UChoose lettings system is ready to roll
Published on Tuesday 23rd June 2009
Cannock Chase Council's new choice-based system for letting its affordable homes launches on July 1st.
Instead of sitting on the waiting list and simply waiting for the Council to offer a property, applicants will be able to register an interest in properties as they become available, either:
- By touch-tone telephone
- By SMS text message
- By contacting the Council's housing office.
Properties will then be allocated to the applicant who registered an interest who has been waiting in the highest band of need for the longest time.
The new scheme - called UChoosehomes - is designed to make access to affordable rented properties more straight-forward and gives people more choice about where they live.
On Wednesday 1st July, details of the first properties available to rent will be available online (http://www.uchoosehomes.co.uk/), in Council receptions and other public buildings. The following day - and every Thursday thereafter - the properties will also be advertised in free weekly newspapers (Chase Post and Rugeley Post). The deadline for expressions of interest is midnight on Tuesday 7th July. This weekly cycle will then be repeated.
The Council's Housing Allocations team has already written to more than 2,000 residents who are currently on the Housing Register to explain the new system. Housing Allocations employees have also been answering many customers' questions over the telephone at 01543 462621 and at the Housing Office's reception in Beecroft Road, Cannock.
The Council is committed to ensuring that vulnerable applicants have full access to the new service and the Housing Allocations team have ensured the new system is simple to use. For applicants who wish to use the online service, two PC terminals have been installed in the Housing Office reception where customers can access the UChoosehomes website (pictured above). Employees are always on hand to help those applicants who may struggle to use them.
Cllr Phil Freeman, Cannock Chase Council Housing Leader, said: "We're really excited about the UChoose system. It has been a huge success in other areas and will make the allocation of properties simpler, fairer and easier to understand. Although residents can use technology like the internet and text messaging, this is not the only way to express interest in a property. It can also be done at the Housing Office and by telephone."