Joining Homes for Change
Homes for Change has only 75 properties, if your housing situation is an emergency, you are advised to approach larger housing providers. You must be a member of the Homes for Change Co-operative before an application for housing can be considered.
First, you should attend a prospective members surgery, these are held before every general meeting at 6 pm, where you will receive further information about how to become a member. No need to book, just ring the bell marked ‘Yard Bell Only’ on the front door to be let into the building on the day at 6pm. The date of the upcoming general meeting can be found here:
To become a member of Homes for Change you must meet three conditions:
- Attend General Meetings. These are held every month and are attended by members of the Co-op. Attending General Meetings is a good way to learn about how the Co-Op operates. You must ensure that your attendance at the meeting is recorded by signing an attendance sheet. You need to attend a minimum of two General Meetings before you can be voted into membership. Before every general meeting their is a prospective members surgery held at 6pm
- Once you have ‘prospective member’ status you should subscribe to the Homes for Change internal mailing list ‘Yell’ and subscribe to the monthly Homes for Change newsletter ‘Big Yeller’. Attend a ‘Homes for Change Induction’. These are scheduled every three months or so and are held at Homes for Change on Sunday afternoons. Each session lasts an hour and is an opportunity for you to find out about the Co-op and ask any questions you may have. Induction dates can be found on the calendar on the website. Here is the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/homes-for-change-induction-tickets-64566139060 Please book directly on the link!
- Join a Working Group and become a volunteer for the Co-op. Homes for Change is managed by volunteers who carry out the functions of ‘landlord’ through Working Groups. After this you will be expected to volunteer a minimum of 2 hours per month** to be considered ‘active’ on the waiting list for accommodation. The working groups vary from gardening to office / administerial duties.
**The minimum hours to be considered an ‘active’ volunteer are 6 hours in a 3-month period, broken down into whichever schedule is needed by the work group you are volunteering with. For example: that could be 2 hours per month or that could be 4 hours in one month and 1 hour per month for the next 2.
***Please note that it is unlikely that you will be considered for membership of the Co-op if you have a history of arrears, damage or anti-social behaviour***
Working Groups meet every month, usually on a weekday evening and prospective members are free to join whichever Working Group they want to. When choosing a Working Group to join, you may want to think about the following:
- Do you want to join a Working Group where you can use skills you already have, or develop new ones?
- Does the Working Group need new members? Will it have enough work that can be allocated to you that will allow you to be considered an ‘active’ member?
- Are you able to attend their meetings?
Contact the Working Group Co-Ordinator to find out when their meetings are, or check the calendar on the website: https://www.homesforchange.co.uk/calendar/
If there’s anything about the process of becoming a member that is unclear, or if you have any problems fulfilling the conditions of membership, representatives of the Membership Group can help! You can contact us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Being Voted in as a Member
Once you have met the three conditions of membership, ask your working group co-ordinator to put your name forward to the membership group or you can ask membership yourself.
*This must happen no later than six months after your first attendance at a General Meeting*
The membership group will carry out checks to ensure that you meet the requirements, this includes:
- checking attendance records of General Meetings and Inductions
- verifying your volunteering activity with your working group co-ordinator
Once Membership Group are satisfied that the conditions have been met, they will put forward a request to the General Meeting that you be considered for membership of the Co-op. For General Meeting to make this decision, your name must be included within the published agenda which is distributed at least two weeks before the meeting takes place.
*You must attend the meeting where your membership will be considered, or the vote taken*
Once voted as a member of HfC you will be given a members’ pack containing among other things, a share certificate (cost £1) and an application form for housing. Complete the application form and return it to Membership Group, either by post or by hand.
Becoming a tenant of HfC
Once your application has been received:
- Two members of Membership Group will carry out a home visit to verify your circumstances. This will be at a time that is convenient for you.
- At the next meeting of the Membership Group, your completed application form and the report from the home visit will be considered and points awarded according to your housing need.
- You will be placed on one or more of the waiting lists; there is a waiting list for each property size (one-bed, two-bed etc). If waiting lists are full, you are placed on a ‘pending’ list
- We will inform you in writing of your points total and your position on the relevant waiting list. If references, relevant medical or other evidence is required we will write to you and let you know.
Although the above process may take several months, we will back-date the waiting list to when you were voted in as a member of the Co-op.
Once you are on the waiting list, you must continue to actively volunteer for a working group, and you must continue to attend at least two monthly general meetings in each 6-month period. You must keep Membership Group informed of any and all changes to your circumstances that may affect your points. For change of address fill out a new application form.
Every six months on the waiting list your application is reviewed and, subject to continued participation in the work of the coop, 75 additional points will be awarded – these additional points are available for every subsequent 6 months. When you reach the top of the waiting list – and a suitable property is available – you are invited to view the property. Please note that we are only able to offer tenancies to active members of the Co-op, or members who have been given a ‘leave of absence’ from volunteering duties.
Join ‘YELL’ – the Homes for Change email list and receive the monthly newsletter, follow the link below and enter your email address:
Check out previous Big Yellers at the link below:
For general queries please email:
For a copy of the current Home for Change rules follow the link below: