Talking West Cheshire

New Housing Scheme goes live in Ellesmere Port and Neston

Project Officer Amy George offers advice to potential bidders.21 April 2010

A new way of applying for homes across the Cheshire West area has gone live in Ellesmere Port and Neston. The new Choice Based Letting service, Trust HomeChoice, now enables customers to access homes across the entire borough in a new easy to use service.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester & District Housing Trust (CDHT) and Weaver Vale Housing Trust (WVHT) have been working together to deliver the new service. A crowd formed outside the council offices in Civic Way as people eagerly awaited the first properties to be posted up for potential bidders.

Sarah from Ellesmere Port said: "I have been registered for over a year, it’s a much better system, seeing what properties are available is better than just sitting at home waiting for a phone call."

Amy George, CBL Project Officer, said: "Today's launch is the result of several months of hard work from all staff involved within the Trust HomeChoice partnership. Our aim was to ensure that the transition to the new choice based lettings policy was as smooth as possible for both customers and staff and taking into account customers' reaction today, we feel as though this has been achieved and will continue throughout the forthcoming months."

Stewart Holton, Interim Head of Housing Services at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We're delighted with the launch of Trust HomeChoice today. This new service will give our customers the chance to find the home they need in the neighbourhood they want.

"For the first time prospective tenants have the opportunity to put themselves forward for a home they want, rather than having to wait for us to contact them when we think we have a suitable vacancy. Working with our partners across Cheshire West and Chester we can now give people the choice they’ve not had before.”

Alan Slater, Head of Strategic Housing and Spatial Planning at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "The Trust HomeChoice partnership has created a scheme which will maximise choice, accessibility and ease of understanding for over 12,500 customers. Feedback from customers so far has been very positive.

"Trust HomeChoice is easier to use, provides clearer information about the homes available and is simpler to understand with the new banding rather than points allocation system. Trust HomeChoice will offer increased choice and satisfaction across communities within a wider area.

"Choice based letting was first introduced in Chester in 2006 and this experience has contributed towards a decrease in evictions, less tenancy failures, increased customer satisfaction and a more positive effect on communities and sustainability. The service is now available throughout the Cheshire West and Chester borough and enables customers to access a greater selection of properties in a much wider area."

Customers wishing to be considered for properties in West Cheshire need to be registered with Trust HomeChoice and have an active application. You can apply to join online at http://www.trusthomechoice.co.uk/ or visit any of the Council's local offices to collect a paper application form.

The weekly advert showing the Council's available properties can be found in the Property section of The Ellesmere Port Standard published every Thursday. Posters will be displayed at Civic Way, Westminster Neighbourhood Office and Neston Town Hall each week.

To express interest on any properties advertised through Trust HomeChoice or make an enquiry regarding an application, contact the Rehousing team at the Council on 0300 123 9035.