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Internal transfers - share your views on how residents can apply to move

Each year Housing Associations have a proportion of properties they can prioritise for their existing residents. This type of move is known as an internal transfer. Previously Solon and United Communities both kept a list of residents who had applied for an internal transfer. This list has been on hold since we merged to become Brighter Places.

Why we are asking for your feedback

We are looking at how we manage internal transfers in future in a way that is consistent and fair to residents.

To help us decide on the best approach we are working with the Resident Engagement Panel and have gathered feedback from residents currently on the internal transfer list. Now we are asking all residents for their views.

 

We are considering two options:

  1. Prioritise a number of our empty properties on HomeChoice for Brighter Places residents
  2. Brighter Places manage all internal transfers in-house

Find out more detail in the ‘How each option for internal transfers would work‘  section below.

Important to know

Like much of the UK, social housing is in very short supply in Bristol and the surrounding areas. Due to a low turnover of properties, we have, on average, around 13-17 empty properties available for internal transfers each year. Over 80% of these properties are one and two bed homes.

Currently around 600 Brighter Places residents are registered for HomeChoice. This means the opportunity to move by internal transfer will be very limited for most residents

How each option for internal transfers would work

  • Option 1: Prioritise a number of our empty properties on HomeChoice for Brighter Places residents

    Brighter Places, like other housing associations, can advertise empty properties through the local council HomeChoice websites. A number of these empty properties can be prioritised as ‘preference for Brighter Places’  for eligible Brighter Places residents registered on HomeChoice.

    Usually around 25%** of our empty properties are prioritised for Brighter Places residents’ internal transfers. This varies depending on the local council.

    How it would work:

    • Residents would apply through the usual HomeChoice application process
    • If more than one Brighter Places resident bids on a ‘preference for Brighter Places’ property then all bids will be assessed based on each resident’s Housing Need Band and the length of time they have been in that band

    ** the number of available properties may vary from year to year 

  • Option 2: Brighter Places manage all internal transfers in-house

    Brighter Places would offer around 25%** of our empty properties to a resident on the internal transfer list each year.

    How it would work:

    • Residents on the internal transfer list would need to apply to HomeChoice and complete a separate application to Brighter Places with evidence to show they are in housing need and meet certain criteria
    • To be as fair as possible we would carefully consider eligibility criteria (such as evidence of housing need, no tenancy breaches) for residents applying for an internal transfer. This would also avoid high numbers of residents on the transfer list who have little chance of moving due to the small number of properties available
    • If a suitable property becomes available Brighter Places will make a reasonable offer directly to the resident

    ** the number of available properties may vary from year to year 

     

     

     

     

How to give us your feedback

Please read the information in the section above about the two options for how Brighter Places manage internal transfers in future.

Then please complete this feedback form to let us know which option you prefer.  The closing date is 30 November 2023.

What happens next?

We will look at the responses and feedback from residents and present this to the Executive Team to help them decide how internal transfers are managed in future.

We aim to complete this review and update residents on how internal transfers will be managed before April 2024.