Message sent on behalf of Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, Cabinet Member for Housing at West Suffolk councils.
Councils across the Cambridge Sub-Region including Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury are changing IT provider for their housing register. This means that while from 1 April people on the current housing register will continue to view and bid for properties on Home-Link, the IT that underpins this will be from a different provider.
As this is a new provider we can’t simply transfer the data held from one provider to another. Our own testing, and the testing of five other housing authorities found that the Home-link application form for the new IT provider is simpler and can be completed in half the time of the current form.
It does, however, mean that everyone on the register will have to reapply. Those applications will then need to be assessed and verified. Providing that customer’s circumstances have not changed, then there will not be any change to the priority banding.
In order to ensure that all applications are made, assessed and verified in time, we are asking customers to re-register between 1 February and 28 February. People can still apply after this date of course but we won’t be able to guarantee that there won’t be gap where they won’t be able to bid on properties because their application is being processed. Anyone on the current Home-Link system who doesn’t re-register will be able to continue to bid for properties until 31 March.
This week we will be contacting all of the people on our current housing register to let them know of the changes and what they need to do, and a copy of the letter that will be emailed to them is attached. We will also send them two reminders in February while we will also be publicising the need for people to re-register via the media and on social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I would like to reiterate this is a change to our IT provider only. The Home-link scheme itself remains unchanged and it will not change how we assess and award priority bandings. People will only see a change to their banding if their circumstances have changed since they last spoke to us, which is the case now anyway.
Cllr Sara Mildmay-White
Cabinet Member for Housing