Apply for Housing

If you would like to apply to us for housing, please download all of the documents below, which make up our application pack. If you would prefer to ‘phone or email us, please provide us with your  name and postal address and we will arrange for an application pack to be posted out to you. Alternatively, you can call into the office to collect your pack. Please return your completed application form to the Association’s office.

Separate packs are available for general needs, sheltered and Extra Care Housing, so please ask for the pack that you need. More information on these types of housing can be found on the page on ‘Support Needs’.

Application packs can be made available in other languages or in large print if required.

If you need help to fill in your application form, or would like to meet with our Housing Assistant to talk about your application or find out more about your prospects of being  re-housed, please ‘phone or email the office to set up an appointment. Appointments are generally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Once we receive your completed application form, we we will send you an acknowledgement, to let you know that we have received it.

We will then assess your application in line with our Allocations Policy and will write to you the Group your application is in, and Priority it has been given.

We have a limited number of properties which have been built or adapted for people who use wheelchairs. Some tenants may require their homes to be adapted in some way because they, or a member of their family are disabled or in poor health. Adaptations may be undertaken where an Occupational Therapist has carried out an assessment and makes a referral to us for adaptations to be carried out.

General Needs

General Needs

Bridgewater Housing Association manages approximately 800 properties within the Bargarran, North Barr and Park Mains areas of Erskine. Applications will be assessed on the basis of housing need and using the information you give us, we will place you in one of the groups with the level of priority that reflects your housing needs.

General Needs Application Items
How to fill in your form
General needs application form
General Application Information

Anyone aged 16 years or over can apply and be placed on our housing list. We do not discriminate against anyone because of their age, sex, sexuality, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin or religion. You can apply by filling in a Bridgewater Housing Association application form from the link above.

Application forms are also available from our office at 1st Floor, Bridgewater Shopping Centre, Erskine PA8 7AA, or by emailing us at admin@bridgewaterha.org.uk.

Sheltered

Sheltered Housing

We have 3 Sheltered Housing Developments at Blantyre Court in Bargarran, Cullen in North Barr and Mains Drive/Mains Hill in Park Mains. Our sheltered properties are mostly 1 or 2 bedroom flats on either ground or 1st floor. We also have a small number of 2 bedroom bungalows which are suitable for wheelchair users.

Sheltered Application Items
sheltered-housing-guidance-notes
sheltered-info
sheltered-housing-application-form

Applicants generally need to be aged 60 or over and be able to benefit significantly from our sheltered housing  support service. There are many advantages from  living in sheltered housing such as peace of mind from having help from the Housing Support Officer  (or call centre in an emergency), security and good quality housing.

Extra Care

Extra Care

We currently have 2 Extra Care Housing Developments, which are very sheltered housing with the provision of additional care and support services. It’s aim is to provide older people with their own home, so that they continue to live independently with any care and support that they need coming directly to them.

Extra Care Application Items
extra-care-info
extra-care-application-form
extra-care-guidance-notes

Applicants should normally be aged 60 or over, and have a clear need for the extra support services that these facilities provide.

Robertson House in North Barr and Clayson House in Bargarran offer good quality housing, forming part of a complex with additional communal facilities; provision of meals; and a 24 hour care and support service.

Information

Tenancy Introduction Video

Our tenancy introduction video is designed to show you how to deal with any issues which may arise in your new home.



We have a low turnover of empty properties with around only 50 becoming available for re-let each year. This figure includes our sheltered and extra care properties, which leaves  around 30 general needs properties for let.

All of our properties are in high demand (with the exception of some of our sheltered flats)  and our housing  lists are long. In June 2018 we had approx. 850 applicants. This means that we will not, unfortunately, be able to re-house the majority of people who would like a house from us, and generally only applicants with a high level of priority will be offered housing.

New tenants will be required to sign a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST) Agreement or Short Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement.  This is a legal contract between the tenant and Bridgewater as landlord. It sets out the terms and conditions under which tenants rent their homes from us.



If your income is low, or your circumstances have changed (maybe through working less hours or giving up work) you may qualify for Housing Benefit. This service is run by Renfrewshire Council.

To apply, all you have to do is fill in a form, and provide the documents that are asked for (such as  pay slips). You can fill in a form  at our office, or contact Renfrewshire Council direct at Private Sector Benefits, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley. Telephone: 0300 3000 204.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have developed an on-line Benefits Adviser Service, which offers benefit advice and financial support for customers. The site is really informative and easy to move around. It covers things like:

  • Benefits and help going back to work
  • Caring for someone
  • Disability
  • Changes that affect your benefit
  • Benefits in retirement.

The site can be found at:

www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/index.htm



The Association expects that residents can live alongside each other in a peaceful manner, without nuisance or annoyance from neighbours. Your tenancy agreement states that you, those living with you, and your visitors, must not harass or act in an antisocial manner towards any person in the neighbourhood.

There may be occasions, however, when you have a disagreement with your neighbour. Noisy late night parties, loud music or household appliances being used at night can be annoying. If a problem arises, it is usually best to try and  sort it out yourself by having a quiet word with the neighbour concerned. You may not find it easy, but if you stay calm, and remain polite, the chances are you will get a sympathetic hearing. However, if this approach fails, or you believe it would be pointless to try, you should contact your Housing Officer. You can also report antisocial behaviour to Renfrewshire Council’s Nuisance Helpline (freephone 0800 169 1283  – 9.00am to 10.00pm) or the Police (phone 999 for an emergency, 101 for non emergencies).

The nature and seriousness of the problem will determine how your complaint is dealt with. We will try to keep you advised at all stages  as we progress your complaint.

In some instances, it may be  necessary to involve Renfrewshire Council’s Mediation Team or their Antisocial Investigations Team (ASIST).

The Association will not tolerate antisocial  behaviour or harassment against residents, visitors, our employees, members of our Board, agents and contractors  and those in your house. If, after investigation, either party involved in a dispute is found to be in breach of their tenancy conditions, the Association may  take legal action, which could lead to an Order for Recovery of Possession or an Antisocial Behaviour Order being pursued.

The Association will also taken steps to remove any graffiti, which is of a racist, sexual or religious nature, from any of the Association’s premises.

Click here to download our Neighbourhood disputes and anti social behaviour policy

Our housing is located in the Bargarran, North Barr and Park Mains areas of Erskine. We have a variety of house types – houses, flats, bungalows suitable for disabled persons, amenity housing  and supported housing for older people (sheltered and extra care). A fuller description of our properties is given in our application packs.

We allocate housing by setting annual targets for each of our 5 Priority Groups (homeless, mobility, housing need, transfers and applicants with no housing need). The targets are a percentage of the overall lets in the year and show the lets we aim to give to each group.

When a property becomes available for re-let, we will first of all check if it is suitable for someone with mobility needs. This is to ensure that we make best use of our purpose built, adapted and level access properties.

Our staff aim to give applicants realistic advice about the likelihood of being re-housed based on the choices they have made. We also provide information on opportunities to find housing with other local providers.

If you are homeless, or are about to become homeless, are a refugee, or you and your children are experiencing violence or abuse from a member of your household, you should also contact Renfrewshire Council for housing advice at:

Housing Advice and Homeless Services, 15 Abercorn Street, Paisley PA3 4AA

During office hours telephone: 0300 300 0222

Out of hours telephone: 0800 121 4466

All tenants are provided with a copy of their tenancy agreement, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants, and Bridgewater’s obligations as your landlord.

Your tenancy agreement is called a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST) Agreement. It is a legal contract between you and  Bridgewater as your landlord. It sets out the terms and conditions under which you rent your home from us.

You may have been given  a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy  instead of the one mentioned above. If this is the case, then you will have less rights than under a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST). A Short Scottish Secure Tenancy will  normally convert to an SST after 12 months.

Click here to download a copy of a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014

Part 1 of the Act abolishes the Right to Buy – although this won’t take effect until 1 August 2016. This will mean that you won’t have the right to buy your home after 31 July 2016. It also means that the current legislation is still in place until that date and therefore if you have a preserved right to buy, you may be able to buy your home up until the 31 July 2016.

The Scottish Government has produced guidance for tenants which will provide you with further information and we can provide you with information on this.

The Care Inspectorate has graded Bridgewater’s Housing Support Service Grade 6 – Excellent following an unannounced inspection, which concluded on 11 October.  This grading covers quality of care and support; quality of staffing; and quality of management and leadership.

The Association’s Housing Support Service delivers support to just over 100 older people across our 3 sheltered developments in Erskine.

The Inspector commented that the Association’s sheltered tenants “receive excellent, flexible support that helps them to achieve positive outcomes.

It was evident that staff had developed effective, trusting working relationships with people being supported. The Staff were described as inclusive, skilled and good at promoting independence. We heard examples of ways people thought staff went the extra mile.”

Other strengths included the emphasis on participation, continuous service developments and staff retention.

The Association’s Chair, Hugh Cameron, said “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the latest inspection. We have been a Grade 5 for the last few years and it is great to see the hard work and commitment of our housing support team being recognised through the excellence award. We know how much our sheltered tenant’s value the service and their contribution to the inspection process was crucial as service users.”

Tenants and staff enjoyed afternoon tea to celebrate the outcome of the inspection.

A copy of the report can be found here.

Advice

How long will it take me to get a house from Bridgewater?

We only get around 50 empty properties a year to re-let, and a third of these are sheltered or extra care. This means that unless you have a high priority for housing, we may not be able to offer you a house. Also, not many of our larger properties come up for re-let, so even with a high priority, applicants may have to wait a while.

For this reason, we will always encourage applicants to consider housing with other landlords so that they can maximise their opportunities for being re-housed.

Where am I on the housing list?

Unless you have an A+ priority for housing, your position on the waiting list can change as people with higher needs could be placed in front of you.

To find out where you are on the housing list, simply phone or email us, but please be aware that your position will be subject to change. If you would like an interview with a member of staff about your prospect of being re-housed with us, then please get in touch by contacting Helen Goode, Tel: 0141 814 5152, or by emailing HGoode@bridgewaterha.org.uk.

What do I do if I fall behind with my rent?

If you are having difficulties paying your rent, please contact your Housing Officer to talk things over and make an arrangement to get your payments back on track. Myra Buchanan covers North Barr, Barholm Drive and Crescent. You can call Myra on 0141 814 5162 or e-mail mbuchanan@bridgewaterha.org.uk. Mark Wilson covers Park Mains and can be contacted on 0141 814 5164 or mwilson@bridgewaterha.org.uk. Megan McQuade covers Bargarran and can be contacted on 0141 814 5163 or MMcQuade@bridgewaterha.org.uk. Whatever you do, don’t put it off.
If you need  help and someone to talk to about credit card debt, loans and so on, then call the Advice Works Helpline on 0300 300 1238. You could also visit their drop-in service at Erskine Library on Fridays 9am-11am.

What can Bridgewater do about antisocial behaviour?

  • We will take positive and decisive action to  deal with cases of anti-social behaviour.
  • We believe that our tenants have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.
  • This applies equally to owner occupiers who may be affected by antisocial behaviour from Association tenants
  • You can also report antisocial behaviour to Renfrewshire Council’s Nuisance Helpline (freephone 0800 169 1283  – 9.00am to 10.00pm)  or the Police (phone 999  for an emergency, 101 for non emergencies).

We will deal with anti-social behaviour by:

  • Investigating all incidents of antisocial behaviour
  • Working in partnership with tenants, the police, Renfrewshire Council’s Antisocial Investigations Team ( ASIST), mediation services, Social Work Department and other organisations.
  • Taking any necessary action against the perpetrator(s).
  • Following good practice.

If you are having problems with a neighbour, or feel that you are the victim of antisocial behaviour, then contact your Housing Officer right away.

It can be difficult to talk about debt, however, if your rent payments are not up to date, and your rent account is in arrears, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Our Housing Officers are here to help you get your payments back on track and to offer you advice if you have other debts.

It is important that you pay your arrears as soon as you can, and if you need to make an arrangement to make payments over a period of time, we will set up a reasonable repayment arrangement with you.

You should be aware, however, that if you do not keep to your arrangement, court action could be taken against you, and you could lose your home.

Click here to download our Arrears Policy.

Transfers

If your circumstances have changed, and you need a different size or type of house, you can apply to us for a transfer to another Bridgewater house.

Please refer to the section on How to Apply for Housing for more information.

If you need help to fill in your application form, or would like to meet with our Housing Assistant to talk about your application or find out more about your prospects of being re-housed, please ‘phone or email the office to set up an appointment. Appointments are generally held on Thursdays.

Exchanges

You might consider swapping houses with another Bridgewater tenant, or with a tenant of another housing association or local authority. This is called a mutual exchange and you will need to obtain our consent in writing if you and the other party or parties would like to progress this. Please speak to our Housing Assistant for more information.

Bridgewater is a member of ‘HomeSwapper’, a national mutual exchange matching website. So that you can maximise your chances of finding someone to swap with, simply register online at www.HomeSwapper.co.uk free of charge. If your entry to the website is approved, you will be able to view information about tenants within and out with Renfrewshire who are also looking for an exchange. The service searches for all possible matches everyday and then sends you alerts by email or text message.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you could consider accessing HomeSwapper at the local library, internet cafes or through family and friends.

You may be aware that the UK Government’s benefit change programme is making major reforms to the welfare system. If you’re of working age (16 – 64) and claim benefits you may be affected.

The changes might mean you’ll need to apply for a new type of benefit and in some cases you may receive less money.

For more information, please refer to the attached leaflet or log onto Renfrewshire Council’s website –renfrewshire.gov.uk/benefitchanges where you can watch a view and read some leaflets which explain the main changes in more detail.

If any of the changes affect you or your family and you need advice, please contact our Welfare Rights Officer.

Our Welfare Rights Officer, Kay Walker, can offer you a full benefit check to make sure that you are not missing out any benefits you could be entitled to. She can also:

  • Help with complicated claim forms and letters;
  • Help to pursue benefit backdates;
  • Represent you at appeals hearings.

If you would like to make an appointment to see Kay, just contact our office and leave your name, address, telephone number and/or email address and she will get in touch with you. If you are unable to attend the office, a home visit can be arranged.