Index of questions;
Applications can be made online at www.keyways.org.uk If you are not able to use the online service and have no family or support worker to assist you, please call your local Housing Options Team to discuss other options. Click here for contact details.
Along with your completed application form you will need to provide:
All documents provided must be valid/up to date and original documents. You are able to provide these documents to a Customer Service Centre of the council.
We aim to:
Applications may be refused if it has been verified that you are;
Non Qualifying Persons Criterion includes;
The Localism Act 2011 enables each council to make their own decisions about who does and who does not qualify to be included on their housing register in order to address their own local needs. If you do not qualify, you may find alternative housing options here.
Home-owners will usually not be eligible to qualify unless there are exceptional circumstances or they meet the criterion for sheltered accommodation and wish to bid on our sheltered complexes. For more information please refer to the North Northamptonshire Keyways Housing Allocation Scheme.
Applications can be accepted from the age of 16, however, no bids can be placed until the age of 18 or until you have been accepted as having a suitable guarantor.
The legislation and accompanying regulations regarding housing are complex and subject to regular change. Below is an overview of the main rules.
Below are specific classes of people who are not eligible to join the housing register:
Yes. The following are entitled to apply to any council;
(Verification will be required from the Armed Forces)
Once your application has been assessed, verified and accepted, you will receive a registration letter which will include your login reference, your Keyways band, band effective date and details on how to use the Keyways system.
Yes. Once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be sent an online renewal reminder together with an email and/or letter. You must renew your application within 28 days. If you fail to renew your application within 28 days, your application will be closed. It is important to keep your application up to date with new telephone numbers, email addresses and correspondence address. These can be updated online by logging into your account and making an amendment on your "My Account" page.
Yes. If you no longer wish to be registered on Keyways for housing you can request closure via your online account. Alternatively you may contact your local Housing Options Team directly.
All applications undergo several verification checks against the information that is declared on the application form. A declaration must be read and agreed at the end of every application by the main and joint applicants confirming that the application made is a true and accurate record of their current circumstances.
Verification can include checks to/with;
Any false statements given knowingly or recklessly may result in exclusion from Keyways, any offer of accommodation being withdrawn or any tenancy being repossessed. You may also be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
Your Keyways application will be managed by the area office in which you currently reside. If you have a local connection to North Northamptonshire, however, do not currently reside here, your application will be managed by the area office that you would prefer to reside in. You will be asked to choose which office on your housing application.
If you do not have a local connection to North Northamptonshire you will not qualify for Keyways.
The scheme has 5 bands from A-E.
Band A is the highest priority band and can only be awarded by an officer of the council. Any application in Band A is considered in the most urgent housing need and will therefore have their choice removed in order for the council to offer a timely resolution. The application will be placed on autobid. This is when the software system will automatically place bids at the end of each cycle.
Band E is for No Housing Need applicants only that meet to additional criterion:
This is the date you registered your Keyways application or the date you were escalated into a higher band.
Once your application has been verified and accepted, you will receive a registration letter which will include your login reference, your Keyways band and details on how to use the Keyways system.
You will remain in the same band until your circumstances change or you become ineligble or no longer qualify at which point your application will be closed.
It is important that you tell us of any medical condition(s) for any member of your household that is being affected by your current accommodation and/or requires you to be considered for either ground floor accommodation and/or a property with specific disabled adaptations.
Not having the correct bathing facilities/adaptations or priority for ground floor properties recorded on your application could affect your position on any shortlist. If priority is given for ground floor and/or adaptations, you will not be nominated to a property without these.
You are responsible for updating your own housing circumstances on your application form. If your details change, it is very important that you log into your Keyways account online and update your application as soon as possible. The changes will then be assessed and approved. If this results in a change in your eligibility to join Keyways and/or your Keyways band, you will receive this decision in writing.
Yes. Anyone who will be living with you in the new property should be included on your application whether they currently live with you or not.
You are able to add or delete members of your household online by logging into your account at www.Keyways.org.uk
If any changes to your household members has an affect on your housing circumstances, please also update the housing application in addition to the household.
The Housing Options Team who administers your application will verify the changes you have submitted and update your application.
Please note that all new members of the household will be subject to eligibility and verification checks.
You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, in the following ways;
You will be able to bid on a maximum of three properties on each advertisement cycle. However, you should only bid on properties that are suitable for your households needs and you are interested in accepting. Bidding on properties which are not suitable will result in your application being skipped for that property.
Properties are advertised in weekly cycles. These start at 12:01am on a Thursday through to 23:59pm on a Tuesday.
The Christmas and New Year cycle will usually last for 2 full cycles. Information will be placed on the Home screen of the Keyways website to reflect this.
Inactive applications for 12 months that have been awarded a priority band for having a housing need may have the application/band reviewed and/or cancelled. A priority band is awarded to enhance your chances of receiving a nomination more quickly and there is an expectation that applicants will be actively bidding in order to resolve their housing difficulties.
Band A applications will have choice removed and bids placed automatically by the software in order for the council to find a timely resolution. This is called autobidding.
When you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently throughout the cycle due to other applicants bidding for the same property. Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the cycle closes.
It is impossible to advise how long it will take for an applicant to be offered a property as this is dependent on various factors including:
The demand for properties on Keyways far outweighs supply and even those in an urgent housing need can be waiting some time. It is therefore important for applicants to consider all other housing options available to them in order to resolve their housing difficulties. You can find more Housing Options here.
Further information is available on the Keyways website that will help you to gain a better understanding on how long you might be waiting to be offered a property;
Once the advertisement cycle has closed a shortlist of interested applicants is created. The shortlist is in order of eligibility (according to the criteria in the advert details for that property) and those in most urgent housing need (Bands). The applicant at the top of the shortlist will normally be nominated to the property.
Most Keyways landlords require rent in advance and this will be stipulated in the advert before you place your bid. If you do not have the rent in advance, you should not place a bid on that specific property.
Applicants who receive benefits towards housing costs MAY be accepted with a payment plan depending on the individual Keyways landlord. You may also be able to apply for assistance towards the rent in advance from the council's Discretionary Housing Fund. Please contact the council on 0300 126 3000 for more details on how to apply.
The council may from time to time agree a Local Lettings Policy for specific areas or developments to reflect local circumstances. Any such policy will have regard to housing management considerations such as the social mix of tenants, density, age range, vulnerability of tenants and community stability.
Any policy in place will be attached to the advert for the property so that applicants can make an informed choice as to whether they wish to place a bid on that property or not.
Yes. It is important that your application includes medical information for any member of your household. You will also be asked which disabled adaptations you require.
You may be asked for supporting evidence of your requirements. Once your application has been assessed, you may be given priority for ground floor properties and/or adaptations.
You will only be offered a property that is suitable for your needs.
The adverts will tell you;
Where available a photograph of the property or a similar property will be provided and allow you to access information about the local area and facilities.
The council make best use of their stock and will therefore only permit households to bid on properties that are suitable for their housing needs. You may be able to bid on a larger property, however, this will be prioritised to those who can fully utilise all bedrooms/facilities first.
Some properties have a specific criterion to bid e.g. sheltered housing for the elderly. This will be stated clearly in the advert.
If you try to bid on a property that you are not eligible for a pop up box will appear giving you the reason. Please refer to the marketing text on the advert for more information.
Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is created. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria in the advert details for that property and most urgent housing need.
The applicant at the top of the shortlist will normally be nominated to the property, however before this can happen their application will be assessed and verified. The Housing Options Team will then contact the applicant by telephone to discuss the nomination further before sending this to the landlord of the property. It is therefore extremely important that your contact telephone details on your application are always up to date. If Housing Options fail to make contact with you within 24 hours your application will be skipped and the property will be offered to the next eligible applicant on the shortlist.
If you agree to be nominated to the property the application will then be passed to the landlord of the property who will complete their own verification checks and contact the applicant directly.
You will receive a letter from the Housing Options Team to confirm that you have been nominated to a property.
You will only be contacted if you are to be nominated to a property. When the advertising cycle has closed all the properties advertised will have a shortlist created. The Housing Options Team will work through these in turn and prioritise those properties that are available to be let first. Depending on the number of properties advertised it may take up to 10 days before the successful applicant is contacted.
Yes. Once you are nominated to a property the landlord of that property will complete their own checks to verify the information submitted on your application form and may include a home visit. The landlord will then give you the opportunity to view the property and allow you to decide whether or not you would like to accept it.
Each property advertised on Keyways will have a different time-scale for being ready to view. This is depending upon the reason for it becoming vacant, the condition and repairs that the property will require before being let.
Please be patient following a nomination and the Landlord of the property will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
All Keyways Landlords may refuse to offer you the property if;
Applicants in housing need that refuse an offer of accommodation may be required to attend a Housing Options appointment to discuss their requirements and expectations.
If applicants refuse two offers of accommodation that are reasonable and suitable in any 12 month period their application will be closed for a period of 12 months. You can reapply once this time period has passed.
You should contact your local Housing Options Team as soon as possible. They will discuss your circumstances and provide you with advice and assistance on all available housing options to either prevent or relieve your homelessness. The Housing Options Officer will assess your Keyways application band and advise you in writing if this changes.
All applicants have the right to ask for a review if we decide not to allow you to join Keyways or make any decision that affects your application.
This should be in writing, within 21 days of the decision and clearly state the reasons you feel the original decision is wrong.