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Banding Assessment

Hartlepool Borough Council uses a Banding system to assess housing need. Your current housing circumstances will be assessed and you will be given the Band which reflects how urgently you need to move.

There are 4 Bands.

Band 1

  • People living in Hartlepool who are losing their home due to a Council led demolition or regeneration scheme
  • People assessed as statutorily homeless and in priority need
  • People who are owed the homelessness prevention or relief duty
  • People at risk of domestic abuse
  • People leaving HM Armed Forces community

Band 2

  • People who need to move on urgent medical grounds
  • People assessed as ready for independent living
  • A household with a child in need or Care Leaver
  • Adoptive parents or prospective adoptive parents/foster carers
  • People living in unacceptable housing conditions
  • Applicants who are under-occupying 3 or 4+ bedroom family homes (social rented) by 1 or more bedrooms
  • People who are overcrowded by 2 or more bedrooms
  • HM Armed Forces Personnel identified as having an urgent need for housing within 5 years of discharge

Band 3

  • People who need to move due to high medical grounds
  • People who need to move on hardship grounds
  • People sharing facilities with persons not of the same household
  • People who are overcrowded by 1 or more bedroom

Band 4

  • People whose current home is adequate to meet their housing needs
  • People who have refused a reasonable offer of accommodation or worsened their own circumstances

Bedroom Need Assessment

One bedroom will be considered suitable for:-

  • An Adult /Adult Couple;
  • Two children of the same sex under the age of 16;
  • Two children under the age of 10 regardless of their sex;
  • Any other person aged 16 or over*; or
  • Any other child that cannot be matched with the above.

Please note: This assessment does not include living room space unless there is a second living room which can be used as a bedroom and it does not breach health and safety standards.  Where a bedroom is being used for another purpose e.g. study or toy room, its original function as a bedroom will be used in assessing the level of under occupation or overcrowding.

There may be some circumstances where a household is allowed an extra bedroom as detailed below:

  • Health reasons;
  • Bedroom for an overnight carer;
  • Joint custody or overnight access to a child/children; or
  • Prospective adopters and foster carers.

Where one of the above applies, evidence will be requested and an affordability check may need to be completed to make sure the applicant can afford the additional bedroom.

We regard an unborn child as though it is already in the household at 24 weeks. Evidence will need to be provided.

*Adult children may, in certain circumstance, not be given additional bedroom entitlement. This is where older siblings wish to continue to share a bedroom. Cases will be assessed on their individual circumstances.

Who will qualify to join the register?

Under the Localism Act 2011, we have the ability to decide who may not qualify for social housing in the area.  People who fall into the following category may be assessed as ‘non-qualifying’:

  • An applicant (or a member of their household) who has been found guilty of unacceptable behaviour that is serious enough that a landlord would not offer them housing and that they remain unsuitable because of that behaviour.

We may regard the following as unacceptable behaviour for an applicant or any member of their household:

  • Criminal convictions*;
  • Significant housing debt** which includes rent arrears, mortgage arrears, court costs or rechargeable repairs;
  • Failing to keep to an agreed repayment plan in relation to housing debt;
  • Perpetrator of domestic abuse, racial abuse or harassment;
  • Perpetrator of abuse, violence or threats towards a member of staff;
  • History of anti-social behaviour; and
  • Providing false or misleading information.

*Spent convictions will not be considered during our assessment.

** Significant housing debt will be equivalent to 8 weeks and above chargeable rent arrears or 2 months mortgage arrears

Each case will be considered on an individual basis and exceptional circumstances will be considered.  Before a decision is made to make an applicant non-qualifying, we will gather evidence such as references from current or previous landlords, rent statements, photographic evidence of damages, and information from Police/Probation or complete any other required investigations we need to complete to make our decision.

If an applicant is made non-qualifying, they will be informed in writing of the reasons for this decision and what can be done to rectify the situation. Applicants who have been made non-qualifying can request a review of this decision within 21 days of the date of the notification.

Applicants are expected to make an effort to modify their behaviour before they are able to re-apply to the housing register. This may include making and adhering to a repayment plan or evidence that they have not caused any further anti-social behaviour during a defined period.