East Renfrewshire Council has marked one year since Homeseeker was introduced, changing the way council housing was allocated and giving those waiting for housing more choice.
Published: 9 March 2020
Homeseeker is a simpler system that moved away from the traditional housing list and was implemented following extensive consultation with tenants and applicants. In its first year 246 properties were let through Homeseeker across the authority area.
Previously, if you were an existing applicant, you had to wait until your position on the waiting list triggered an offer for you on a specific home. With Homeseeker, the council advertises all homes that are about to become vacant online each week. Those on the housing list, including existing tenants who want to move, are invited to register an interest in (or "bid" for) one or more of them.
The Homeseeker system encourages positive contact with applicants for housing rather than routine checking and offers of properties which could previously have been refused.
New tenants, like Fernanda Kimani from Barrhead, have hailed Homeseeker a success.
Fernanda Kimani said: 'Looking for a home for myself and my children was a stressful time, however the process and the support I received from Housing Services during this time was fantastic. It was clear what was going to happen at each stage of the application process and staff were available to talk to whenever I had any queries. I cannot describe the relief I felt when I was allocated this house; it feels like a proper home, I know my children are very happy here and will continue to be so for years to come.'
Councillor Danny Devlin, Convener for Housing Services and Maintenance, who visited Fernanda in her new home, said: 'It is great see the new allocation policy in place and working well for tenants like Fernanda. As a small council with a very limited supply of homes for rent, we had a real desire to improve the options for existing tenants and for those in housing need on our list. Homeseeker gives applicants more choice in the type of property and area in which they wish to live. It also ensures that when an applicant is allocated a property, it suits their needs. I look forward to seeing its continued success.'
Information on successful bids is regularly published by the Council, enabling applicants to determine their prospect of success when making a bid. Further updates are also planned to continually improve the online bidding process.
The weekly available homes list is published at 12pm every Wednesday and is also be available to view in council offices.
You can also call 0141 577 3001.