Frequently Asked Questions
There is a new Property Pool Plus Policy. It will mean changes to how the Property Pool Plus service works, including:
Who can apply for housing using Property Pool Plus
- The council puts an application for social housing in a group called a band.
- This band decides where people go on the register. The priority banding system will be reduced from six Bands (A to F) to four Bands (A to D).
- There will be no more sub bands. Sub bands were used to give different priorities within some bands.
- There will be some changes to which band people are put in depending on their situations.
- There will be a longer time to respond to your annual renewal. It is now 56 days.
- The 56 days will start from the date you are sent your renewal notification.
- If you do not fill in your renewal within 56 days your application for housing will be closed.
- It will no longer be possible to reopen or backdate housing applications once they have been closed.
Other changes to how Property Pool Plus works
We will include the contribution people make to their communities when deciding who will be given a property. This will be considered after the application has been put into a band.
- It will look at the date the application was put into the band.
- It will look at the date the application was registered, registered means when an application was first made.
- It will look at the applicant’s contribution to the community.
In the current system, Liverpool Council advertises properties that are available using a quota system. This is when properties are advertised only for people in certain bands or sub-bands. In the new system Liverpool will not do this anymore. They will advertise properties to people in all bands.
A new computer system is being introduced which can do more and is easier to use, like:
- Being able to load verification documents directly to your online account like, proof of ID, support letters, etc.
- More information about the availability of properties by area and possible waiting times.
- Being able to view letters we have sent to you on your online account.
- You will also still be able to view messages we have sent to you, like it is now.
Qualification Criteria means the rules we use to decide if you can apply for social housing.
The main changes to the qualification criteria are:
- You will need to have lived in one of the areas for at least two years to join the scheme. These are Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton or Wirral. There are times when your circumstances mean that you will not have to have lived in an area for two years. These are explained in the policy. Some examples are:
- If you have family that live in an area.
- If you have a job in an area.
- Any 16 or 17 year olds who want to join the scheme must have a “trustee” (someone who is responsible for you).
- People who owe rent on a former property, may not be able to join the scheme from now on. This is where you owe more than one month’s rent or other charges. If you have agreed a repayment plan, then you may be allowed to join the scheme. You must have been paying this for 3 months and must continue to pay these repayments. More information can be found in the policy in section 3.2.6.
- Anyone who owns a house will not be able to join the scheme from now on. There are times when this does not apply, and more details can be found in section 3.2.9 of the policy.
- If you have savings of more than £16,000 then you will not be able to join the scheme from now on. There are times when this does not apply, and more details can be found in section 3.2.10 and 3.2.14 of the policy.
- There are some small changes to criteria for unacceptable behaviour and breaking tenancy terms. More details about this can be found in section 3.2.5 and 3.2.7 of the policy.
3. Will people who have been newly granted refugee status, or who have been placed in the scheme area under the Homes for Ukrain be able to register if they don't meet the qualification criteria for living in the area for two years?
There are some disregards to the qualificaiton criteria for local connection. People who have been newly granted refugee status and are owed a Statutory Homelessness Duty by one of the Scheme Local Authorities will be able to register under the disregard criteria. People who have been placed in the area under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme will also be able to register under the disregard criteria.
The new banding system and detailed criteria can be found in Section 4 of our new policy.
An overview of the new bands is given below.
The more detailed criteria that is in the policy will be used when assessing applications.
Band A – Applications are put in this band when rehousing is urgently needed this is called Additional Preference and includes:
- The application is because the applicant is homeless and in situations when councils must help. This is called owed main duty.
- There is a risk to life.
- Sudden loss of home because of a disaster.
- Overcrowded by two or more bedrooms.
- Under occupying social rented housing by two or more bedrooms.
- Life threatening or terminal medical issue.
- Leaving a stay in hospital.
- Local Council Care Leavers.
- Local Council approved Foster Carers who need to move to a larger home.
- Armed Forces with a housing need.
- Bereaved partners of Armed Forces personnel who need to leave accommodation that is only for those who work in the Armed Services.
- When the applicant’s current home is needed for Regeneration, Compulsory Purchase Order, Local Council approved decant.
- Housing First programme which gives support and housing to those who are homeless or with health and care needs.
Band B – Applications are put in this band when rehousing is needed this is called Reasonable Preference and includes:
- When an applicant is Homeless for other reasons than included in Band A.
- Stopping people becoming homeless.
- When people are living in unhealthy or unclean housing.
- Overcrowded by one bedroom.
- Under occupying social rented housing by one bedroom.
- Medical or welfare reasons.
Band C –Other applicants who do not meet the criteria for Bands A or B this is called the General Band.
Band D – Applicants who have refused an allocation of social rented housing the maximum number of times. This includes applicants who have not put a bid on a suitable property on more than three times in 12-months.
The new way of working and improved computer system is due to start on Monday 8th January 2024, by no later than 5:00 pm.
Local Councils often need to review their Housing Allocations Policies. This is to make sure they meet all current legal requirements, any changes in the law because of challenges, and best practice.
The existing scheme will be closed for new applications from Friday 15th December 2023.
There will be a break in properties being advertised through Property Pool Plus. The last time properties will be advertised will close on Sunday 17th December 2023.
Properties will start to be advertised again from Tuesday 9th January 2024.
Where can people get advice and support when the scheme is closed?
If you need emergency housing, you should contact the Homeless Team for your Local Council area. See contact information below:
- Halton Housing Solutions contact is 0151 511 6969 HousingSolutionsteam@halton.gov.uk
- Liverpool Housing Options contact is 0151 233 3061 (new cases), 0151 233 3044 (open cases) HousingOptionsService@liverpool.gov.uk
- Knowsley Housing Solutions contact by following weblink - Contact Knowsley Housing Solutions alternatively contact can be made via 0151 443 2333
- Sefton Housing Options contact is 0151 934 3541 Housing.Options@sefton.gov.uk
- Wirral Housing Options contact by following web link www.wirral.gov.uk/housingsupport alternatively contact can be made via 0151 666 5511
If you have an active application at this point you will not need to make a new application.
If your application is still being processed when the new scheme is introduced, then it will follow the new scheme rules.
We may need to contact you to ask for more information. This is so that we can assess your applicaiton under the new rules. Please make sure to reply to any contacts within the time you are asked to. This also applies if we contact you to ask you to renew your application.
Your application will be assessed using the new policy. This may mean a change. This could affect whether you qualify for the scheme, or there could be a change to your priority band.
Some people will not meet the new qualification criteria. In this situation their application will be closed.
If there is any change to your application, we will send you a letter to tell you about this.
We may need to contact you to ask for more information, or to ask you to renew your application. Please make sure to reply to any of our contacts within the times we ask you to.
Please refer to the Band change table for information on how the bands will change in the new scheme.
Under the new scheme there will be no sub-bands used, as there has been.
Applications will be prioritised by:
- The Band in order A, B, C then D.
- The date of entry in the band, with the oldest date first.
- Registration date (when the application was made).
- Community Contribution, as explained in the policy.
For most applicants, the date of entry in band or “band effective date” will stay the same.
There will be a few cases where this is not the case. We will notify you if this is the case.
No, your registration date will stay the same. This is the date you put in your application.
We will write to you to tell you about any change to your application due to the changes in the policy.
Most of our letters are sent by email, please regularly check your emails, including your spam or junk folder.
Letters we send to you can be seen in your on-line account from 6th November 2023.
You will be sent a decision letter to tell you about any changes to your application.
The letter will explain how to ask for a decision to be considered again if you disagree. This is called a review.
You must contact us to ask for a review within 21 days of receiving the decision letter which tells you about any change.
Most of our letters are sent by email, please regularly check your emails, including your spam or junk folder.
You will be able to view any letters we send to you in your on-line account from 6th November 2023.
You should continue to bid for advertised properties to give yourself the best chance of rehousing in the current scheme.
Continue to follow the current scheme rules until they change.
Tell us about any change in your circumstances that might affect your application. Reply to any communications we send to you.
Regularly check our website www.propertypoolplus.org.uk for further updates.
The website address will stay as www.propertypoolplus.org.uk.
There may be some small changes to the website. There will also be some new features which we think will improve how people can use the website.
No, your login details will not change.
There will be no change to the advertising cycle which is when you can bid.
There will be no change to how you bid.
There will be a short pause in property advertising as described in question 6.
Liverpool City Council will no longer use a quota system to advertise properties to people in specific bands and sub-bands. Properties will be advertised to people in all bands.
Property adverts will continue to include eligibility criteria e.g. bedroom needs, sheltered accommodation, accessible accommodation.
Occasionally properties may be advertised to specific groups, in line with an agreed Local Letting Plan.
There are no plans to change the way we help people with bidding for properties. This will continue in the new scheme.
We understand that these changes may be worrying for people who are already registered with the scheme.
We hope you will find the answer to most questions in this document.
You will find more detailed information in the Property Pool Plus Policy.
We are unlikely to be able to answer questions about how your housing application will be affected at this stage.
However, we will contact you to tell you about any change to your application as soon as we can.
Please do not contact us to ask further questions at this stage.
If we contact you to ask for information and you need help, please get in touch. You should contact the organisation who manages your application. You can find contact details on our contact us page.
If you believe that the assessment for your application is wrong, you can ask for it to be looked at again. This is called a review.
If the review finds that closing your application was wrong, your application will be put back on the system.
Your application will stay closed if the review was because you disagree with the new policy criteria.
Information will be available to help people who no longer qualify for the scheme under the new policy. This will include information about other housing options and, if needed, what can be done to meet the qualification criteria in the future.
If your situation has changed and you think you will now meet the qualification criteria, you should complete a new housing application.
You will need to provide evidence to show how you qualify.