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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions the Welfare & Housing Service has received about BFC My choice. If you have a question that is not answered here, please email housing.register@bracknell-forest.gov.uk and we will answer as soon as possible.

 

Change of Circumstances 

What should I do if my circumstances change? 

You must inform the Welfare & Housing Service of any change in your circumstances. If your addressphone number or email address has changed, log into your application, update your form online and then resubmit it.   

If you start working or move accommodation, then you will also need to update your application with these new details. We need to see proof of income or proof of change of address before these changes will be authorised. 

 

My partner & I have separated, how do I get them removed from my housing application? 

If you are the main applicant, you will need a letter or email from your ex-partner giving permission for them to be removed from your Housing Application. If you are not the main applicant, you will need to make your own application and request to be removed from your ex-partner’s application. 

 

Can I add my new partner to my housing application? If they have children can they also be included in my application? 

If your partner Is eligible to public funds and has been resident in the Bracknell borough continuously for 4 years, they can be added to your application. 

If your partner is not eligible or resident, then they cannot be included in your application and their name would not be included on a tenancy if you were offered a property with a Housing Association. 

If you add a partner and you are not currently working, their income could be taken into consideration if they are working 16 hours or more to allow working priority to your application. 

If your partner has children, they would also not be considered if they do not meet the residency criteria or eligibility. They would not be part of the calculation in the banding process.  

 

How do I do a separate housing application, as I have separated from my partner? 

If you currently have a joint Housing Register application and want to split your application, both parties will need to put the request in writing to housing.register@bracknell-forest.gov.uk stating the reasons for the request.   

 

I recently discovered I’m pregnant does this change my eligibility for a property? 

Your eligibility will not change until the baby has been born, added to your application and you have sent in a copy of their birth certificate. 

 

Banding Queries 

How can I be moved up a band? 

You will be moved up a band if you have a change of circumstances whilst on the Housing Register and meet the criteria for the higher band.  

If you have continuously been in a band for 6 years, then on the anniversary of this date, you will be moved to a higher band. e.g. 01/01/2000 Band D move to Band C 01/01/2006. 

 

Are there any time limits on staying in a band? 

If your application is placed in band B or band A, there is a limit of 6 months that you can remain in that band, as the band reflects the most urgent need to move. At the end of the 6 months, your application will be reviewed, and the time extended, or your priority reduced. 

 

When will I move up a band? 

You will remain in your band for 6 years from your registration date. If your circumstances do not changeyou will then move up a band but will not progress higher than a band B. 

 

Can I be moved up a band due to medical issues? 

If you have medical issues and completed the relevant information on your Housing Register application, this will be taken into consideration when you first applyIf further information is required, you will be contacted and asked to complete a medical information form 

Once your further medical information has been processed, this may include your banding being reviewed and priority given in moving up a band 

If you are already registered, then you will need to contact the service, to arrange for an appointment to complete a medical form. Information would be required to confirm your medical conditionTo be considered for moving up a band on medical grounds will depend upon the impact the accommodation is having on your medical conditionThis will be related to the property and your health 

Please be aware that medical priority is only given if it can be related to the property and your health 

 

Property Queries 

Can I rejoin the list due to mould? 

Unless you have a housing need, having mould in your property will not automatically allow you to access the Housing Register. Here is some advice on how to deal with damp and mould. 

 

I am having problems with my property such as repairs and draughty windows  

If you are experiencing problems within your property, then the responsibility for carrying out repairs will be your landlordIf you are a Housing Association tenant, then the repairs will be the responsibility of the Housing Association who you are a tenant with. 

If you are privately renting, then the repairs are the responsibility of your landlord or Letting AgentYou will need to check your tenancy agreement. 

If problems persist and you do not receive a satisfactory response about the repairs, you can contact Environmental Health Services on 01635 503242 for Environmental Health enquiries or email ehadvice@westberks.gov.uk. 

 

Homeless Queries 

Why am I penalised if I am homeless?  

If you make a homeless application, you will be assessed by your Welfare and Housing Caseworker, according to your current circumstances  If it is appropriate, registering on the Housing Register will be discussed as part of your Personal Housing Plan.  

 

I made a homeless application and was placed in temporary accommodation. Can I still place a bid on properties? 

If you are an accepted homeless applicant and owed a duty, then you will be able to bid on properties that are made available on BFCMychoice in the weekly cycle 

 

I made a homeless application and was placed in temporary accommodation. Who do I deal with for social housing access? 

You will have been allocated a Welfare and Housing Caseworker at the point of making your homeless application. This person will discuss with you if social housing access is an option for youAll options of accommodation will be considered as part of your personal housing plan, which could include private rented properties or via a direct match to a Housing Association property.  

 

What happens if I am matched to a property? 

As part of your homeless application, you may be nominated for a property either to a Housing Association or to a private rented propertyAs part of your homeless assessment, a suitability form will need to be completed and this will be discussed with your Welfare and Housing Caseworker. Information you have provided as part of the suitability form will be used in finding you a property.  

 

If my homeless duty is discharged and I have not been resident in the Bracknell Borough for 4 years, do I still stay on the Housing Register? 

If you have made a homeless application and you have no priority, you would not be considered for the Housing Register if you do not meet the residency criteria of 4 years. If your duty has been discharged, you may not have a housing need to be accepted onto the Housing Register. Your circumstances would be discussed with your Welfare and Housing Caseworker who would advise you on your housing options. 

 

If a successful prevention takes place, can the applicant get a higher band than C? 

If the applicant has been prevented from becoming homeless, they will be banded according to their housing needs. 

 

New Home Queries

Are Bracknell Forest Council going to build any? 

Bracknell Forest Council do not have their own housing stock and will not be building any properties. All new homes within the borough are built by Housing Associations who have been given planning permission to build these properties.

 

Housing advice

The Welfare & Housing Service can also provide advice and assistance on a wide range of housing-related issues, not just BFC My choice. If you would like further information, please go to Bracknell Forest Council's main website.