Frequently Asked Questions

I'm homeless - will the council provide me with temporary accommodation? 

Possibly, it depends of what your circumstances are and if you're in priority need. 

I'm not in priority need - does this mean the council won't help me?

Being non priority means South Somerset District Council will not have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. But we will still have a duty to give you advice and help you find somehwere else to live. 

Can I make an appointment to see a Housing Officer? 

Yes, but we will offer the earliest available appointments to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness and who are in priority need. 

What do I do if I am homeless or threatened with homelessness?

Contact us straight away.  As long as you are eligible, we will have a duty to help prevent you from becoming homeless.  If you become homeless later, or you are homeless now, then we will have a duty to help you relieve your homelessness by helping you find somewhere else to live.  We will offer you a Personal Housing Plan and seek your agreement on the steps that you, and the Council, will take to prevent or relieve your homelessness.

Can I get help with a bond or deposit to secure private rented accommodation? 

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness we may be able to help. Please speak to a member of the housing team.

I've found a property that is over the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).   Will SSDC provide the bond and I pay the rest as a top up? 

It is unlikely that we will be able to help.  Our scheme is guided by Housing Benefit and although you may be in work and not reliant on any benefit and feel you can afford the top up, we have to ensure that if you were to lose that source of income you would still be able to afford to pay your rent through claiming Housing Benefit.  

Will the Council pay my rent? 

Any queries regarding Housing Benefit need to be dealt with by the Benefits Team at the main council offices at Brympton Way. At the Housing Advice Centre we can provide you with basic advice on the maximum amount you may be entitled to (known as the Local Housing Allowance) and issue Housing Benefit forms.  But if you want to submit your Housing Benefit application or give us any information in support of your application, we will direct you to our separate reception desk next door.

How long do I have to be in a particular band before I get moved up? 

The banding you are given reflects your current housing circumstances and not something you achieve over time. Each band has a set of specific criteria and if you do not fall into one of those categories you will not be allocated that band. If there has been a change in your circumstances such as moving address or the arrival of another child please speak to a member of the team.  We will make sure that you are in the correct band and .

I've been on the housing register for some time now, why haven't I been housed? 

Due to the lack of social housing it can take a while to be housed and we would encourage you to use all three of your expressions of interest each week to maximise your chances. If there has been a change in your circumstances such as moving address or the arrival of another child please speak to a member of the team.  We will ensure that are in the correct band and you can bid for the right sized property.

I was first on the shortlist for a property, when will the Housing Association call me? 

We don't know.  Once the shortlist has been drawn up it then gets reviewed by the Housing Association who own the property and they decide who to offer the property to.  This process can take quite a while - there might still be tenants occupying the property or the Housing Association might need to carry out some work on it.  Any queries regarding a specific property should be directed towards the Housing Association that owns the property. 

I think I'm in the wrong band and have the wrong bedroom allocation - can I appeal? 

Yes you can. Please contact us for more information about the process. 

I'm not able to place an expression of interest/There are no properties this week 

You can only place an expression of interest during the time the lists are open which is from midnight on a Wednesday to 1 minute before midnight on Sunday. If you are trying to place an expression of interest on a Monday or Tuesday you will not see any properties.

Or, you may be 'match suggested'.  This means the Housing Association is considering your application. While you are match suggested you will not be able to place an expression of interest on any other property. 

If you have a fairly high bedroom calculation it is possible there are no properties available that match the number of bedrooms you need. We would encourage you to look each week to see if one does become available. However, we are unable to tell you when this will be likely. 

On my application I stated I wanted to live in Yeovil but all I'm seeing is properties in Taunton. 

When your application has been assessed you will be able to see all available properties within the Homefinder Somerset area for which you are eligible to place an expression of interest. Properties can only be advertised if they become available. If you are seeing no properties in Yeovil the reason is simply because there are no properties that week for which you are eligible to place an expression of interest.

I make sure I place an expression of interest every Wednesday at 1 minute past midnight and I still haven't been offered. Why? 

Homefinder Somerset system does not operate on a first come first serve basis. Any shortlist will be compiled based on what band you're in and then the amount of time you have been that band. There is no need to place your expression of interest so early. 

Do I have to use my expression of interest/bid?

No, you should only express an interest/bid on properties which are suitable for you and you would like to move to. We advise applicants to check the cycle on a weekly basis.

I'm not happy with the service I have received.  What do I do?

Please let us know if you're unhappy with anything we've done or said.

I'm happy with the service I have received

Please let us know!