West Suffolk Council

On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council were replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. We will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. You may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails, due to the change.

Housing register

People on the housing register in Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury, are being advised that they will need to re-register next month.

West Suffolk councils has emailed all 2500 people on its housing register to tell them about changes that are coming into effect.

Councils across the Cambridge Sub-Region including Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury are changing IT provider for the database it uses for its choice based letting scheme, Home-Link. This is because a contract with another IT supplier is coming to an end.

From February 1 2019, if people in the Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury areas wish to remain on the housing register and to continue to bid for properties, then they will need to re-register. They must do this by 28 February to ensure they remain on the housing register from 1 April.

The new register will come into effect from 1 April 2019. As this is a new provider the council can’t simply transfer the data held from one provider to another. If people haven’t re-registered and their application hasn’t been verified by this date, they may lose their place on the housing register and may not be able to bid for properties. West Suffolk councils can only assure that people who re-registered by 28 February will be verified in time for the 1 April switchover.

The council is also talking to local partners including the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Registered Providers including Havebury Housing Partnership and Flagship Homes, so they understand the implications of the changes and can provide advice as appropriate.

The change in IT supplier does not change how priority banding is decided because the Home-link scheme itself remains unchanged. People will still be assessed in line with the existing housing policy. It is only if there has been a change in their circumstances that their banding may change up or down.

The change of system will also ensure that the information we hold is up-to-date and reflects their housing needs and priority.

The Home-Link website is changing, and the system is being improved.

To ensure that you are still able to bid for properties after 1 April 2019 you will need to complete a new online application form between 1 February and 28 February 2019 by visiting our website http://www.home-link.org.uk/ and following the link to re-register.

We must emphasize that this is your responsibility to complete and by doing this you will continue to be registered for social housing. We will be working hard in the background to check and assess all the applications as they come through.

The new online application will be faster and easier to complete than the current form.

When we receive your new application, we will re-assess your priority. If your housing circumstances remain the same as your most recent application with us, we will honour your previous priority and assessment date. Please note that this will only be the case if you re-register during February 2019.

If you cannot use the internet and you do not have a friend, relative or support worker to assist you in re-registering, please contact the local authority who currently manages your application, so they can send you a paper version of the form. We would however recommend that if you can get some support with completing the online form, this would be the most efficient way of ensuring your details are registered.