority (see below) and time on the housing register.

Preference bands:

Band P for those with an urgent and severe housing need (eg. homeless households).

Band 1 for those who are in high housing need (eg. severe overcrowdedness).

Band 2 for those who are in medium housing need (eg. sharing facilities).

Band 2R for those whose priority is reduced (eg. no connection to county).

Band 3 for those who are adequately housed.