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FAQs about Applying for a Rented Home

Will I still be able to use Homes Direct to apply for a home with BVT?

To apply for a rented home with us previously, we asked you to register with Homes Direct. Homes Direct is managed by Midland Heart Housing Association which advised us that the Homes Direct system will close at the end of March 2021. Any bids that you made on Homes Direct up until 31 March 2021 will still be considered.

How can I apply for a new home with BVT if Homes Direct is closing?

On 1st February 2021 we launched BVT Homes, a new online portal where you can register and bid for a home in Birmingham or Shropshire. It will make bidding and applying for a home simpler.

How can I register with BVT Homes?

You can register on BVT Homes by logging onto the website bvt.housingjigsaw.co.uk and selecting the join button. When you register on BVT Homes you will be asked for an email address and a password. You will need to enter this email address and password every time you log-in to BVT Homes. Completing your application will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Please make sure you have the following details to hand when you register:

  • Your contact details
  • Your National Insurance number
  • The name and telephone number of anyone supporting your move such as a Housing Officer, a Support Worker or a Homeless Officer.

What happens after I have completed an application?

When you have completed your BVT Homes application and you have uploaded all of the documents that we have asked for, we will review, approve and release your banding within 10 working days. You will then be able to search and bid for a home with us. Please check your notifications using your registered email address and password for this update.

What priority will my application be given?

When you register on BVT Homes your application will be placed in one of four bands, A to D. We will take into account your personal and housing circumstances when deciding the band you are placed in. Band A is the highest priority band. Your application will be placed in band A if your need to move is urgent and you can no longer continue to live in your current home.

Band D is the lowest priority band. Your application will be placed in band D if your current home meets your needs, but you would like to move.
If your current home is not suitable for your needs, but you are able to stay there while you choose another, your application will be placed in band B or C, depending on how quickly you need to move.Within each band, applications will be considered in date order.

Below provides examples of why you would be eligible to be placed in each band. This is not an exhaustive list

Band A

  • Homeless applicants where a duty is owed by the local authority
  • Social housing applicants under occupying their home by one or more bedrooms
  • Applicants who are overcrowded and short of one or more bedrooms
  • Applicants who would be releasing a social rented property with major adaptations that they no longer need
  • Applicants who are experiencing ongoing serious violence, harassment or targeted abuse that can only be resolved by moving home
  • Applicants or household members whose current home does not meet their ongoing physical needs, and that the medical condition or ability to live independently would be improved significantly by moving home
  • Applicants who are leaving the armed forces
  • Applicants whose current home is not fit to live in due to serious disrepair which is a risk to health or safety or a lack of amenities
  • BVT tenants who are permanently losing their current rented home due to disposal, demolition, de-conversion, major improvement
  • Applicants who are in short-term supported housing and are required to move on to alternative accommodation urgently.

Band B

  • Other homeless applicants and applicants who are likely to become homeless within 56 days, or have been served a valid section 21 notice that expires in 56 days or less
  • Key workers who need to be closer to their place of work or have an offer of employment and need to be closer to that workplace because travelling from their current home is unreasonable (e.g. over one hour each way)
  • Applicants who are left in a property following a relationship breakdown and have no right to remain in their current tenancy
  • Applicants who are owner occupiers who are selling their property due to affordability and the sale will not release more than £50,000 in equity
  • Families with children under the age of seven who live in an upper floor flat with no access to a lift.

Band C

  • Applicants who are sharing facilities with more than one household, this could include sharing the bathroom or kitchen
  • Applicants living in a property in minor disrepair and/or is in poor condition but is not a risk to health or safety
  • Applicants who need to be closer to family and friends to give or receive support
  • Applicants who have been approved as foster or adoptive parents and require an additional bedroom to facilitate a placement. Evidence of approval will be required.

Band D

  • Applicants who have no identified housing need. 

I am not in band A, does this mean that I am unlikely to be offered a home?

No. We will be advertising 65% of our homes to applicants in band A, 20% to band B, 10% to band C and 5% to band D.

I was registered on Homes Direct, will I still be in the same band?

If you are a BVT tenant and you registered on BVT Homes no later than Sunday 28th February 2021, the band that your application is placed in with BVT Homes will be either:

  • The same as the band that your application has been placed in on Homes Direct or;
  • A higher band (where your application is re-assessed using BVT’s own banding allocation criteria)

The closure of Homes Direct and the launch of BVT Homes will not mean that your application will be placed in a lower priority band.

Will I lose my Homes Direct registration date?

If you are a BVT tenant and you registered on BVT Homes no later than Sunday 28th February 2021, you will have kept your Homes Direct registration date. If you are a BVT tenant and you registered after Sunday 28th February 2021, or if you are not a BVT tenant, your registration date will be the date that you complete your application.

Will I need to supply any information?

Yes. As a minimum, when you complete your application you will be asked to upload proof of your identity and documents to support your application.
Depending upon your circumstances, we may request other documents. We will tell you what documents to provide and when to provide them. All documents provided must be up to date and valid.

When will you advertise homes?

Each week we will advertise our homes which are available to let and ask you to let us know by midnight the following Sunday if you would like to be considered. Adverts will usually run between Wednesday and Sunday at the minimum.

Where are your homes?

In Birmingham, we have rented homes in the Bournville, Northfield and Selly Oak areas.  We also have a very limited number in the Nechells area.  There are approximately 150 homes available to let in these areas each year. In Telford, we have rented homes in the Wellington, Hadley, Oakengates, St Georges, Dawley, Doseley, Aqueduct, Lawley, Lightmoor Village, Randlay, Stirchley, Brookside, Madeley, Woodside and Sutton Hill areas. There are approximately 60 homes available to let in these areas each year. If you need to move urgently, please contact Birmingham City Council www.birmingham.gov.uk or Telford and Wrekin Council www.telford.gov.uk

What information will the property advertisements contain?

Property advertisements will contain information about the location, size and other features of the property. They will also contain information about rent and other charges. Adverts will include a photograph of the property and you will also be able to access information about the local area and facilities. They will also tell you if there are any special requirements that you as an applicant must meet to be eligible to apply. For example; age requirements, which bands may bid for the property and the number of bedrooms that applicants applying for the property need to be entitled to. If your bedroom entitlement is different to this, you will not be able to apply for the property.

How do I apply for a home with BVT?

When you have registered on BVT Homes you can express your interest or bid online through our website bvt.housingjigsaw.co.uk

How many properties can I apply for?
You will be able to apply for up to three properties each week. If you place a bid it doesn’t mean you will automatically get the home you have bid for, but it does mean you can choose homes you would like to be considered for rather than us do it for you.

I can’t find a property?

From Wednesday 24th March, we will be advertising our available homes on BVT Homes.  If you log-on to BVT Homes on or after 24th March and you are unable to see any property advertisements, the reason for this will be that there are no homes available to let which are being advertised that week.

I can’t place a bid?
If you log-on to BVT Homes and you can see a property but are unable to place a bid, the reason for this will be that you;

  • May be trying to bid on properties that are too large or too small for your assessed needs
  • You may not match the requirements of a property that is advertised (for example, you may be too young, or not have a medical need or local connection to the area).

How many bedrooms am I entitled to?
In order to make best use of our housing stock, we use the following size criteria to offer accommodation. A bedroom is necessary for those people being permanently rehoused as follows:

  • Each couple living together (double room)
  • A parent in a single parent family (single room)
  • Each person 16 years or over
  • Each child aged 10 years or over who would otherwise have to share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex
  • Medical conditions or disability makes it imperative that the person in question has a separate bedroom.

What should I do if my circumstances change?
You are responsible for updating your application if your circumstances change. If things do change, it is important that you update your application as soon as you can because it could mean that your band changes. If this happens, we will let you know what band your application has been changed to.

Help…I have forgotten my password!
Not to worry, it’s really easy to get a new password:

  • Go to bvt.housingjigsaw.co.uk and click “Forgot Password?”
  • A password reset box will appear and you will be asked to enter your email address
  • Click ‘Send me the link’ which illuminates once you enter your email address
  • Check your emails, one from us is on its way to you
  • Click the link in the email and you will be taken to a password reset screen where you can set up a new password.

I don’t have access to a computer or laptop?
The BVT Homes website is mobile friendly. This means if you don’t have access to a computer or laptop you will still be able to register and apply for a home via your smartphone or tablet. If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, or access to the internet, please contact us on 0300 333 6540 or email BVTHomes@bvt.org.uk and a member of the team will help you.

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