Help Guides

What is Homefinder Somerset?

Who can apply?

How to apply

Application Evidence

Evidence of your name, address & National Insurance number

Evidence of your name

Evidence of your Address (evidence must be from the last 12 months)

Evidence of your National Insurance number

How applications are prioritised

How homes are advertised

How to bid

How to reset your login details

How the successful applicant is selected

 

 

Other Useful documents and Information

Homefinder Somerset policy Jan 2021

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results March 2020

 

HFS Quarterly Monitoring Report Q4 2020/21 (1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021)

HFS Quarterly Monitoring Report Q3 2020_21 (1 October to 31 December 2020)

HFS Quarterly Monitoring Report Q2 2020_21 (1 July to 30 September 2020) 

HFS Quarterly Monitoring Report Q1 2020_21 (1 April to 30 June 2020) 

HFS Quarterly Monitoring Report Q4 2019_20 (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020)

 

The following forms can be downloaded:

Bedroom Reduction Declaration form - To be used if you have 2 people in your household who are over 16 years old that can share a bedroom, enabling you to bid on smaller homes. 

Local Connection form -  To be used to confirm that you have a local connection to the Homefinder Somerset area.

Care Received form - To be used to confirm the details of support you receive.

Care Provided form - To be used to confirm the details of support you provide.

Closer to Facilities form -  To be used if you need to move closer to a hospital, treatment centre etc.

Additional Disability or Adaptions form - To be used if your current property is not suitable for you due a disability or a need for adaptations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the 'Register' button at the top right of the screen.
You will be assessed to have a local connection to Somerset if you:

 

• Have lived in Somerset for the last 2 years, or 3 out of the last 5 years, or

 

• Work in Somerset for a minimum of a 16 hours per week for 6 months, or

 

• Have immediate family members that have lived in Somerset for 5 years.

 

Immediate family members include: parents, siblings and non-dependent children.

 

Please note that there are exceptions to the local connection rules, for example for members of the UK armed forces, or veterans who have left the UK armed forces in the last 5 years. Please see the Homefinder Somerset Policy for details.

 

Just because you go to somewhere in Somerset often does not mean you have a local connection. You will not be assessed to have a local connection to an area just because your children go to school there, your auntie or cousin lives there or your doctor/dentist is based in the area, if you do not meet any of the other local connection criteria above.
The band that your application is placed in depends on our assessment of your housing need.

 

The 4 housing need bands (Emergency, Gold, Silver and Bronze) are explained in full in the Homefinder Somerset Policy

 

For example, if you have a child and are lodging with friends or family or in accommodation with shared living facilities then your application will be placed in Silver Band. However, if you do not have a child and are lodging with friends or family or in accommodation with shared living facilities then your application will be placed in Bronze Band.
Priority is awarded if your physical or mental health is made worse by your current home and would be improved by moving to a new home. If your physical or mental health will not be improved by moving to a new home you will not receive any additional priority on Homefinder Somerset.

 

Please see the Homefinder Somerset Policy for details of how priority is awarded to people whose physical or mental health is made worse by their current home.
The Homefinder Somerset policy mirrors the rules of Housing Benefit when assessing what size home you need. Under Homefinder Somerset each of the following are assessed as needing a separate bedroom:

 

• A single person or people living together as a couple

 

• Other adults, aged 16 years old or over

 

• 2 children under 16 years old of the same sex

 

• 2 children who are both under 10 years old regardless of sex

 

• A carer who does not live in the household but provides a household member with long term overnight care

 

Exceptions to these rules can be made for children who are entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, and supporting evidence is provided by a medical professional or social services to confirm that the child requires their own bedroom for medical reasons.
Because of the high demand for properties in Somerset, additional bedrooms cannot be given to applicants who have children who do not normally live permanently with them as their full-time principle home. In cases where parental responsibility is equally shared local authorities will have to decide who will be treated as having primary responsibility for any children. Consideration will be taken of where the child spends most of their time, which address the child is registered at for their Doctor, School etc. and which parent receives Child Benefit and, or Child Tax Credit.
No. It is not ‘first come first served’ when it comes to housing. When you bid for a home does not affect your bid position. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting.
No. You don’t have to use all 3-bids each week. The 3 bid limit is a maximum, not a minimum. Instead, only place bids on homes that you would be interested in living in. If you have been accepted as homeless by a Somerset local authority, they will expect you to bid for all appropriate homes.
No. You need to bid on homes otherwise you will not be considered.
Your bid position will be different on different properties. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. Your bid position will depend on your band and how long you have been waiting, compared to everyone else who has bid for a property. Some properties are more popular because of their location or type (for example houses are more popular than flats). This means that you may be higher on one property than another because there are less bids from people with a higher banding or who have been on the waiting list longer than you.
When you bid for a home does not affect your bid position. Your bid position can change as more bids are placed. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. If someone in Gold Band bids for a home just before the end of the closing date for bids, their bid will be placed above people in Silver and Bronze Bands, and anyone in Gold Band who has been waiting for less time.
Affordable rent is intended to help those who would not otherwise have been able to afford housing in the private sector. It is designed to provide an alternative to traditional social rent charged on council and housing association homes. The extra rent charged helps councils and housing associations to build more homes.

 

Affordable rent will be slightly higher than social rent as it allows the landlord to charge up to 80% of market rent levels within the local area. Market rents are the rents paid by private tenants. Landlords may carry out a financial assessment as part of their verification process to ensure the rent is affordable, before they will proceed with an allocation.

 

In most cases, where applicants are eligible to receive housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit, the rent would be covered by this payment. More information can be found at Local Housing Allowance rates in Somerset.

 

Homes let at affordable rents are allocated in the same way as homes let at social rent through Homefinder Somerset. There is no difference to the services tenants will receive.

 

Because the partner landlords are only applying affordable rents to a percentage of homes, from time to time you may see two identical properties in the same street advertised at two different rents.
Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. If someone above you, on the list of people who bid, is offered the property this is because they were in a higher Band or have been waiting longer. If a landlord rejects your bid you will be able to see the reason why by logging into your Homefinder Somerset account.
The simple answer is that there are not enough social housing homes to meet demand. There are over 9,300 people on the Homefinder Somerset register and only 2,107 homes were let in 2020. It is likely that there will be a long wait until you find a home. If you need a home quickly, we recommend that you look for private rented accommodation. You can improve your chances on Homefinder Somerset by bidding for flats as well as houses.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the information on your application is correct and up to date. This is because any change of circumstances may affect your Band or the size of home you need. If you do not keep your details up to date landlords may skip you.