Ryedale District Council

Ryedale District Council - housing benefit

  • Affordable housing

    Information on the Council's aim to provide affordable housing and how you may be able to access affordable housing in the district.

    Ryedale District Council has identified 5 main aims; the primary aim is:-

    To meet housing need in the Ryedale District Council area.

    House prices in Ryedale are very high when considered relative to local average wages; this makes it extremely difficult for local people who have a low income to afford to buy their own home. The council works in partnership with local housing associations to tackle this.

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    In 2015/16, the Council completed 30 new affordable homes. Out of these 30 homes, 16 were affordable rent, 10 were social rent and 4 were shared ownership. This compares to 67 units delivered in 2014/15 and 40 in 2013/14.

    The Council has an annual target of 79 affordable homes.

     

    Westfield MewsNew developments on site in 2016/17 are expected to deliver around 45 additional affordable units.

     

     

    The Council is part of the North Yorkshire Strategic Housing Partnership which aims to provide a co-ordinated approach to tackling housing need across the County. Partners have agreed a common North Yorkshire Housing Strategy. Ryedale's Strategic Housing Market Assessment is available on the Ryedale Plan website.

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    Which Housing Associations are developing affordable houses in Ryedale?

    The Housing Services Manager and Rural Housing Enabler at Ryedale District Council work in partnership with the following Housing Associations to provide more affordable homes in the district:-

    What is affordable housing?

    The definition of affordable housing is taken from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) March 2012.

    Affordable housing: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

    Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in Section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rent arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

    Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of not more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

    Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent but below market levels, subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

    Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as "low cost market" housing may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

    High house prices and high private rents have meant that there is a huge demand for affordable housing. Ryedale District Council works with partner Housing Associations to run initiatives which provide low cost homes for rent and sale, to help people who are unable to afford to rent or buy a home on the open market.

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    Low cost home ownership

    The low cost home ownership schemes in the District are:

    Discount for Sale

    Help to Buy Shared Ownership

    Help to Buy: Equity loan

    How to apply to buy an affordable home in Ryedale

    An application form can be downloaded below or requested by email. The team will keep your application on file and you will be contacted when any properties become available with more specific information.

    If you would prefer to have a paper application form sent out to you please telephone the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 and request one.

    Discount for Sale Application Form can be found at the bottom of this page.

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    Discount for Sale

    If you can't afford to buy a home without help and you live or work in the immediate area and have an annual income of less than £40K or £60K for joint applicants.

    How does it work?

    Local Authorities give planning permission to private developers but set a restriction that some of the properties have to be sold at a discounted price. The private developer then sells the discounted properties direct to a buyer like you but you must meet local needs criteria.

    The discount can be any amount but is usually between 25% and 50% of the open market value.

    How do I qualify?

    The criteria is different for each scheme but first priority is normally given to those who live or work in the immediate area. If you are able to buy on the open market without help then you would not qualify. For example if your annual household income is more than £40,000 or £60K for joint applicants. If you have a deposit which is more than 15% of the value of the property we would need to know why you are applying for affordable housing.

    What happens when I want to sell the property?

    The original discount is passed on to the next person, so if you bought the property with a 25% discount you can only sell the property at 75% of the open market value.

    Do I have to pay rent?

    No, there is no rent to pay as you would own the property 100%. With discounted sale the property can only ever be sold at the set % of the open market value which means that the property will always be an affordable home.

    If you would like to apply to be considered for a Discount for Sale property please complete an application form and return it to Housing Services and your application will be kept on file. When suitable properties are nearing completion a member of the team will contact you to discuss your application.

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    Help to Buy - Shared Ownership

    If you would like to buy your own home but cannot afford it shared ownership may be an affordable option for you. The scheme enables local households to buy a share of a newly built home and pay rent on the remaining share.

    Find out more about how shared ownership works.

    What House? is an online property portal featuring hundreds of affordable homes and housing. This is a free search tool for people searching for affordable housing from housing associations and developers in the Ryedale District Council area.

    Help to buy - Equity Loan

    With a Help to Buy: Equity Loan the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.

    You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home.

    Right to Acquire

    Who has the right to buy?

    The Right to Buy scheme enables council tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. There are no council houses in the Ryedale District Council area so this is not available for anyone living in Ryedale.

    Who has the right to acquire?

    The Right to Acquire scheme enables housing association tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. For further information about the scheme and to download an application form visit Gov.uk or contact your housing association direct.

    More information is available from;

    Email Housing Services to tell us what you think about our service.

     

  • Change of circumstances

    Providing information and advice on when and how local residents are required to notify the council about a change in circumstances, which may effect their entitlement to other council services.

    If you are moving house within Ryedale or moving into the District, please let us know.

    Register to vote

    1. Go to the GOV.UK Register to Vote page. It is quick, easy and free
    2. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You’ll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.Can't find your NI Number?
    3. Look out for a confirmation letter to advise you further

    More information is available on our "Voting Information" webpage.

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    Council Tax

    If you move house and wish to inform the Council, please complete an online change of address form.

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    Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

    Types of changes you need to tell us about
    It is important to tell us about any change in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. This will enable Benefit Services to re-assess your claim accordingly and make sure you receive your correct entitlement to benefit/support. In some cases, it may be necessary to stop your claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support and ask you to complete a new application form. There are many different types of changes that we need to know about and some examples are given below.

    • When there is a change in any type of income of any member of the household, either an increase or a decrease
    • When there is a significant change in the amount of savings/capital held by any member of the household, either an increase or a decrease
    • When a member of the household moves to another address, either temporarily or permanently
    • When someone else moves into the household
    • When the whole household moves to another address
    • When a member of the household dies
    • When a new child is born
    • When there is a change in the amount of your rent, either an increase or decrease
    • When there is a change in the number of hours worked by any member of the household, either an increase or a decrease

    When you need to tell us?
    You must tell us as soon as the change in your circumstances occurs, or within one calendar month of the change occurring, otherwise you may lose benefit and support entitlement or there may be an overpayment of benefit which will need to be repaid to the Council. Even if you are waiting for documentary evidence to provide in support of the change which has occurred, you should tell us about the change straight away and provide any further information when it becomes available.

    What you need to tell us and how?
    You should confirm details of any changes of circumstances via the online form within one calendar month of the change occurring. We need to know details of what change has occurred and the exact date on which it occurred.

    What happens when we receive details of the change?
    Your claim will be reassessed to take into account the details that have changed and you will be notified in writing of how your benefit and support entitlement has been affected. Where the change means that more benefit or support is payable, the claim will only be reassessed from the Monday following the date of the change, if Benefit Services has received details of the change within one calendar month. Where the change means that less benefit or support is payable, the claim will be reassessed from the Monday following the date of the change, regardless of when Benefit Services has received details of the change.

    What will happen if you don't tell us at the relevant time?
    If Benefit Services does not receive details of a change in circumstances within one calendar month of the date on which the change occurred and the change means that more benefit is payable, the claim will only be reassessed from the Monday following the date on which the details are received. This means a loss of benefit entitlement. However, if Benefit Services does not receive details of a change in circumstances until some time after the date on which the change occurred and the change means that less benefit and support is payable, the claim will be reassessed from the Monday following the date of the change. This means that there may be an overpayment of benefit which will need to be repaid to the Council.

    Changes you need to tell us about if you receive Pension Credit
    For people receiving Guarantee Pension Credit or Savings Credit, any changes relating to income or capital must be reported to the Pension Service. There are only certain types of changes that must be reported directly to the Benefits Services at Ryedale within one calendar month of the date on which the change occurred. Details of these changes are given below.

    Guarantee Pension Credit

    • Changes to your tenancy, for example an increase in the amount of your rent charge.
    • If anyone aged 18 years or over moves into or out of your household.
    • Changes to the income of anyone aged 18 years or over living in your household.
    • If any member of the household is absent from home where the absence is likely to exceed 13 weeks.

    Savings Credit

    • Changes to your tenancy, for example an increase in the amount of your rent charge.
    • If anyone aged 18 years or over moves into or out of your household.
    • Changes to the income of anyone aged 18 years or over living in your household.
    • If any member of the household is absent from home where the absence is likely to exceed 13 weeks.
    • Changes relating to dependant children.
    • Changes to Child Tax Credit.
    • Changes to Child Benefit.
  • Debt counselling

    Information on where to get help and advice on managing any debts.

    Local Face to Face Advice

    Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau have specialist trained debt advisors, please contact them to make an appointment to see an advisor or attend their generic drop in sessions for an initial assessment of your needs.

    Address:-
    Stanley Harrison House
    Malton
    North Yorkshire
    YO17 9RD
    Phone 03444 111444

    Hope Central have specialist trained debt advisors, please contact them to make an appointment

    Address:-
    62-64 Castlegate
    Malton
    North Yorkshire
    YO17 7DZ
    Phone 01653 692616

    Personalised online and debt advice available over the telephone

    The Citizens Advice Bureau have a national website offering advice about managing your debts.

    Step Change is a national charity which can support you and provide personalised advice about managing your debts – find out more at Step Change website or by phoning 0800 1381111.

    Debt Support Trust is a registered charity. For further information visit their website or phone 0800 0850226.

    General Debt Advice

    GOV.UK - options for paying off your debts

    National Debtline

    Where can I get advice about rent arrears?

    Please contact your landlord or letting agent in the first instance to let them know that you are struggling to pay your rent. You may be able to come to an agreement to pay off what you owe in instalments.

    Contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 for advice or arrange an appointment to discuss your situation. We aim to prevent homelessness in the district and the Housing Options Team will help you to try to remain in your home.

    Stonham Homestay operate a Homelessness Prevention Service in Ryedale and they may be able to provide support. You can refer yourself to them by phoning 01653 694703 or 01723 366566.

    Contact the Housing Benefit department on 01653 600666 to see if you are eligible for any financial help.

     

     

  • Discretionary Housing Payment

    The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme covers shortfalls between rental liability and payment of Housing Benefit. Every claimant who is entitled to the minimum amount of Housing Benefit and who has a shortfall is entitled to make a claim for help.

    If your Housing Benefit is less than your eligible rent, for whatever reason, you will have to make up the difference and pay it to your landlord. If you are struggling to meet the difference between the benefit you have been awarded and your full rent you may be able toPersimmons1 request a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

    The Discretionary Housing Fund is designed to provide short-term support for exceptional and unforeseen pressures that affect claimants ability to meet their rent liability which may be a result of changes in the health or the financial position of the members of the household. It is only a limited fund and once it has been used the council does not receive any more money until the next financial year so it is not guaranteed that you will be successful when making a claim.

    To make a claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment you will need to complete an online form

    The council's revised Discretionary Housing Payment Policy is available to download and provides details of the main features of the DHP scheme and how we will operate it.

    For more information, email or telephone Benefits Services on 01653 600666.

     

  • Going into hospital

    If you, or anyone in your home, go into hospital and you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you , or someone on your behalf, must tell us immediately.

    You must tell Benefits Services the date that person went into hospital and, if available, a contact name and address.mobile phonecall
    We also need proof of any income that has reduced or stopped as a result of a hospital stay.
    If at any time that person is discharged from hospital or it is decided that person will not be returning home you must tell us immediately.

    If you don't tell us immediately, you might lose Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support or be paid too much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. If you are unable to write immediately, you should telephone or email first and then write and confirm as soon as possible.

    A stay in hospital may affect your claim for other benefits. For example, this can include:

    • Where a disabled person has been in hospital their Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment or equivalent benefit can be paid for up to 28 days (12 weeks in the case of a child) with the result that their carer will lose their entitlement to carer's allowance. The carer premium will continue to be used when reassessing benefit/support for a further eight weeks.
    • Where a carer goes into hospital, entitlement to carer's allowance is not normally lost until after 12 weeks, after which the carer premium will continue for a further eight weeks.

    If you need further advice please contact the Revenues & Benefits Services, Ryedale House, Old Malton Road, Malton YO17 7HH or telephone 01653 600666 ext 600 or email Benefits Services.

  • Homelessness prevention

    Reducing Homelessness is a key priority for the Council. The Housing Options Service aims to provide a free comprehensive Housing Advice Service so should you be homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should approach the Housing Options Team as soon as possible to give them the full details of your situation. They can give you a full range of advice and options in order to assist you.

    housing silver logo

    Reducing homelessness is a key priority for the Council. The Housing Options Service aims to provide a free comprehensive housing advice service so should you be homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should approach the Housing Options Team as soon as possible to give them the full details of your situation. They can give you a full range of advice and options in order to assist you. For a detailed advice leaflet, please visit the National Homelessness Advice Service.

    In addition to this free and impartial service, there are a number of independent organisations in the District who can also give housing advice; a list of these can be found on our Housing Advice page.

    How do I know if I will be considered as being homeless or under threat of homelessness?

    The homelessness law covers more than being out on the streets. You will be considered homeless or under threat of homelessness if:

    • You have nowhere to live in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.
    • You are afraid to go home because someone living there has been or may be violent to you or your family.
    • You have nowhere you can live together with all your family.
    • You do not have the owner's permission to stay, e.g. you are a squatter.
    • You have been locked out of your home.
    • You have somewhere to stay but it is not reasonable for you to do so, e.g. following violence, threats of violence or harassment.
    • Your home is a boat, mobile home or caravan and you have nowhere to put it.
    • You have been given Notice to Quit by your landlord.
    • You have been taken to Court by your mortgage lender for arrears and the Court has said you must leave.
    • You have been living with friends and they have asked you to leave.

    We will make every effort to prevent homelessness and in these circumstances, there may be times when the Council has a legal obligation to offer interim accommodation, whilst investigating your homelessness further. To be offered interim emergency accommodation, you must be:

    • Eligible for assistance
    • Homeless
    • In priority need

    If you have previously applied as homeless, there must also be a material change since your last application.

    Once your homelessness has been investigated in full, a legal obligation may exist to find permanent, suitable and affordable housing for some people. We fulfil this obligation by working in partnership with registered social landlords. To be offered accommodation via Ryedale District Council you must be:

    • Eligible for assistance
    • Homeless
    • In priority need
    • Not be intentionally homeless
    • Have a valid local connection with the District of Ryedale

    As we may not have a duty to fully assist all applicants, we will try to work with you before you become homeless in order to enable you to remain where you are , or to find you suitable and affordable alternative accommodation.

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    Am I eligible for assistance?

    In general you are not eligible for assistance if you are a person from abroad and unable to make a claim for housing benefit. However, this is not a definitive statement, and we would advise that you seek advice on this matter from the Council's Housing Options Team.

    Do I have a priority need?

    People are considered to have a priority need if they:

    • have dependent children living with them
    • are pregnant
    • are a person aged between 16-17 (unless a 'relevant child', or a child in need, owed a duty under s.20 of the Children Act 1989)
    • are under 21, and in care or fostered between the ages of 16-18
    • are 21 or more, and vulnerable as a result of having been looked after or fostered (except for 'relevant students')
    • are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness or handicap, or physical disability
    • are vulnerable due to having been a member of Her Majesty's regular naval, military or air forces
    • are vulnerable due to having been in prison
    • are vulnerable as a result of violence from another person, or vulnerable due to another special reason
    • are homeless due to flood, fire or other disaster

    What is interim / temporary accommodation?

    If a duty exists to offer you interim / temporary accommodation, this may include;

    • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
    • Other temporary accommodation
    • Hostel accommodation

    What happens if I am not in priority need?

    If you are not in Priority Need, the Council has a duty to provide you with advice and assistance to help you to secure your own accommodation. We can work with you to help you, but it may take a while until accommodation can be found. The Council does not have a duty to provide interim / temporary or permanent accommodation for you when you are not in Priority Need, although if such accommodation is available this may be considered.

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    Am I intentionally homeless?

    This means the Council thinks you chose to leave a home which you could have stayed in, or that it was your fault that you lost your home, or you unreasonably failed to take up accommodation which was available to you.

    This would apply if:

    • You chose to sell your home when there was no risk of losing it.
    • You lost your home because of wilful and persistent refusal to pay rent or mortgage payments.
    • You have neglected your affairs having disregarded advice from a qualified person.
    • You voluntarily gave up adequate accommodation in this country or abroad without first having found secure accommodation to move into, when it would have been reasonable for you to stay there.
    • You have been evicted for anti-social behaviour.
    • You have voluntarily resigned from a job with tied accommodation where circumstances indicate it would have been reasonable to continue in the employment.
    • You entered into an arrangement causing you to leave accommodation which was otherwise available to you.

    When a homelessness application is made, the officer dealing with your application will have to check to see if you have deliberately done something or deliberately not done something that resulted in you becoming homeless. If you are considered "intentionally homeless", the Council may only have to provide temporary accommodation for a reasonable period of time, possibly 28 days, while you make your own arrangements to find alternative accommodation.

    Do I have a local connection?

    You would have a local connection with the Ryedale District if you, or a person you would normally live with, has:

    • Lived in the District for six out of the last 12 months, or three out of the last five years
    • Has close family associations within the District who have lived in the District for al least the last five years
    • Have permanent employment within the District

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    What happens if I apply as homeless?

    Should you make a homelessness application, you will be interviewed, possibly on more than one occasion, by the officer dealing with your application. All homelessness application are dealt with under the relevant legislation; Housing Act 1996 Part VII (Homelessness), (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002). The interview will be conducted in private and all the information you provide will be treated in confidence. In some cases it may be necessary to contact a third party, such as your doctor, other local authority, the Police or Children's and Young People's Services in order to complete necessary enquiries. You will be asked to give your authorisation for these enquiries to be made. You will also be asked to provide certain relevant documents, such as a tenancy agreement, or proof of your income.

    Once your homeless application has been investigated in full, you will receive a written decision on your application. We aim to make a decision and inform you of it within 33 working days of you initially making the homeless application. If you disagree with the decision made, you have the right to request a review. The letter you receive informing you of the decision of your homelessness application will also include information on how to request a review, should you wish to do so.

    Young people's housing solution "The Hub". Information and advice on accessing homelessness and advice services for young people in Ryedale.

    Housing hub logoWorking in partnership with Health and Adult Services, Children and Young People's Services and other local housing support and accommodation providers, Ryedale District Council deals with all 16-25 year olds needing housing advice and support through a Hub based at the Council.

    The Young People's Housing Solutions @The Hub is in your area to assist with all issues around housing and homelessness.

    We offer

    • Support if you are a young person aged between 16-25 and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
    • General housing advice and support around issues like benefits and managing a tenancy.
    • Offer you support and help to stay in your own home where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

    However, we know staying at home isn't always suitable or possible, so we offer a range of accommodation and support services.

    Staff in the hub will

    • Talk you through everything and make sure you have a clear understanding of your options so you can make an informed choice.
    • Answer any questions you have.
    • Take into account your wishes and feelings.
    • Provide you with a support worker who will help you through the entire process.

    As parents have parental responsibility until their child is 18, they will always be contacted by the Council for clarification of circumstances. If a young person presents as homeless Ryedale District Council will offer to refer people with relationship problems to mediation services, to try to solve their problems even if only in the short term.

    Due to the lack of affordable accommodation in the District, many people feel they have no choice but to declare friends/relatives as 'homeless' in the belief it will help them. However there is a severe lack of housing available and attempts to solve housing problems must be sought first.

    Accommodation

    SASH - Safe and Sound Homes
    The Council may refer young single homeless people to an organisation called 'SASH' where a night stop placement will be organised. Transport, meal and a bed for the night are provided by volunteers within their home. All referrals come through the hub at Ryedale District Council.

    SASH
    SASH offers supported lodgings in Ryedale for young people referred to us via the Housing Hub. Young people placed with by SASH live in the home of a carefully recruited host, for up to two years. The host and project workers support young people to develop their independence skills, such as budgeting and basic cooking. The host provides a suitable room of their own, breakfast and an evening meal daily.

    The young people are encouraged to continue/ begin an education programme/ job and can be referred for additional specialist support with personal issues they wish to work on. All referrals come through the hub at the Council.

    Support
    The Ryedale Hub offers support to 16 - 25 year olds to obtain and maintain accommodation in the Ryedale District.

    The Hub is a partnership of Ryedale District Council, Ryedale YMCA and Foundation providing a variety of accommodation, including rooms in supported accommodation at Derwent Lodge - staffed 24 hours a day, to independent accommodation across Ryedale.

    What is the council doing to tackle homelessness?

    Independent advice for young people about housing and homelessness is available from Shelter.

    Housing Forum

    The Housing Forum meets quarterly at Ryedale House and issues involving the provision of affordable homes, homelessness and support for vulnerable people are discussed. Meetings are attended by Housing Association staff, Housing Options Staff, Councillors, staff from support agencies in the Ryedale area, Youth workers, mental health professionals and other agencies including community groups who help support people. Agencies share information and good practice and work together to achieve the aims of the Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan. For more information please contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666.

    Homelessness Strategy

    The council is required by law to produce a Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan and this is a detailed document that describes the local aims of the Housing Services Department and how they are tackling homelessness in partnership with other agencies in the district, and what measures are in place to prevent homelessness locally. The Homelessness Strategy is produced after consultation with service users, staff and partner agencies. The Action Plan is reviewed annually.

    Multi-agency work

    The Housing Team work closely with other statutory and non-statutory agencies in the area including North Yorkshire Police, Mental Health Services, Health Visitors, Foundation, Domestic Abuse Services, Stonham, Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau, Horton Housing, Housing Associations, etc. Staff from the Housing Team attend many local meetings to share information about local services and work together to prevent homelessness in the area.

    Ryedale is a member of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership. The partnership identifies and responds to key housing issues and has a Joint Strategic Housing Strategy. For further information visit the partnership website

    The Housing Options Team

    The Housing Options Team offer housing advice appointments most weekdays and can advise landlords and tenants about their legal rights and responsibilities. They carry out holistic work including a financial assessment and can signpost clients to many other agencies who may be able to help them with specialist needs. Their main aim is to prevent homelessness and they have good links with the housing benefit team, housing associations and private landlords in the Ryedale area. They may be able to negotiate on behalf of a tenant and help them to access benefits or charity payments to prevent their homelessness. The Housing Options Team also deal with Homelessness Applications and source temporary accommodation for eligible homeless people in the Ryedale District.

    Homelessness prevention toolkit

    The Housing Options Team have access to a number of options they can use to try to prevent homelessness by keeping someone in their current home or helping them to access alternative accommodation. This includes:-

    • Bond Guarantee Scheme
    • Rent In Advance
    • Bond Payment
    • Mortgage Repossession Loan Scheme
    • Discretionary Housing Payments (accessed through housing benefit team)

    Housing solutions

    The Housing Options Team have specialist officers who work with people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to source properties in the private sector including lodgings, rooms in shared houses and independent flats and houses.

    Tenancy Support

    The Housing Options team make referrals to Stonham Homestay who provide a homelessness prevention service in Ryedale and they can help people to find ways to pay the rent or resolve other issues in order that they can stay in their current home.

    I have mortgage arrears and am worried that my home will be repossessed – where can I get advice?

    If you are at risk of losing your home due to mortgage arrears please contact the Housing Options Team as soon as possible on 01653 60066 and arrange an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer.

    Mortgage Lenders are required to follow a specific set of actions (visit Shelter for details of the pre-action protocol) before taking legal action to repossess properties and the team can check whether the lender has met their legal obligations, this may result in you having more time to find an appropriate solution.

    The Housing Options Team may refer you to specialist advisors who provide a free service and can contact you directly by telephone to go through your personal circumstances and advise you about your options. The Housing Options Officer can also consider, if you can afford it, whether you may be eligible for a Breathing Space loan to help you to keep your home.

    If the Housing Options Team are unable to help you to remain in your home the officer will help you to find alternative accommodation.

    If you decide to sell your home rather than having it repossessed, advice is available with regard to an Assisted Voluntary Sale, Assisted Sale or Supported Sale. A brief explanation of this process is available from Stepchange

    Financial assistance is available for some people who are struggling to pay their mortgage through Job Centre Plus or the Pension Service, this is called Support for Mortgage Interest or SMI. More information is available at GOV.UK.

    Free debt advice is available for people with mortgage arrears. The housing options team can refer you to a local specialist debt advisor through Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau or you can obtain free advice from StepChange online or call free on 0800 138 1111 (inc mobiles).

    The Money Advice Service, National Debtline and Shelter also have websites with detailed advice for homeowners who are struggling with mortgage arrears.

    10 Step Guide

    We have developed a 10 Step Guide to keeping your home, available to download and print below for future reference

    If you are in arrears with your mortgage or rent, and your landlord or lender is considering (or it has begun) action to repossess your home - be guided by the following steps:

    1. Communication is vital
    Respond to any correspondence you receive from your landlord or mortgage company and talk to them about the situation. They may be prepared to enter into an agreement that could avoid the need for possession proceedings at all. Keep a written record of any correspondence and confirm what you agree in writing.

    2. Get advice straight away
    Try to get advice about what to do as soon as possible. Speak to the Duty Housing Options Officer at Ryedale House or contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. There are other agencies and help-lines where you can also seek advice—please enquire with the Housing Options team for further information or see our website.

    3. Make sure you turn up to Court
    We strongly advise you to attend court. Key House will be able to provide FREE legal advice and support you on the day at court. If you do not attend court, the judge will have no alternative but to award possession of your home to your landlord or lender.

    4. Get to Court early
    Make sure you arrive in good time for your hearing. If your case is called on without you being there, an order will be made in your absence.

    5. Try to reach an agreement
    Even if proceedings have been issued it is never too late to try and reach an agreement, either before the hearing or even on the day of the hearing.

    6. Bring along someone to support you
    You can take a family member or friend along for moral support however they may not be able to go into the court room with you.

    7. Take all relevant paperwork to court
    If there are documents that may be relevant to your case, for example, letters from the Benefits Agency or correspondence about the prospective sale of your property, bring them with you.

    8. Tell the judge everything relevant
    Once you are in the hearing you should ensure you explain to the judge in clear and concise language everything you think may be relevant to your case. A typical hearing will take about 10 minutes so time is limited to present your case.

    9. Don’t assume that the Judge will make a Possession Order
    Judges are human and may have more sympathy for your situation than you give them credit for depending on the supporting evidence you provide.

    10. Don’t assume that the Judge will be a ‘soft touch’ either!
    The Judge can’t help you if there is nothing to work with, and can only make a lawful decision on the information presented to them.

    Where can I get housing advice in an emergency out of office hours when the council is closed?

    If you live in Ryedale and you become suddenly homeless and need help to find emergency accommodation ring 01653 697737 and the operator will arrange for a duty officer to contact you.

    What is the council doing to help people who sleep rough?

    If you or someone you know is sleeping rough you should contact the Housing Options Team on 01653 600666 and make an appointment to see a duty officer. The officer will fully assess the persons needs and situation and give advice about their options and also link them up with other support agencies in the area who may be able to assist and support them.

    no second nightNo Second Night Out

    We work in partnership with neighbouring authorities in North Yorkshire to deliver the Single Homeless: No Second Night Out (NSNO) Action Plan.

    The No Second Night Out Principles are:-

    1. New rough sleepers are identified and helped off the streets immediately so they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle
    2. Members of the public play an active role in reporting and referring people sleeping rough
    3. Rough sleepers are helped to access a place of safety where their needs can be quickly assessed and they can receive advice on their options
    4. They are able to access emergency accommodation and other services, such as healthcare, if needed
    5. People from other areas should be re-connected back to their local community unless there is a good reason not to do so
    6. Offer of accommodation
      Within 7 days of the assessment taking place, we will try to find suitable accommodation for the rough sleeper, if they are still in need of accommodation and willing to work with our service and support services. The accommodation may be in Ryedale or elsewhere depending on the individuals' needs, local connection, support network and the availability of accommodation. We will make a Single Service Offer in writing and may provide assistance to take up that offer through sub-regional funding.

    In Ryedale there are very few people who sleep rough, however we provide advice and assistance for anyone sleeping rough and will support them into settled accommodation.  This plan outlines the projects and resources provided to address rough sleeping. Our offer to tackle rough sleeping in the district is shown below:-

    1. Identifying rough sleepers
    The Housing Options Team works with local agencies to raise awareness of how to get help for someone sleeping rough. The team can be contacted on the main council number during office hours or through our out of hours emergency contact number 01653 697737 or by contacting Streetlink on 0300 500 0914

    2. Completing a needs assessment
    We will normally offer an interview at the council building in Malton but alternative venues throughout the district can be arranged. We will try to carry out the interview the next working day if at all possible.

    3. Provide emergency accommodation
    We do not have a direct access hostel in Ryedale but our housing options staff may be able to find suitable emergency accommodation.

    4. Provide information, advice and support
    We will offer a full assessment, give housing options advice and refer all rough sleepers for housing related support and any other support that may meet their individual needs. We may be able to offer assistance to access private rented accommodation and assistance to apply for social housing.

    5. Assistance with reconnection
    Where a rough sleeper has no local connection to Ryedale we can support them to reconnect with another district in the United Kingdom or abroad. We follow the guidelines provided by HomelessLink Reconnections Toolkit.

    Ryedale District Council is signed up to the York and North Yorkshire No Second Night Out Pledge which is an initiative designed to provide support to rough sleepers to help them off the streets. Funds are available to provide bespoke support and help people who have been sleeping rough to find settled accommodation.

    For more information, visit Street Link or telephone 0300 500 0914.

    Contact

    Email Housing Services
    Tel: Housing Options on 01653 600666

    Ryedale District Council
    Ryedale House
    Malton
    YO17 7HH

     

  • Houses in multiple occupation safety inspection

    The aim of this page is to provide some background information so that owners, private sector landlords and managing agents will be aware of the relevant content of the Housing Act 2004.

    The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (the HHSRS) replaced the Housing Fitness Standard, and significantly changed the way housing conditions are assessed. The Act introduced licensing for certain houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), for example, hostels, bedsits, flats and some shared houses; and some major changes to the way in which local authorities take action against unacceptable housing conditions in the private sector.

    More detailed guidance is available from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). Please see the links at the bottom of this page.

    What is the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)?

    The HHSRS is a risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and safety of occupants of any type of dwelling. It can also be applied to an empty dwelling.

    The assessment method focuses on the hazards that are most likely to be present in housing. It looks at the likelihood of a dangerous incident arising from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome. The assessment is always carried out for the age group most vulnerable to the hazard in question.

    Where there are hazards, the assessment could show the presence of serious (Category 1) hazards and other less serious (Category 2) hazards.

    The overall principle behind the HHSRS is that all dwellings (including the building structure, outbuildings, gardens, yards and access routes), should provide a safe and healthy environment for the people who live in and visit them. Dwellings should be free from unnecessary and avoidable hazards/dangers or, if they are unavoidable, they should be made as safe as reasonably possible.

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    The HHSRS covers 29 hazards which are assessed separately

    1 Damp and Mould Growth  Threats to mental & physical well-being from living with dampness, mould and fungal growths and dust mites
    Most Vulnerable: 14 years or less 
    2 Excess cold Threats to health from exposure to sub-optimal indoor temperatures.
    Most Vulnerable: 65 years plus
    3 Excess heat Caused by excessively high indoor temperatures.
    Most Vulnerable: 65 years plus
    4 Asbestos and MMF Caused by exposure to asbestos and manufactures mineral fibres (MMF)
    Most Vulnerable: no specific group
    5 Biocides Threats to health from those chemicals used to treat mould growth and timber in dwellings.
    Most Vulnerable: no specific group
    6 Carbon Monoxide
    and fuel combustion products
    Hazards due to high levels of Carbon Monoxide. Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and smoke in the atmosphere.
    Most Vulnerable: For CO – 65 years plus, for NO²,SO² & smoke – no specific group
    7 Lead Threats to health from the ingestion of lead
    Most Vulnerable: Under 3 years
    8 Radiation Threats to health from radon gas, airborne, or dissolved in water. Eg leakage from microwaves might be considered.
    Most Vulnerable: People aged 60-64 who have had a lifetime exposure to radon
    9 Uncombusted fuel gas The threat of asphyxiation due to fuel gas escaping into the atmosphere within a dwelling.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group
    10 Volatile organic compounds VOCs are diverse group of organic chemicals which includes formaldehyde that are gaseous at room temperature and are found in a variety of materials within the home.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group
    11 Crowding and space Health hazards linked to a lack of living space for sleeping and a normal family household life.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group
    12 Entry by intruders Problems keeping a dwelling secure against unauthorised entry, and the maintenance of defensible space.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    13 Lighting  Threats to physical and mental health linked to inadequate natural light and/or artificial light. It includes the psychological effect associated with the view from the dwelling through glazing.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    14 Noise  Threats to physical and mental health caused by noise exposure inside the dwelling or within its curtilage.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    15 Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse  Health hazards due to poor design, layout and construction to the point where the dwelling cannot really be kept clean and hygienic; access into and harbourage within dwelling for pests; inadequate and unhygienic provision for storing and disposal of household waste.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    16 Food safety Threats to infection due to inadequate facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    17 Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage  Threats of infection and threats to mental health associated with personal hygiene, including personal washing and clothes washing facilities, sanitation and drainage.
    Most Vulnerable: Under 5 years 
    18 Water supply for domestic purposes  The quality and adequacy of the water supply for drinking and for domestic purposes such as cooking, washing, cleaning and sanitation.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group
    19 Falls associated with baths etc Falls associated with a bath, shower or similar facility.
    Most Vulnerable: 60 years plus 
    20  Falls on the Level Falls on any level surface such as floors, yards and paths. It also includes falls associated with trip steps, thresholds or ramps, where the change in level is less than 300mm.
    Most Vulnerable: 60 years plus
    21 Falls associated with stairs and steps Falls associated with stairs, steps and ramps where the change in level is greater than 300mm. It includes falls on stairs or internal ramps within the dwelling, internal common stairs or ramps, within a building, access to the dwelling and to shared facilities or means of escape in case of fire. It also includes falls over stair, step or ramp guarding (balustrading).
    Most Vulnerable: 60 years plus
    22 Falls between levels Falls from one level to another, inside or outside a dwelling, where the difference in levels is more than 300mm, eg falls out of windows, falls from balconies or landings, falls from accessible roofs, into basement wells, and over garden retaining walls.
    Most Vulnerable: Under 5 years 
    23 Electrical hazards  Hazards from electric shock or electric shock or electricity burns, including from lightning strikes.
    Most Vulnerable: Under 5 years 
    24 Fire Threats from uncontrolled fire and smoke. It includes injuries from clothing catching alight, which appears to be common when people attempt to put out a fire. It does not include clothing catching alight from a controlled a fire by reaching across a gas flame or an open fire used for space heating.
    Most Vulnerable: 60 years plus
    25 Hot surfaces and materials Burns or injuries caused by contact with a hot flame or fire, and contact with hot objects or hot non-water based liquids, and scalds – injuries caused by contact with hot liquids and vapours. It includes burns caused by clothing catching alight from a controlled fire or flame.
    Most Vulnerable: Under 5 years 
    26 Collision and entrapment This includes risks of physical injury from: Trapping body parts in architectural features, eg trapping limbs or fingers in doors/windows; Colliding with objects eg glazing, windows, doors, low ceilings and walls.
    Most Vulnerable: Under 5 years 
    27 Explosions Threat from the blast of an explosion, from debris generated from the blast, and from the partial or total collapse of a building as the result of an explosion.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group 
    28 Ergonomics  Threat of physical strain associated with functional space and other features at dwellings.
    Most Vulnerable: 60 years plus 
    29 Structural collapse and falling elements  The threat of the dwelling collapsing, or a part of the fabric falling because of inadequate fixing or disrepair, or as a result of adverse weather conditions. Structural failure may occur internally or externally.
    Most Vulnerable: No specific group

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    Who assesses dwellings?

    Housing Officers will carry out assessments. Local Authorities are responsible for ensuring that their officers have the skills to perform efficiently on behalf of the authority. Inspectors must follow the HHSRS methodology and will make reference to the HHSRS 'Operating Guidance' provided by the government to ensure a high degree of consistency countrywide.

    Which properties will be assessed?

    Any property that comes to the Local Authority's attention, through a complaint for example, can be assessed. We do not have to inspect every property in Ryedale, but we will inspect if we have reason to do so. We also have a strategic duty to keep the housing stock in Ryedale under review.

    What are the most common Category 1 hazards?

    The most common hazards are cold, fire, falls, lead in drinking water pipes and old paintwork, and hot surfaces that could lead to burns and scalds eg fires, heaters, cookers and hot taps.

    What happens if a property is found to contain a serious hazard?

    Local Authorities have a duty to take the most appropriate action in relation to the hazard. We are advised to try to deal with any problems informally at first, however, the Housing Act 2004 gives local authorities new enforcement options for dealing with unacceptable housing conditions.

    If we consider it the most appropriate action, we can implement any of the following:

    • Serve an improvement notice requiring remedial works (the most likely)
    • Make a prohibition order, which closes the whole or part of a dwelling or restricts the number of permitted occupants.
    • A suspended version of either of the above, which would put any works on hold until there is a 'trigger event' eg where there is a hazard/danger but the household living in the dwelling does not include a member of the age group most vulnerable to the hazard. The trigger event would be when the situation changed and the household did include a vulnerable person.
    • Serve a hazard awareness notice which tells the property owner that there is a hazard/danger but which does not require them to take any action at that time.
    • Take emergency remedial action.
    • Make an emergency prohibition order.
    • Make a demolition order.
    • Include the property in a clearance area.

    Landlords, owners or managing agents face fines of up to £5,000 for not complying with a statutory notice.

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    Enforcement Action under the Housing Act 2004

    For information about housing tribunals visit GOV.UK - solve a residential property dispute.

    Hazard flowchart

    For further information please email the Housing department or telephone 01653 600666.

    Protecting tenants against unfair eviction

    On 1 October 2015 a number of provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force. These provisions are designed to protect tenants against unfair eviction where they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home.

    These provisions also require that landlords provide all new tenants with information about their rights and responsibilities as tenants. They provide that a landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice unless they have complied with certain legal responsibilities, and introduce a new standard form that landlords must use when evicting a tenant under the ‘no fault’ (section 21) procedure. This will make it more straightforward for landlords to evict a tenant where it is legitimate to do so.

    These provisions apply to all new assured shorthold tenancies that started on or after 1 October 2015.

    Retaliatory evictions
    Retaliatory eviction' is when a tenant is evicted for:

    • complaining about the condition of the property
    • asking for repairs or maintenance

    The right to evict tenants
    A 'section 21 notice to quit', which asks tenants to leave rented accommodation will be invalid if:

    • before the section 21 notice was issued, the tenant made a complaint in writing to the landlord regarding the condition of the property. A complaint will be deemed to have been made if a tenant did not have their landlord's postal or email address, or has made reasonable efforts to contact the landlord to complain but was unable to do so
    • the landlord:
      - did not provide a response to the complaint within 14 days of the complaint being made
      - in their response did not describe the action they would take to address the complaint or give a reasonable timescale within which that action would be taken
      - served a 'section 21 notice to quit' following the complaint being made
    • the tenant then made a complaint to the local housing authority about the same matter
    • the local housing authority served a 'relevant notice' (see below) in relation to the complaint
    • if the section '21 notice to quit' was not served after the tenant’s complaint to the local housing authority

    Relevant notices
    Relevant notices, which can be served to landlords by the local housing authority, are:

    • improvement notices relating to 'Category 1 Hazards' (Housing Act 2004)
    • improvement notices relating to 'Category 2 Hazards' (Housing Act 2004)
    • notices relating to 'Emergency Remedial Action' (Housing Act 2004)

    From the day a relevant notice is served in relation to an AST in England, a 'section 21 notice to quit' may not be issued within six months, or in the case of a 'suspended notice', within six months of the end of the suspension.

    Possession orders
    Where a 'section 21 notice to quit' is invalid, landlord's will not be able to apply for an 'order for possession' through the courts.

    Please email the Council’s Private Sector Team or call 01653 600666 ext 320 for further information.

     

  • Housing benefit appeals

    Anyone who has claimed housing benefit and disagrees with the decision made in their assessment can challenge the decision by submitting an appeals form within one month of the date of the original decision. The authority is responsible for advising claimants of appeal procedures and investigating each appeal.

    It is very important that you check the information on your benefit decision notice to make sure that you agree with the income, savings cash smalland where appropriate, the amount of rent which has been used in the calculation. However, the amount of rent that has been used in the calculation will not necessarily be the full amount of rent you have to pay.
     
    You can ask that we explain to you in writing exactly how your entitlement was calculated before you decide whether to appeal. For more information see our leaflet Understanding our decision and Making an Appeal in attachments at the bottom of the page.

    If you want us to look at the decision again or appeal

     If you do decide that you are not happy with your benefit entitlement and you would like us to look at your claim again, or, if you want to appeal against it, you should make your request in writing to be received at this office within one calendar month of the date on the decision notice.
     
    Appeals made more than one month after your notification of benefit entitlement should also explain the delay in making an appeal.
     
    Your claim will be looked at by a different member of staff and a full explanation given. If you are still unhappy with the decision you can ask for your appeal to be sent to the Independent Appeals Tribunal service.
     
  • Housing benefit backdated claims

    A claimant may be eligible for their claim for housing benefit to be backdated (by up to 1 month for Working Age claimants and 3 months for Pensionable Age claimants) if there is a good cause why they were unable to apply for their housing benefit earlier. The authority is responsible for advising residents about eligibility for backdating claims and for processing applications.

    You must make a written request for backdating and you can do this by writing a letter to us or by completing a form to request completing formbackdating. This form is available - Application for backdated Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support form to print off at the foot of the page or if you don't have access to a printer pick one up from Ryedale House or request one by phone.

    You can send your request for backdating with your Housing Benefit application form when you apply for benefit or if you have already received a benefit decision notice from this office, you can request for the claim to be backdated to an earlier date, but in this case you must make sure your request is received at this office within one calendar month of the date on your decision notice.

    If you wish to contact the Benefits office for more information on your backdated claim please phone 01653 600666 or email Benefits Services.

  • Housing benefit current claim

    Review of housing benefit for an existing customer usually as a result of a change of circumstances (new job, change of address etc.)

    You must tell us straight away, in writing, if there is a change in your, or any member of your household's circumstances as it may effect you benefit entitlement.completing form

    Even a small change may affect how much money we can pay you. If you don't tell us straight away, it might affect the amount of benefit that you are receiving.

    Further details can be found in our reporting a change in circumstances leaflet.

    If you are unable to write immediately, you should telephone first and then write or email and confirm as soon as possible. Please remember you must also send us proof of your new circumstances. You can also download the Change of circumstances form to complete and return as soon as possible.

    What happens if you do not tell us immediately

    If you do not tell us within one calendar month of all changes, and you are entitled to more benefit, your claim can only be reassessed from the Monday after the date we receive them.

    If you are entitled to less benefit, your claim can only be reassessed from the Monday after the date of your change. This will mean you have been paid too much benefit and this overpayment will need to be repaid.

    If you need further advice please contact the Benefits Services, Ryedale House, Old Malton Road, Malton YO17 7HH or telephone 01653 600666 ext 600 or email Benefits Services.

  • Housing benefit new claim

    Housing Benefit is a benefit paid to householders to help with the payment of their rent and is sometimes referred to as "rent allowance".  Claims require evidence of tenancy and income in order to assess eligibility for benefit.

    Who can claim?

    You can claim Housing Benefit if you pay rent on a home you occupy and you receive:new persimmons

    • Income Support;
    • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
    • Guarantee Pension Credit;
    • or you are on a low income.

    How can I claim?

    You can log onto our benefits calculator to find out if you might qualify before completing an application form, which you can do via our online application form.

    You will need to complete all the relevant questions, sign and date the declaration and provide all the original documentary information requested on the form in support of your application. If you cannot provide all the evidence with the application form, send the form back straightaway so you will not lose out on your date of claim and make sure you provide any other evidence within four weeks.

    For full details on claiming Housing Benefit and up to date information on how other DWP benefits may affect your benefit claim log on to GOV.UK.

    For further information on rents go to our Local Housing Allowance page or visit The Valuation Office Agency website which holds information on Local Housing Allowance, and fair rents.

  • Housing benefit overpayments

    The local authority has a duty to recover overpayments of benefit for which there was no entitlement from tenants and landlords and where necessary take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments.

    How will I know if I have got an overpayment?money pounds
    We will write and tell you when this happens. We will tell you;

    • What caused the overpayment.
    • The dates of the overpayment.
    • The amount of the overpayment.
    • What to do if you disagree with the overpayment.

    If we are going to ask you to pay back the overpayment we will write to you again to tell you how this will be done.

    If you do not agree with the overpayment you may want to appeal against the decision.

    How is the overpayment recovered?

    • If you are still getting Housing Benefit, your benefit may be reduced each week to recover the overpayment.
    • If you no longer qualify for benefit then an invoice will be sent to you..
    • If your landlord was paid your benefit, we may ask the landlord to repay the overpayment in certain circumstances.
    • If your circumstances change, don't forget to let us know as soon as possible.

    It is very important that you tell us of any change in circumstances to avoid an overpayment of benefit.

    If you need further advice please contact the Benefits Services on 01653 600666 ext 600 or email Benefits Services.

  • Local Housing Allowance

    Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is for people on a low income renting from a private landlord. The LHA is based on the broad rental market area and the number of bedrooms the tenant is allowed (based on who lives with them), not on how much their rent is.


    With LHA, your benefit will be based on:Semis in Malton

    • Who lives with you
    • Which area you live in
    • How much money you have coming in
    • What savings you have

    How much will I get?
    Under the Local Housing Allowance rules, we will limit the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can get. This is called the standard Local Housing Allowance and has been calculated by a rent officer. Ryedale District Council has two sets of LHA rates, Scarborough and York.

    The Local Housing Allowance is based on rent prices for the area you live in and the number of rooms Housing Benefit rules say are needed for your household. The Rent Service reviews rents and uses this information to establish an LHA rate for the different types of accommodation and sends us details of these rates. We apply the appropriate rate to all claims we receive in that month.This may not be the same number of rooms you are actually living in. You may find the amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to won't cover all your rent. If this is the case, you may have to make up the difference out of any other income you have, or find cheaper accommodation.

    Under the new scheme you can work out the number of bedrooms required by your household and then look up your LHA rate in the download tables or you can find out your Local Housing Allowance on the GOV.UK website.

    LHA is the maximum amount that you can receive and may reduce depending on your income, savings and circumstances.

    Please note:
    If you are single and under 35 years old and do not have a dependant or non-dependant living with you as part of your household, you will only be entitled to the shared room rate. Single claimants aged 35 years old and over, care leavers under 22 years old and childless couples will qualify for the one bedroom rate of LHA, but only if they have either exclusive use of two or more rooms, or exclusive use of one room, a bathroom, a toilet, and a kitchen or facilities for cooking.

    Local Housing Allowance changes from Monday, 1 April 2013

    Housing Benefit claimants whose benefit entitlement is assessed subject to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules will no longer have their entitlement reviewed on the anniversary of their claim.

    From April 2013 all LHA claims will no longer have an anniversary date which may vary dependant on when housing benefit was initially claimed. Instead the LHA rate for all claims will be reviewed on the 1 April each year or the first Monday following this date, if rent is charged weekly.

    Instead of being linked to local rent levels from April 2013 the LHA rates will be increased by the inflation amount of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and it is expected that next April's LHA rates will be published by the Rent Service in December 2012.

    To avoid some claimants having two re-assessments of the LHA close together any claims with anniversary dates between January 2013 and March 2013 will not be reviewed until April 2013.

    Any benefit claims affected by these changes will be automatically re-assessed at the appropriate time. If you have a change in your circumstances you must let us know as soon as possible.

    If you have any more queries please contact the Benefits Services, Ryedale House, Old Malton Road, Malton, YO17 7HH – telephone (01653) 600666 ext 600 or email Benefits Services.

  • Mutual home exchange

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including the main provider of social housing, Yorkshire Housing.

    How can I apply for a house exchange within North Yorkshire?

    If you are currently a tenant in North Yorkshire in a Housing Association property rented from one of the landlords shown below you can use the mutual exchange scheme through the North Yorkshire Homechoice website.

    Who are the local partner landlords taking part in mutual exchange?

    Where can I get more information about the process?

    A guide to mutual exchange is available online at North Yorkshire Homechoice.

    Should I contact my landlord about mutual exchange?

    You should contact your current landlord to seek advice if you want to exchange your property.

    Can I advertise for a home swap independently?

    Some people advertise locally in small adverts in local shops or local newspapers in order to find a household who want to swap homes. Some people also use social media such as facebook to advertise for a home swap. If you find another household who want to swap houses with you, it is essential that you contact your landlords.

    Can I get a house swap to an area outside North Yorkshire?

    There are national websites available which you can use to advertise for a house swap to another region of the country. You must also contact your own landlord for advice.

    Can I get a house swap and move into the area if I currently live outside North Yorkshire?

    There are national websites available which you can use to advertise for a house swap to another region of the country. You must also contact your own landlord for advice.

     

  • Property register

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including Yorkshire Housing, the main provider of social housing. To contact Yorkshire Housing telephone 0345 3664404.

    north yks homechoice logo Feb 2017

    The Housing Register

    The housing register is a waiting list of applicants applying for social housing. Homes are allocated on the basis of housing need, length of time on the register and choice of area and property type. We have formed a partnership with Housing Associations who have properties in Ryedale, so that most social rented properties are let through one single housing register.

    How do I apply for a Council House in Ryedale?

    There are no council houses in the District and all social housing is provided by Housing Associations including:-

    How do I apply for a Housing Association House in Ryedale?

    Social housing in Ryedale is advertised on the North Yorkshire Home Choice website. All properties are allocated in accordance with the common allocations policy.

    Ryedale District Council and Yorkshire Housing are amongst the partners who have developed this policy and they work together across North Yorkshire according to strict guidelines.

    How can I get housing advice in Ryedale?

    If you require housing advice contact the Housing Options Team at Ryedale District Council or telephone our customer services team on 01653 600666 to arrange an appointment with the duty officer. Appointments are normally available every weekday except Wednesday at Ryedale House in Malton.

     

     

  • Rent arrears

    Information and advice on what to do if you fail to pay your rent. Paying rent is a key part of your tenancy agreement. If you fail to pay your rent you could be at risk of becoming homeless.

    The Council is a non stock holding authority but several Housing Associations provide social housing in the district, including the main provider of social housing, Yorkshire Housing.

    What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?.

    Am I getting all of the benefits I am entitled to?.

    What if I am struggling with more than one debt?.

    What if I can pay my rent but don't pay it?.

    What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?

    Paying rent can sometimes be difficult if you are on a low income or have money problems. Here is a brief guide of what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

    • Don't panic!
    • Contact your Housing Association to discuss your account over the telephone. It is often possible to make an arrangement to pay your arrears by instalments. If you keep to an arrangement like this then no further action will be taken.
    • Email the Housing Options Team for advice.
    • Appointments with a member of the Housing Options team are available at Ryedale House every weekday and can be arranged by phoning Customer Services 01653 600666.
    • If you cannot attend an appointment but would like to speak to one of the team for advice please phone 01653 600666 and ask for Housing Options.

    Am I getting all of the benefits I am entitled to?

    cab logoMany people do not realise that they can claim benefits. You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for a Welfare Benefit check - it costs nothing to ask for help.

    You can also contact Ryedale District Council's Housing and Council Tax Benefit Section for further advice on (01653 600666).

    You can also use the Benefits Calculator on the GOV.UK Website.

    What if I am struggling with more than one debt?

    If you have several debts, you can contact the Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 111 444. They will make appointments to see you at their offices with a view to helping you to make arrangements with your creditors. You can also get advice from the CAB Advice line.

    You could also contact The National Debt Line who offer free, confidential, independent advice on FREEPHONE 0808 808 4000.

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    What if I can pay my rent but don't pay it?

    Your Housing Association will take action to recover rent from tenants who don't have a genuine reason for their rent arrears. They will send letters to all their tenants who fall into arrears. Do not ignore these letters.

    If you are a Secure Tenant and you do not clear the arrears or contact your Housing Association to speak to your Estate Manager immediately to make a suitable repayment arrangement, you may ultimately be served with a Notice Seeking Possession (NSP). The NSP stays in place for one year and can be renewed if there are still arrears on your account. Four weeks after the NSP is served, if you have failed to make and maintain a repayment arrangement or clear the arrears in full, your Estate Manager may apply to Court for a Possession Order. The court costs of £150.00 will be charged to you.

    If you are an Introductory Tenant you will be served with a Notice of Possession Proceedings (NPP). As an Introductory Tenant, you do not have the same rights as a secure tenant and it is a lot easier for us to gain possession of your home if you fail to pay your rent.

    Your Housing Association will continue to write to you and visit you to try to discuss your arrears and it is very important that you make contact with your Estate Manager. You will receive confirmation of the Court Hearing date in writing. It is very important that you attend the Court Hearing as you will need to explain to the County Court Judge why you have not made your payments.

    If you make an offer to make payments by instalments, and you are a Secure Tenant, the Court may agree to adjourn your case based on this arrangement. This will stay in force until all the arrears are paid in full.

    If you do not make an arrangement to repay your arrears or you default on the agreement made at the County Court, Your Landlord may apply to the County Court again to either request another Hearing or request outright possession of your home. This is called an Eviction Warrant and this gives your landlord the right to send a bailiff to evict you from your home.

    Please note: If you are an Introductory Tenant, the Court will automatically give your Housing Association the possession of your home as you have no security of tenure.

    If you are evicted, your Housing Association will continue to take action to recover the amount owed. If you contact the Council as a result of homelessness occurring due to non payment of rent, you may be considered to have made yourself intentionally homeless and, as such, would not be entitled to alternative permanent accommodation provided by the council.

     

  • Right to buy your home

    Information on the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire.

    Who has the right to buy?

    The Right to Buy scheme enables council tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. There are no council houses in the Ryedale District Council area so this is not available for anyone living in Ryedale.

    Who has the right to acquire?

    The Right to Acquire scheme enables housing association tenants who meet certain conditions to purchase their houses. For further information about the scheme and to download an application form visit Gov.uk or contact your housing association direct.

    More information is available from;

    Email Housing Services to tell us what you think about our service.

  • Universal credit

    Universal Credit was introduced in 2013 to a small number of Councils and Job Centres and is slowly being rolled out across the country. The full introduction of Universal Credit in the U.K. will be phased over a number of years but details remain unclear.

    Universal Credit is part of the government’s Welfare Reform agenda. It is a new benefit replacing six existing benefits with a single monthly payment. The benefits that Universal Credit is replacing are;

    The Government’s intention in introducing Universal Credit is to make the transition from benefits to work significantly easier. ‘Universal Credit will dramatically simplify the process of applying for different benefits as people move in and out of work or between jobs, eliminating the insecurity caused by gaps in income. Because the system will be simpler, it will also be much easier for people to understand how much better off they would be if they were to move into work.’

     When does Universal Credit start in Ryedale?

    From 16 February 2015 all single peopleof working age, living in Ryedale,  who are new claimants of Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) will have to claim Universal Credit from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), digitally. They will receive a single monthly payment of Universal Credit which will also include their housing costs, previously paid by Housing Benefit from the council.

    Single people claiming Universal Credit who need help with paying their Council Tax will have to complete a separate application for Council Tax Support, although the DWP will provide the Council with information that they have gathered for their Universal Credit claim to allow this to happen.

    Claiming of other types of welfare benefits is unchanged and Housing Benefit will remain for tenants who are not single job seekers from February 2015. The roll out of Universal Credit to other customer groups will be phased and details remain unclear. However, once a single Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) customer is receiving Universal Credit they will remain on Universal Credit even if they move into a relationship or have children.

    How will the council support you ?

    The government recognises that there are customers who need help to claim Universal Credit and to report changes in circumstance on-line and who are new to monthly budgeting. Councils will provide the support needed to manage this transition process.

    The DWP will work with the council and their partners to provide Universal Support – Delivered Locally (USDL).

    This partnership will deliver:

    • supported on-line access
    • personal budgeting support 
    • support from the DWP Universal Credit Service Centre on housing issues

    The council is working in partnership with the DWP and other organisations to ensure that it delivers the help with claiming Universal Credit that some residents will need.

    What is different about Universal Credit?

    The main differences between Universal Credit and the current welfare system are:

    • Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work
    • most people will apply online and manage their claim through an online account
    • Universal Credit will be responsive, as people on low incomes move in and out of work, they’ll get ongoing support – giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available
    • most claimants on low incomes will still be paid Universal Credit when they first start a new job or increase their part-time hours
    • claimants will receive just one monthly payment in arrears, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary
    • support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment
    • some employers will report changes in their employee earnings directly to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenues & Customs, using Real Time Information software (RTI) meaning that for some claimants Universal Credit could be recalculated automatically when earnings go up or down

    Payment of Universal Credit

    Anyone claiming Universal Credit will receive just one monthly payment in arrears, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary.  Support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment.

    Claiming Universal Credit

    Most claims for Universal Credit will be made online via the government's Universal Credit website. Claim Universal Credit by following this link

    You can access computers at the Job Centre, Council Offices or at your local library.

    If you have difficulty accessing a computer or need support to complete the online form we can help. Contact us on 01653 600666 for further details of where you can access facilities or receive support to complete your claim.  

    Click here if you are a landlord and want to know more about Universal Credit.

     

     

     

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