Applicants for council and housing association properties in Aberdeenshire are being advised of a temporary pause to online applications as a new system prepares for launch.
Currently, applications for accommodation are made via the Apply4Homes website. The website handles applications for properties managed by Aberdeenshire Council, Hanover Scotland, Langstane Housing Association, and Osprey Housing.
From April, a new online portal will allow users to apply for rental properties directly from each housing provider.
In preparation for the change, applications via Apply4Homes will close on Thursday, March 18. Existing applicants will not be required to reapply for properties and are being contacted directly to invite them to register for the new system.
Following the launch of the new portal in April, Aberdeenshire Council will be changing to a ‘choice-based lettings’ approach in May, designed to give greater choice to applicants.
The approach will allow applicants to note an interest on properties they feel best meets their needs in the areas they wish to live. Adverts for properties will provide greater detail, including location, rent, facilities, photos and floorplans where available.
There will be no limit on the number of bids an applicant can make and properties will be allocated to those assessed as being in most need. As applicants will be choosing the property they wish to secure rather than a property being allocated to them, it is expected that fewer offers will be refused.
Support will be provided for those who require assistance in applying online, and further information for existing and new applicants will be provided in due course.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Housing, Rob Simpson, said
This is a big change for the way properties are allocated locally but we are confident that the new platform and the move to choice-based letting will provide a better service for applicants and give them greater choice.
We are happy to assure applicants currently awaiting a decision that they do not need to reapply, but we will need everybody to register for the new system once it is available.
We would like to thank everybody in advance for their patience while we move to the new system and will continue to provide advice and support while applications are on hold.
For more information on applying for properties in Aberdeenshire, please visit the Housing Options page on the Aberdeenshire Council website.