There is still a stigma attached to Housing Associations and who can apply for their homes. Given the lack of affordable homes to rent or buy this is a great opportunity for them to change the mindset of individuals.
Who is eligible for a Housing Association Home
It is hard for people to understand the benefits of what they offer. Information is not readily available all in one place. Traditionally people have used Estate Agents and Letting Agents to find their homes. Why can’t they approach Housing Associations too? Homes are available to those in work and those that aren’t. The fact that they are affordable and in a lot of cases there is 24/7 repair service surely that is worth shouting about?
CBL Schemes and alternative marketing methods
It doesn’t make it any easier for people either if they have to sign up to a local Choice Based Lettings (CBL) Scheme. In some cases this can involve form filling which can be around 20 pages long to get on the housing options list. It can be even harder for those Housing Associations that have properties in multiple locations. Depending on their allocations agreements they can be part of different schemes across different areas adhering to different processes.
Streamlined process to apply for a home
There needs to be a streamlined process across them all that will allow people to apply for their homes whether or not they are part of a local Choice Based Lettings allocations policy. Having the majority of properties in one place for people to search would be a good start as well as clearly explaining the benefits Housing Associations can offer.
There are a lot of good things happening across the country. Registered Social Landlords need to communicate a clear message to those who are looking to rent or buy. This along with streamlined processes should help to Housing Associations to attract those people who may think they aren’t eligible for such properties.