Applying for a home
St.Helens Council is no longer a landlord of housing. The Council’s stock was transferred to Helena Partnerships in 2002. The Council is still responsible for managing a housing register of people wanting to move to affordable housing and has a legal responsibility to produce an Allocations Policy and Tenure Strategy.
Under-One-Roof is the organisation that can help residents who want to access social or affordable rented homes. It offers one point of access to most of the rented properties in the borough. If you wish to join the ‘Under-One-Roof’ scheme you will need to complete a membership form and provide certain information such as proof of identification. Once your form has been processed, you will be made a member of the scheme and receive a membership number. You will be placed in Band A – D depending on your circumstances.
Once you have received your membership number and you know which band you are in, then you can BID for up to 3 available properties that you are interested in and meet your families needs.
How do I find out what properties are available ?
Available properties will be advertised in the local press, Under-One-Roof website, various access points including the Housing Options & Advice Service, 2nd Floor Millennium Centre, Riverside Office Ground floor Century House. A new advertisement with the new available properties is released every fortnight.
All of the organisations who manage social rented homes in St Helens (Arena, Riverside, Maritime, Cosmopolitan Housing and others) also advertise a percentage if not all of their available properties through ‘Under-One-Roof’ making it the easiest way to find an affordable rented home in St Helens.
Can I be excluded from the scheme ?
Whilst anyone can apply to join ‘Under-One-Roof’ there are rules regarding who can become a member of the scheme. In order to ensure that the Council meets housing needs and protects community safety some applications may be refused on certain grounds.
These may include:
- People who have been convicted of using or allowing a property to be used for illegal or immoral purposes.
- Serious anti social behaviour, for example, nuisance or annoyance to neighbours, racial or other harassment, violence and intimidation to the community/Council or Housing Association staff/elected members.
If an application is received from someone who has a history of anti social behaviour, for example, then they may be ‘excluded’ from joining ‘Under-One-Roof’ and bidding for properties. Applicants who are excluded will be sent a letter detailing the reasons for this decision and have the right to ask for a review of this decision.
Applicants wishing to ask for a review must do so within 21 days of receiving the letter. The Council will then review the reasons for exclusion and decide if the decision taken is correct.
There are a number of organisations that provide Sheltered Accommodation or Extra Care Housing in St Helens. Sheltered Housing generally has a call system or community alarm. This means that in an emergency, you can get help from either the Scheme Manager (if your accommodation has this service) or through an emergency contact service at other times.
Scheme Managers and Wardens provide advice, support and help. Some schemes will have communal facilities such as lounge, kitchen, laundry, lifts and door entry systems.
Extra Care Housing
In St Helens, Extra Care is the name given to a new form of housing which can offer people the flexibility of living in purpose built accommodation that is supported by on-site staff working 24 hours a day, providing care and support as and when its needed.
Extra Care housing allows residents to remain independent. Residents have their own apartment or bungalow with care / support needs tailored to the individual. Properties are designed to offer security, ease of access and include many features which are valued by older people.
What can be expected at an Extra Care scheme ?
Extra Care housing offers a range of community facilities, although this will differ from scheme to scheme across St Helens. These can include communal lounges, restaurants, cafes, shops and gyms.
As well as homes for rent, some Extra Care schemes have properties for sale, either outright or on a shared ownership basis. For more details on shared ownership for older people please click on the Buying Affordable Housing page.
Who can live in Extra Care housing ?
Extra Care housing is targeted at people over 55’s who have a clear need for the care and support services that are provided.
People who have stated they would like to be considered for sheltered housing are eligible for extra care housing. If you wish to rent either Sheltered or Extra Care Housing contact the Under One Roof team on 01744 636363 for more information.
Where are the Extra Care housing schemes ?
There are currently four Extra Care housing schemes in St. Helens for details on the schemes please see below.