Three Rivers District Council operates a Choice Based Lettings allocations scheme in partnership with Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City & District Council, Watford Borough Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. This is called Herts Choice Homes.
The Council does not own any social housing and empty registered provider (commonly known as housing associations) properties are advertised through the Herts Choice Homes website. People on the Housing Needs Register can express an interest, called a bid, in empty properties.
Further information on how the Herts Choice Homes scheme works can be found here.
Unfortunately due to a very high demand for social housing, only applicants with a very high housing need are likely to be allocated social housing, and renting in the private rented sector is a likely to be a speedier option to resolving most people's housing need.
Information on finding accommodation in the private rented sector can be found here.
How to apply for social housing?
To apply for social housing the first step is to join the Housing Needs Register. You can apply to join the Housing Needs Register through the Herts Choice Homes website.
Before complete a Housing Needs Register application you will need to complete a pre-assessment questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to provide you with a personalised action plan advising you of the most suitable housing options for your current circumstances. Please note that not everybody qualifies to join the Housing Needs Register and you should also consider alternative options such as looking to rent a property in the private rented sector.
Who qualifies to join the Housing Needs Register?
Ordinarily to join the Housing Needs Register you need to have a housing need to move to another property and a local connection to Three Rivers.
To have a local connection you must
- be living in the Three Rivers District and have done so for at least the past five years, or
- have immediate family (parents, adult siblings, adult children) living in the Three Rivers District who have done so for at least the last ten years, or
- be employed in the District for at least 24 hours a week and for at least the last 12 months.
You can also have special circumstances which gives rise to a local connection. If you think you have special circumstances please use the free text box at the end of the Housing Needs Register application form to explain the reasons why.
There are exceptions from the local connection criteria, such as having served in HM Forces or if you have been 'accepted homeless' by the Council. Further information on the local connection criteria and housing need can be found in the Housing Allocations Policy.
If you believe you have a medical need to move to another property you can contact the Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting a medical assessment form.
The Council's Housing Allocations Policy can be found below.
Housing Allocations Policy 2013 (pdf)
Change of Circumstances
If you are already on the Three Rivers Housing Needs Register and your circumstances change it is important you update your application. You can do this by logging into you member's page on the Herts Choice Homes website and completing a Change of Circumstances form.
Please note that not updating your Housing Needs Register application could result in an offer of a property being withdrawn if you are successful in bidding for a property.
Mutual Exchange gives existing social housing tenants the opportunity to 'swap' properties with other existing social housing tenants who are also looking to move.
Three Rivers District Council does not operate a mutual exchange programme, however if you are interested in a mutual exchange you can register with a mutual exchange agent such as Homeswapper.