OLDHAM COUNCIL is making it easier for residents to apply for social housing and look for a new home.
The local authority is changing the way social housing is allocated, making the process more efficient and cost effective, while ensuring people are given realistic advice based on their housing needs.
‘My Move Oldham’ (www.mymoveoldham.co.uk) which launches on 26 October will give residents the chance to register for social housing and bid for available homes.
Visitors to the website will also be able to manage and update their account details and check their bidding activity.
The application form to register has also been shortened and made easier for people to use.
Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives, said: “My Move Oldham will make sure residents get easier access to social housing and ensure that those in greatest need benefit.
“We developed this new allocations scheme specifically with residents in mind and we believe the new system will be open and more transparent.”
Currently there are around 15,000 people on our housing register and only around 2,000 council and housing association homes become available each year.
In addition, more than 8,000 people on the list have no housing need and of these a significant proportion rarely place bids for homes.
The council also receives around 350 new applications each month and every year has to write to each applicant to see if they wish to stay on the list – costing thousands of pounds in annual administration and staffing costs.
The new scheme will ensure that all four-bedroom (or more), sheltered and heavily adapted homes, and 50 per cent of remaining homes will be automatically ring fenced for households in need.
The remaining homes will be advertised and allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, irrespective of housing need.
Households in need will also be able to bid for homes advertised this way.