Useful Contacts There are trained staff on these telephone numbers who can give you guidance and help Renting a new home You should read this leaflet if your current home is affected by Housing Market Renewal demolition proposals and you want to rent a property from First Choice Homes Oldham, a housing association or a private landlord Community Housing Officers - Derker Team (0161) 652 8873 Flint Street, Derker, OL1 4EX Community Housing Officers - 3 See the back page for the Community Housing Officers’ contact details Werneth/Freehold Team (0161) 770 4246 80 Tamworth Street, Werneth, OL9 7QY Community Links Support Officers - (0161) 331 2611/2632 Oldham Law Centre - There are a number of options for people who want to rent a new home. They are: (0161) 627 0925 1st Floor, Archway House, Bridge Street, Oldham, OL1 1ED . . . Renting from a private landlord Renting from First Choice Homes Oldham Renting from a housing association (Registered Social Landlords) All the above landlords have properties in different areas of Oldham. Oldham Housing Options Centre - 0800 328 7788 Medtia Square, Phoenix Street, Oldham OL1 1AN How do I get a First Choice Homes Oldham home? If you are currently a tenant of First Choice Homes Oldham you need to speak directly to First Choice Homes Oldham. If you are currently a tenant of a housing association you need to speak to your current landlord. All other residents should speak to a Community Housing Officer about getting a First Choice Homes Oldham property. However you make your first contact with First Choice Homes Oldham you will be placed in the high priority band for rehousing, once your registration is complete. How do I get a housing association home? The housing associations working in Oldham are West Pennine (part of the Regenda Group), Manchester Methodist (who are part of the Great Places Housing Group), Contour, Places for People (formerly known as North British), AKSA, Northern Counties, Limehurst Village Trust, Villages, Anchor, Hanover, English Churches, Housing 21 and Yorkshire Metropolitan. If you are already a housing association tenant your current landlord will visit you and discuss your preferences. Depending on your choices they may refer you on to another housing association. Owner occupiers and private tenants will normally be referred to housing associations by a Community Housing Officer. If you need advice on the process to follow please speak to your Community Housing Officer. If you are currently a First Choice Homes Oldham Tenant you will be referred to a housing association by FCHO. Will I receive any compensation for moving home? Yes. For more details see leaflet 4 ‘Compensation and Disturbance Payments’. www.oldhamrochdalehmr.co.uk September 2007 How do I apply to rent a home in Oldham? First you have to join the Oldham Housing Options register by filling in an application form. Forms are available from the Housing Options Centre, 1 Medtia Square, Phoenix Street, Oldham or from First Choice Homes Oldham Housing Offices or you can print a copy from the web site www.fcho.co.uk You will be given a high priority in the Council’s allocation process, once your registration is complete. If you are a home-owner your registration will only be complete once the sale of your home has been agreed. If you are renting from a private landlord your registration will only be complete once your landlord has agreed the sale of your home. A list of properties is advertised each week – this is called Choice Based Letting. Once registered you will be able to express your interest in any of the properties advertised. This approach gives you greater control to choose where you want to live. However each property has 'letting criteria'. For example, sheltered housing will only be let to older people or people with disabilities or a long-term illness.Your application will only be considered for a property if you meet all of the letting criteria stated in the advertisement. Some properties are 'open door' and will go to whoever has been on the waiting list longest, regardless of criteria. The FCHO and some housing association properties, advertised each week, can be seen at the Housing Options Centre, local housing offices, one stop shops, HMR offices in Derker and Werneth and on www.fcho.co.uk Once the deadline for showing an interest has passed, the applicant in greatest need who has been on the housing register the longest will normally be offered it (subject to certain checks). If your application is successful you will have an opportunity to view the property once it’s ready to let and if you like it a date will be set to agree your tenancy and sign the tenancy agreement. If you have special needs then your new property will already be suitable or alterations will be made. What happens when I am made an offer? Your offer letter or phone call will explain viewing arrangements. You are welcome to bring family or friends to the viewing. Once you have viewed the property you need to make a decision whether to accept or not. You can do this by telephoning the Housing Options Centre on 0800 328 7788. You will be given seven days from receiving the offer letter to accept it in writing. If the person making the offer does not hear from you, the property will be offered to someone else. When the property is ready you will be expected to sign for the tenancy and start paying rent. For this reason you will need to be ready to take on this responsibility. If you are an owner occupier this will need to fit in with the process of selling your home to the Council. You should receive confirmation from the Community Housing Officer or First Choice Homes Oldham that they have received your acceptance. Please contact a Community Housing Officer for advice on this process. Speak to a Community Housing Officer. Or telephone Oldham Housing Options staff on 0800 328 7788. Is there any housing especially for older people? First Choice Homes Oldham and many housing associations have a good selection of accommodation more suitable for older people. This accommodation includes bungalows and sheltered flats. Community Housing Officers will tell you about a number of locations and property types if you are interested in this. What if I have particular needs related to disability? If you have already had adaptations carried out to your current home we will find you a new home which is either already suitable or which can be adapted to meet your needs. Oldham Council will arrange and pay for these adaptations with Housing Market Renewal Funding. If you are currently in housing which does not meet your needs this will give you the opportunity to find more suitable housing. If adaptations are still required we will re-assess your needs in your new home. If you have not previously been assessed for adaptations, we will ensure that you are now. What rent will I have to pay? Rents vary depending on your landlord and the property. You will be advised of the rent before you sign up for the property. You may be entitled to Housing Benefit in your new rented home. If you are not sure about this, please make an appointment to see a Welfare Rights Officer. Otherwise you can discuss this with your housing officer when you sign up for the property. They include the Ansarai family three brothers, their mother and father, wives and children – who have moved to a home on Devon Street. Sharaz Rafique Ansari, 27, one of the three brothers, said: "We lived in a smaller house nearby and it was very crowded. My oldest son Junaid is severely disabled and now we have a specially-adapted bathroom for him - before we had to manage with an ordinary bathroom and it was very difficult. “He uses a wheelchair and the house is accessible for it. This house is lovely, we are so excited. The rooms are good sizes, it will last us for several years to come." Rented homes available in new developments The Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder is making sure that new developments offer a mix of homes for sale, rent and shared ownership. Families are now enjoying living in a new scheme in Werneth, Oldham developed by Manchester Methodist Housing Association and supported by Housing Market Renewal. Ten striking, modern homes on Norfolk Street and Devon Street are now standing proud among the traditional red brick terraces as a beacon of regeneration. New tenants include families whose previous homes will be cleared as part of the overall regeneration work in the area.