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Finding a home

Getting a home with Westway Housing Association

It is a condition of the funding we receive that we must house applicants referred to us by the local council. This means that we do not have a waiting list and you cannot apply directly to Westway Housing Association for a home.

Getting a home with a housing association or council

You have the right to add your name to the housing register held by your local council, unless you are subject to immigration control. Some other groups of people from abroad cannot be housed by councils either. If you are unsure, get advice.

If you register, you need to be aware that social rented housing with a council or housing association is in very short supply in London. In practice, unless your need for housing is very urgent and you are vulnerable, you are unlikely to be offered a home.

To have any chance of being housed quickly, you would need to be homeless, or be about to be made homeless. You would also need to be vulnerable in some other way, for example:

  • have children or be pregnant
  • be elderly
  • be suffering from mental illness
  • be physically disabled
  • have a learning disability, or
  • have a serious medical condition.

If you fit these categories and are accepted as a high priority case, you are most likely to be offered a temporary home. You might then spend years in temporary accommodation.

What happens when you register with your council

If you decide to go ahead with registering, how your application is handled depends on which council you apply to.

Barnet Council now handles its own lettings in the borough. Applicants are banded depending on the seriousness of their need for rehousing. The council prioritises people who are volunteering, working, training, fostering or who are former members of the Armed Forces – although you will not be penalised if you are elderly or disabled.

If you apply to Brent, Ealing, or Hammersmith & Fulham councils, you will be registered with the Locata choice-based lettings scheme.

If you apply to Enfield, Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster councils, you will be registered with the Home Connections choice-based lettings scheme. There is a separate website for each landlord.

Choice-based lettings schemes are designed to allow social landlords to give people more choice about where they move to. The schemes work by advertising empty homes online and elsewhere, so that people on the housing register can bid for them. When all the bids are compared, the home is offered first to the household with the highest priority.

Locata uses a banding system to decide who should get priority, taking into account factors such as your current situation and whether you have serious medical needs. When two bidders from the same band bid for the same home, priority goes to the applicant who has waited longest in the same or a higher band. You can bid online, by phone or via text messaging.

Home Connections is a points-based system. You are awarded points reflecting the urgency of your need to move. You can bid using the internet, an automated phone line, text messaging or DigiTV. However, to have your bid considered, you will need to have at least the minimum points shown against the property you choose.

Once you are registered on a choice-based scheme, you can, and should, take part in each round of bidding. However, you do need to be realistic. Choice-based lettings schemes do not create more homes. Even if your household has a very serious need for rehousing, you are likely to wait many years before being offered a home. The majority of housing register applicants are never successful.

Other housing options

If your council operates a housing advice service, it will be able to advise you on other ways of finding a home. These may include:

  • renting from a private landlord – in some areas you can get help to put together a rent deposit
  • renting from a tenant management co-operative or short-life housing co-operative
  • renting a room in a hostel.

You will also be able to get advice on how to keep your current home, your housing rights, harassment, claiming housing benefit, rent arrears and mortgage problems.

Some centres can offer housing advice in different languages. If your first language isn’t English, ask if they have a worker who can talk to you in your own language.

Housing and other advice

Local authorities

London Borough of Barnet
Housing Advice Team
Barnet Homeseekers
Barnet House
1255 High Road
London N20 0EJ

Phone: 020 8359 4797
Out of hours: 020 8359 2000
Email: homeseekers@barnet.gov.uk

Brent Civic Centre
Customer Services
Engineers Way
Wembley HA9 0FJ

Phone: 020 8937 1234
Website: Click here

London Borough of Ealing
Housing Advice Service
4th Floor, Perceval House
14-16 Uxbridge Road
London W5 2HL

Phone: 020 8825 8888
Email: housadv@ealing.gov.uk

London Borough of Enfield
Housing Options and Advice Team
John Wilkes House
79 High Street
Ponders End
Enfield EN3 4EN

Phone: 020 8379 4418
Email: homeless@enfield.gov.uk

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Hammersmith & Fulham Advice
145-155 King Street
London W6 9XY

Phone: 0845 313 3935
Out of hours: 020 8748 8588
Email: h&fadvice.housing@lbhf.gov.uk

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
The Housing Needs Department
Customer Service Centre
Kensington Town Hall
Hornton Street
London W8 7NX

Phone: 020 7361 3008
Email: housing@rbkc.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Bureaux

New Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau
30 Station Road
New Barnet
London EN5 1PL

Phone: 0844 826 9336
Email: newbarnet@barnetcab.org.uk

Brent Citizens Advice Bureau
270-272 High Road
London NW10 2EY

Phone: 0845 050 5250
Email: brent.cab@brentcab.co.uk

Enfield Citizens Advice Bureau
Unit 3, Vincent House
2e Nags Head Road

Other useful contacts

Threshold Housing Advice
Barnet Centre
36b Woodhouse Road
London N12 0RG

Phone: 020 8446 2504

Free advice helpline: 0808 800 4444

National Domestic Violence Helpline
24-hour freephone: 0808 2000 247

(Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants)

Phone: 020 7251 8708

Ways we can help

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