Moving on advice


We are proud to support the Homes for Ukraine programme, with hundreds of residents providing space in their homes to those fleeing the war in Europe. We also understand that Ukrainian households who have come to the UK may wish to settle here permanently and explore their housing options.

Private rented accommodation

Seeking accommodation in the private rented sector is the fastest way for households to secure their own accommodation. Most private lets are assured shorthold tenancies which have a fixed term of six or 12 months, most tenancies continue after this period ends. When you enter into a fixed term tenancy, you’re committing to the tenancy for that whole period.

What can I afford and where can I live

You can work out benefits you can claim, what you can afford and where you are able to live using the Entitled To website. This tool links directly with some of the UK’s largest renting websites to show you suitable properties which you can afford based on your household’s income.

Deposits

Our Homefinder team offers incentives to landlords in the private sector. For households who have come to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and are currently living in Maidstone, we can provide a combination of:

  • a cash incentive to a landlord or agent
  • a bond in lieu of a deposit
  • up to one month rent in advance

In addition to this the Homefinder team also provide:

  • a professional inventory and checkout
  • support to tenants for the duration of the tenancy

If a household identifies suitable accommodation in the private rented sector, they should email our Homefinder team. Alternatively, to discuss properties with a member of staff they can be visited at:

Trinity
20 Church Street
Maidstone
ME14 1LY

The property does not need to be in Maidstone, and can be anywhere in the UK. Any landlords who are interested in letting their property to a Ukrainian household can also contact us using the above information, where we will undertake a matching exercise to find you a tenant for your home.

The housing register

Subsidised or social housing in Maidstone is provided by housing associations. There is a very limited supply of this type of housing within the borough. Private rented properties will often provide more choice and are far more readily available.

If you are interested in subsidised housing, you’ll need to apply to be on the housing register. This is for anyone over 18 who is eligible and meets certain qualifying criteria. You’ll need to have a housing need and local connection to Maidstone to be considered for accommodation in our area and your current financial circumstances will also be taken into account. If you want to acquire social housing in another local authority area, you will need to apply directly to that council.

Housing need and local connection

Each local housing authority has its own set of rules called an allocation scheme. You can find full information on our scheme on our webpage.

To be considered as having a housing need, you’ll have to fulfil at least one of the following:

  • that you current is unsuitable for your households needs due to a medical condition
  • that you have a need to move under welfare, including but not limited to:
    • someone moving on from care, providing care, receiving care or receiving support
    • someone who wants to live independently but requires additional support
    • someone moving on from a drug or alcohol programme
  • your current housing is lacking one or more bedrooms and you are therefore overcrowded
  • your current housing has one or more bedrooms which are not being used and you are therefore under-occupying
  • that you need to move to prevent or alleviate hardship, including but not limited to:
    • experiencing financial hardship
    • a need to move in order to take up employment, training or education

You will also need to satisfy one of the below local connection criteria:

  • lived in Maidstone for the last two years
  • have an immediate family member that has lived in Maidstone for the last five years
  • work in Maidstone for a minimum of 16 hours per week
  • lived in Maidstone for two of the last five years, but not currently resident in the borough

Banding and bidding

Once your application has been assessed and we have confirmed your eligibility to join the housing register we will send a letter confirming your bidding number and which band you have been placed in. There are four bands which you may be placed in:

  • C- Community contribution and homelessness prevention. This is for people who provide a service to the community through employment, volunteering, fostering, cares and embers of the armed forces, as well as those who are owed a Homelessness Prevention Duty.
  • H- Homeless. This is for people who are defined as homeless or owed a relief or main duty under Part 7 Housing Act 1996.
  • M- Medical and health assistance. This is for people who have a housing need due to a significant medical condition, or where a need for adapted accommodation exists.
  • R- Reasonable preference. This is for households who are eligible to join the housing register but don’t qualify for any other band.

Once you have been placed in a band and given your account number, you can start bidding for properties on the Kent Homechoice website.

Waiting time

There is a significant shortage of subsidised accommodation available. As a result, the waiting time for accommodation to be offered is significant, as of August 2022:

Property size

Average time to be housed

1 bedroom

10 months

2 bedrooms

6 months

3 bedrooms

2 years

4 bedrooms

2 years

This waiting time remains the same for those who become homeless, and it is always our advice to explore alternative options in the private rented sector with our support to secure accommodation.

To make a housing register application visit the Kent Homechoice website.

Alternative housing options

Home ownership

The government created the Help to Buy schemes including Help to Buy: Shared Ownership and Help to Buy: Equity Loan. Find out more information about the Help to Buy Scheme.

Supported accommodation

This is housing for people who need guidance and assistance for managing education, training, employment and life management skills. For information on supported accommodation please email us.

Help for those at risk of homelessness

A household may be entitled to assistance from us as being homeless or threatened with homelessness if they:

  • have received a notice
  • have been told to leave their home
  • no longer have a legal right to occupy their home
  • have been prevented from accessing their home
  • are at risk of abuse or violence if they were to remain at home

If any of the above apply, individuals should contact us at the earliest opportunity to receive housing advice from our specialist team.

If you are currently at risk of homelessness you should complete our assessment to receive advice and notify our team. Alternatively, you can visit our offices:

Trinity
20 Church Street
Maidstone
ME14 1LY

The government has updated advice to councils that includes rematching sponsors and guests under the Homes for Ukraine initiative. Finding an alternative sponsor with suitable accommodation that you can stay with will be part of the various housing options we will explore with you. A database of potential sponsors has been compiled in conjunction with Kent County Council’s Refugee Support Team and together we will seek to place you with another sponsor.