For the first time people searching for an affordable home in Bedfordshire can use a new website to explore all of the housing options open to them – from renting to buying. The newly revamped Bedfordshire Homefinder website now means people can view many more housing solutions on a single site than they could before.
www.bedfordshirehomefinder.co.uk, which was set up by the local authorities in Bedfordshire and two local housing associations, Aragon Housing Association and bpha, enables people to access a variety of property types at different levels of rent.
Spokesperson for the partner agencies Deborah Stuart, Chair of Partnership Board for Bedfordshire Homefinder, said: “The beauty of the new site is that people can look at a whole range of different options for their next home in Bedfordshire. This could be renting, which includes near market rent, affordable rent, social rent, private rent and rent to homebuy, or low-cost home ownership options for those looking to get onto the property ladder, such as shared ownership.
Demand for council and housing association housing is such that inevitably not everyone can find that kind of home. This new website gives people a way to explore other housing options in a “one-stop-shop”, and offers much more control to improve their housing situation.”
All the partners involved, including Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council, recognised that the demand for social housing far outweighs supply. The reality is that most people are unlikely to be housed as soon as they would like, unless they fall into a high priority group.
Previously the Bedfordshire Homefinder website has offered people who are on the housing waiting list a way to search and bid on council and housing association rented homes, including retirement properties. The extended website has greatly widened the options available for people to look at, giving people in lower priority housing groups the opportunity to identify possible homes more quickly.