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New housing register to go live in Dorset

Changes are being made to how residents can apply and be assessed for social housing in the Dorset Council area. 

From Monday 19 July 2021, the council is introducing a new housing allocation scheme called Dorset Council Home Choice. It will replace legacy policies and housing registers which have been in place since before the reorganisation of local government in Dorset in 2019.

Applicants asked to register on new system

So that applications can be assessed using the new Dorset Council Home Choice policy, the council’s current housing registers will close to new applications on Monday 19 July 2021.

Current applicants will need to wait one week before being able to apply to join the new Dorset Council Home Choice register from Monday 26 July.

All re-registrations will be assessed against the new criteria outlined in the Dorset Council Home Choice policy.

The council will write to anyone who re-applies with the outcome of their assessment.

Dorset Council has ensured that customers have been contacted by letter or email before 19 July 2021 to explain the new arrangements.

New user-friendly website

As part of the changes, the council is introducing a new website to improve the experience of customers applying for social housing.

The new Dorset Council Home Choice site will give applicants a personal customer account. This means an applicant can log in to their account at any time and:

  • view the status of their application
  • submit documents
  • receive messages
  • complete outstanding actions

Applicants will also be able to see all types of properties that are advertised.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety said:

“The introduction of the new policy and website means we’ll be able to offer a consistent approach and an enhanced customer experience to people in housing need across the Dorset Council area.

“I appreciate that it’s not ideal that we’re asking people to wait a week before they can re-apply but it is necessary in order to get the new system up and running.

“We have written to everyone who is currently registered with us advising of the changes and the steps they need to take next.

“We know that this change will cause increased pressure on the housing service in the short term while large volumes of new applications need to be assessed, so please bear with us.

“If you need help to complete the application please ask a friend, family member or indeed your local councillor in the first instance. If you have no one to help or need technical support, please contact Housing on dorsetcouncilhomechoice@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or by calling 01305 221739.”

Special circumstances

There will be an interim arrangement between 19 July and 1 October 2021 for current applicants who have a change in circumstances or an emergency. Homeless referrals and applications will continue to be referred in the way they are now.

More information

For more information on the new Dorset Council Home Choice housing allocations policy and website visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/housing/re-registration-process 

See previous news releases about Dorset Council’s approach to housing allocation.