Simply choose & move!

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					  Inside this issue…
 4 steps to a new
 home            page 2
 Your questions
 answered        page 3
 Contact us      page 4
                                   Newsletter                                                          Issue 1
A popular
There are several
misconceptions about choose
                                   Simply choose
& move. The scheme does
not mean that we have:
I more whg homes
  available to let
                                   & move!
                                   Welcome to our brand new
I more two, three or four          newsletter which brings you lots of
  bedroom houses available         useful information about choose &
  to let                           move.
I more properties to let in           For the past 12 months, all homes in Walsall have been let
  the areas that are most          using a choice based letting scheme. This means customers can
  popular.                         choose where they want to move to, rather than waiting to be
But it does mean that              allocated a property.
you are in charge of                  whg’s scheme is called choose & move. It is as simple as
where you want to live.            looking at properties we advertise to let, bidding for those you
                                   are interested in, and if your bid is successful you move in!
                                      This newsletter explains more about choose & move and
 Did you know…                     answers some of your most frequently asked questions. It also
                                   aims to encourage applicants to get involved and share their
 We have a total of 8,860
                                   views on the scheme so that we can shape it to fully meet the
 applicants looking for a
                                   needs of our customers. Turn to the back page to find out more.
 property locally and they are
 categorised into the three
 bands of gold, silver and
 bronze. Page 3 explains           Aldridge & Brownhills Housing Trust - total homes to let 294
 more about banding and                  63              59         73          27 24        48
 what it means.
 Gold 341, Silver 3359,            Bloxwich Housing Trust- total homes to let 328
 Bronze 5160.                       29             43          78    33 20                    125
 During the past year we
 let a total of 1441 homes         Central Walsall Housing Trust- total homes to let 354
 through choose & move.
                                         50             55           81                 71        15     82

KEY   I Bungalows                  Darlaston Housing Trust- total homes to let 217
      I Low rise flats (age 60+)
      I Low rise flats
                                   13         37               94         27      46
      I Multi-storey flats
      I 2 bedroom house
                                   Willenhall Housing Trust- total homes to let 248

      I 3+ bedroom house           8 9                       159               8 18     46
 Take 4 steps to a new home                                                My new home
  choose & move involves just four simple steps, but can lead you to
  a whole new future in a new home.
  Step 1 – Register
  You can register by filling in a form at our property shops and
  offices. The addresses are printed on the back page. Soon you will
  also be able to register on-line at
  Step 2 - Choose/Bid
  Properties to let are advertised in our property shops and
  offices. They are also advertised in the local free newspapers
  and at                                           Debbie Sutton is delighted to
      Properties are advertised on a Thursday and you have until the       have moved into her new home
  following Tuesday to let us know if you are interested in a property.    in Darlaston just a month after
      If you see any properties you like, and you meet the criteria        the property was advertised.
  stated in the advert, you should ‘make a bid’ by telephoning or             The three bedroom property
  calling in to your local property shop or office. You can also email     in Margaret Road was advertised
  them. Details can be found on the back page.                             in the local free newspapers on
      No money is involved in bidding – you are just telling us that       18th January and appeared in
  you are interested in a property. You can ‘bid’ for up to three          our property shops and offices,
  properties each week, so make your bids count.                           and on our website from 18th to
  Step 3 - Offer                                                           23rd January. A total of 30 bids
  After the bids have closed, we look to see who is interested and the     were received for the property.
  applicant who has been waiting to move for the longest amount of            Having previously bid for four
  time, is made an offer.                                                  other properties in the Darlaston
      Before making the offer we have to check if the applicant is         area, Mrs Sutton was very
  suitable and this usually takes a few days.                              pleased to have been successful
      Unfortunately we are not able to contact all the bidders, but if     on this occasion.
  you have not heard from us within seven days of the closing date,           Her tenancy started on 19th
  this usually means you have not been successful on this occasion.        February and Mrs Sutton was
      We publish the results in our property shops, offices and on our     surprised how quickly she was
  website. You can always find out how long the successful bidder          able to move in to her new
  has been waiting for a property.                                         home.
  Step 4 - Move                                                               She is pictured in her brand
  If your bid is successful you will be contacted by letter. This letter   new kitchen, with Carol
  will include important information about the offer and will ask you      Hollinshead from choose &
  to let us know within a few days if you want to accept.                  move in Darlaston, on the day
      It will also explain the need to pay your rent in advance.           she signed up for her new

Changes on-line                          Top tips
We are developing and                    Tip 1 Most customers place their bids by telephoning us, but
improving our website all the            telephone bids close at 5pm on a Tuesday. If you email your
time, so keep surfing!                   bid through our website at you
   Visit         can bid up until midnight.
to find out more about the               Tip 2 Remember, you will not be offered a property if you have
properties available each week at        rent arrears, if you cannot provide a suitable reference or if you
a glance.                                are considered to be unsuitable in any other way. Contact us if
   The results of recent allocations     you think this might apply to you and we can discuss your
are published on the website very        circumstances.
soon after the bids have closed.         Tip 3 Once you have been offered a property, let us know
   A host of other improvements          straightaway whether you want to accept it. If you do not want
are in the pipeline – watch this         the property, we can offer it to the next person on the list and
space!                                   you can continue bidding for other properties.

 Your questions answered
                                   Q How do you decide who               Q What do I do if I see a
 Here we answer some of
                                   can bid for a property?               property I am interested
 the questions applicants
                                   A We have rules about who is          in?
 have been asking us               eligible for the different kinds of   A Telephone or call into one of
 recently. If you still have       properties that we have               our property shops or offices or
 any further queries, please       available. Houses, for example,       email us. Full contact details
 contact your local property       can only be offered to a family.      can be found on the back page
 shop or office. Full details      A family with one child can only      or contact us through our
 are listed on the back            bid for a two bedroom house           website at www.chooseand
 page.                             and so on. The advert will  
                                   always tell you who can apply.
                                                                         Q How do you decide which
Q How do you decide which          Q How do you decide which             bid is successful?
band I am in?                      band each property is in?             A We look at the effective date
A The decision is based on your    A This depends on the type of         - usually the date you registered
personal circumstances. You will   property it is. Ground floor          with choose & move – to decide
be placed in one of three bands    flats, for example, are available     which bid is successful. This
as follows:                        to all bands, but we always give      means that the applicant with
                                   preference to the Gold band.          the earliest effective date ie the
Gold                               This is because these flats are       one who has been waiting to
I If you are homeless              suitable for applicants with          move the longest, will be
I If you need to move for          medical needs who are always          offered the property.
  medical reasons                  put in the Gold band.
I If you have any other urgent        Flats above ground floor and       Q How will I know if my bid
  need to move                     houses are shared between the         has been successful?
                                   bands on a rota basis. This           A We will contact you within
Silver                             explains why you can have two         about seven days of the closing
I If you are over 60 and need      flats or houses in the same           date for bids if you are
   to move to a ground floor       street in different bands. The        successful. Unfortunately we are
   flat or to a bungalow           rota that we use has been             not able to contact those who
I If you are a whg tenant, live    designed to achieve the               have not been successful, but
   in a flat and have dependent    following balance between the         you can check the results at our
   children                        three bands – 50% to Gold,            property shops, our offices and
I If you have fewer bedrooms       30% to Silver and 20% to              on our website.
   than you need                   Bronze.

I If you do not live, work or
  study in Walsall
I If you are adequately housed
I If you have your own

Q I think I have been put
in the wrong band. What
can I do?
A Let us know if you think we
have got it wrong and we will
look at your circumstances.
    Contact us
  Aldridge & Brownhills Housing Trust                         Darlaston Housing Trust
  Tel: 0845 330 8045                                          Tel: 0845 330 0842
  Court Parade, Aldridge, WS9 8XP                             45 King Street, Darlaston, WS1 8DE      
  Bloxwich Housing Trust                                      Willenhall Housing Trust
  Tel: 0845 330 9947                                          Tel: 0845 330 9949
  Blakenall Housing Office, Blakenall Village Centre,         Property Shop at 39/39A Market Place,
  Walsall, WS3 1LZ                                            Willenhall, WV1 2BF                
  Central Walsall Housing Trust
  Tel: 0845 330 9948                                          visit our website at
  Property Shop at 10-12 Bridge Street, Walsall, WS1 1EW

Join the group!

This newsletter was
produced with the help of
people like you!
   They told us what type
of information would be
useful and gave us ideas
about the style and layout
of the newsletter.
   We hope to produce
the newsletter twice a
year to keep applicants
fully up-to-date with
choose & move.
   If you are interested in
getting involved in the
newsletter by joining our
Applicant Focus Group,
please call Barbara
Fairclough on 0845 330

 Share your views                                                         Let us know
 In order to review and develop the choose & move services some of        If you no longer need to
 our customers will have received a questionnaire with this newsletter.
                                                                          move, have changed address
 If you have received a questionnaire please help us.
     If you complete and return the questionnaire in the pre-paid         or have just decided to stay
 envelope provided, by Friday 25th May 2007, your name will be            put, please contact us as soon
 entered into a £25 prize draw.                                           as possible.


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