Supporting you through redevelopment

We want to involve you as much as possible in designing the new properties and improvements to the area surrounding Polgrean Place, and will be holding local consultation sessions to get your feedback on our ideas and what you think would be best for the area.

During your meeting with your Project Officer, please let them know if you would like to be involved in the consultation and be kept informed as the site progresses. If so, you’ll be one of
our ‘Polgrean Participants’.

How does this affect me?

Unfortunately, the redevelopment means we need to empty the affected homes and re-house you, and your neighbours. This means you must move out of your home before your phase of work is started.

Our team will work with you, to support you in finding another home that meets your needs, and with moving. What this involves will depend on your own circumstances, and everyone will be affected in different ways, but we will support you through this.

For most of you, this will mean registering with Homechoice, but we will soon visit you to individually discuss and identify your preferences, housing need and income details.

As we are moving you from your home, because we plan to knock it down, this means you will not be able to return to your original home. However, providing you meet a number of conditions around how long you have lived in your home and the type of tenancy you hold, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your home, as well as financial assistance towards the cost of moving. The details of these payments are given later in this booklet.

To help you understand the options available to you, we have included them in this booklet, to allow you to consider them, before you speak to our team about the future.

As well as working with you on an individual basis, our team will also hold local events, which will be opportunities for you to engage with the process, provide your views, comments, questions or concerns and talk to us. We will also keep you updated on the progress of the redevelopment work as the site is cleared and on the designs and progress of the brand new homes we are building.

What do I need to do?

  • You need to read through the rest of this booklet and start to understand your options for the future. We would advise that you take time to properly consider what you would like to do and think about your longer term plans, and how your move can support these
  • We then need you to meet with us to go through your current circumstances, and to help us understand how we can help you. Please contact your Project Officer on the details at the back of this booklet to arrange your meeting

My options

Although everyone has different circumstances, we have tried to identify the options that may apply to most people. These are:

  • to sign up to Homechoice and apply for another property in an area of your choice with either us, or another housing provider
  • to leave social housing and privately rent
  • to use your ‘Home Loss Payment’ (if eligible) towards a deposit on a shared ownership property

We appreciate this process may be challenging for you to accept, as you may have lived in your home for a long time or love where you live, but unfortunately, we are unable to give you the option of staying in your home.

Moving back to the estate

As already mentioned, this is a regeneration project; therefore there is no legal requirement for us to offer any of the new properties to existing residents who shall be moving out. However, even though not everyone will want to, or be able to return, we are keen to offer a proportion of the new homes to former residents wishing to return to the area, after they are built. We shall keep the details of all those who are moving out during the regeneration and ensure they are given preference when the new properties are available to bid on (subject to certain criteria). If you are interested in returning, please let us know when we meet with you.

Financial assistance

To assist you in evaluating your options, there are two allowances that you may be eligible for, depending on your circumstances. These will be discussed with you at your meeting with our Project Officer:

Disturbance Allowance

Every customer of ours, who is required to move, will receive up to a maximum of £1,500 allowance from us to assist with reasonable costs associated with moving home. This will not be a cash payment, but we will have a set list of suppliers that you will be able to use, who will then invoice us with their costs, rather than you having to pay. We will work to get discounted rates from these suppliers, to ensure you get the most from your allowance.

This allowance can be used for things like: removals, disconnection and reconnection of appliances and existing services, redirection of mail, school uniforms (if your children change schools), alterations to soft furnishings and kennel costs.

Home Loss Payment

This payment is a fixed sum of £6,100, which is set by the Government, and has several conditions to its payment. As well as meeting these conditions, to receive the whole payment you will also need to have no outstanding debts to us and leave your property clear, with no additional costs to us.

In order to qualify, you need to have lived in your home as your only or main residence for 12 months by the time you move. If you have rent arrears or any other debts to us, these will be deducted from this payment.

When you move, we expect that you clear your property (including carpets, loft, garden, shed and outbuilding contents). The cost to clear and dispose of anything that you leave behind will be deducted from this payment.

If you have already given notice to leave your home or we are already seeking to evict you because you have not kept to the terms of a Possession Order, you will also not receive any payments.

Universal Credit

We can also confirm that moving home will not trigger you to move on to Universal Credit. However, if other circumstances have changed and you have not told anyone, this would be picked up through this process and could prompt a change to Universal Credit.

Moving via Homechoice

If you are not already signed up to Homechoice, you will need to register your details with them, to allow you to bid on the homes they have available. This will open up a wider variety of homes throughout Cornwall for you, and with other Housing Providers, not just us. These properties will be subject to you meeting the usual criteria, such as local connection and assessed housing need etc.

We shall be working with Cornwall Council to award you with a band ‘B’ status to assist you in finding a new home to move to. However, the usual policies and criteria will apply to you when you are being assessed by the Homechoice team.

As part of your meeting with the Project Officer, they will go through your personal circumstances and see what further assistance we can give you on the Homechoice system. They will also ensure that any adaptions, property size requirements and location factors are captured.

We also have a small number of empty Ocean Housing properties in the St Blazey area that we have kept back, to allocate to those in Phase 1 with appropriate housing need, and dependant on length of tenancy. Again, this will be discussed at your meeting when all of your requirements are captured.

Things to consider:

  • The earlier you start this process, the more chance there will be of you being able to find a home in the area of your choice, subject to local connection criteria
  • Your new home will be a new tenancy, and so its terms and conditions, as well as your rights, may change depending on who your landlord would be
  • If you have a right to buy/acquire, this may be affected by your move. We will be able to tell you if you have the right to buy/acquire. If you have a right to buy, you should seek independent legal advice to ensure you are aware of the implications of moving may have
  • Depending on where you move to and who your landlord will be, the rent may be different – it could be higher or lower than your rent now, so you should ensure you know what your budget is, before bidding on a new home
  • Insurance premiums associated with the area you live in e.g. car insurance or home insurance may also change depending on the area you move to

Privately renting

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to leave social housing and enter in to the privately rented market. This may allow you to consider living in areas that were previously unavailable to you, giving you access to new work opportunities and lifestyle.

You will need to carefully consider your monthly budget if you were to make this move, but if this is something you would like to do, discuss it with your Project Officer during your meeting.

Things to consider:

  • The earlier you start this process, the more chance there will be of you being able to find a home in the area of your choice.
  • Your new home will be a new tenancy, and so its terms and conditions, as well as your rights, may change depending on who your landlord would be
  • If you have a right to buy/acquire, this will be affected by your move away from social housing
  • Depending on where you move to and who your landlord will be, the rent may be different – it could be higher or lower than your rent now, so you should ensure you know what your budget is, before offering on a new home
  • Insurance premiums associated with the area you live in e.g. car insurance or home insurance may also change depending on the area you move to

Purchasing a shared ownership home

For many, shared ownership may have seemed unobtainable, but depending on your personal circumstance, this may be a great time for you to consider purchasing a shared ownership home. If you are to receive a Home Loss Payment you may be able to use this as a deposit on the mortgage.

Shared ownership offers people the chance to purchase a percentage share of a new home and pay rent on the remaining share. This means that the deposit required is smaller than if you were buying 100%.

You can scale your portion of the purchase to suit your budget, and rent the remaining share. For example:

Full market value of a home                        £135,000

40% purchase share                                      £54,000

5%* deposit needed for mortgage              £2,700

Estimated mortgage repayment**             £300 per month

Rent on remaining share                             £190 per month

Take a look at our website (www.oceanhousing.com/shared-ownership) to find out more information, and talk to the Project Officer during your meeting about it too.

*some lenders may require larger deposits, based on your personal circumstances.

**Interest rates and property values will fluctuate 

The next steps

Now that you have read about some of the options open to you, you may wish to take some time to think about what you would like to do, and discuss the matter with those close to you.

We also need you to please contact us as soon as possible, to arrange your initial meeting with your Project Officer, Stacey Slater. All of their contact details are at the end of this booklet, but the easiest way to make an appointment for them to meet you wherever is easiest, is to call us on 01726 874450.

Once this appointment is made, your Project Officer can then start to support you through this process, ensure that you are considering all of the options available and getting the best advice.

In terms of timescales, we want to ensure that you are able to take full advantage of all of the opportunities available to you, and so we will support you to get on the path you choose, as soon as possible. However, those in phases 2 and 3 of the project have longer to move out of their homes, as we shall be demolishing phase 1 first.

However, in the next few weeks, you will be served a legal notice called an ‘Initial Demolition Notice (IDN). This is a legal formality that we must send you, so please do not worry about it.

Support

To ensure that we give you as much support as possible, we have dedicated one of the team to work with you on moving home. Our Project Officer, Stacey Slater, will support you and help to answer any questions, or concerns, that you may have about our plans to redevelop the area where you live.

You can contact us on 01726 874450 and the team will be happy to help you or email us on help@oceanhousing.com

We shall also be opening a drop-in office at Landreath place in the near future, to allow you to pop in and speak to the team.

As well as our Project Officer and the office, you can keep an eye on our dedicated website pages at www.oceanhousing.com/polgrean-news

Please contact Stacey as soon as possible to arrange your first meeting with her and discuss your options.

After your initial meeting, you may wish to talk to someone else about the plans and seek independent advice on how they affect you. You could contact housing advice centres such as: