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Monday, October 20, 2014

Help is available for people who need assistance with online housing applications

Help is available for people looking to apply for accommodation with West Lancashire Borough Council.

From 27 October 2014, anyone applying for housing within the Borough will be encouraged to do so online by visiting West Lancs Homefinder (external link).  Staff will be able to advise them on how to make applications and where online facilities to apply for accommodation are available locally free of charge, if these cannot be accessed at home or through family or friends. This will include the Customer Service Points at the Council offices at 52 Derby Street and the Concourse Shopping Centre Skelmersdale as well as LCC libraries and local community facilities.

Our Housing Options team will be available on 01695 585267 to offer assistance to those customers who need help completing the online application form.  This will ensure that anyone who wishes to join our register is able to do so without any delay. Visiting staff from the Housing Options team can also support applicants to make an online application at home.

Supporting documents that need to be submitted with an application can also be scanned at the Council’s Customer Service Points rather than photocopied. This will help prevent delays in documents being received which will mean applications can be processed more efficiently.

Councillor Jane Houlgave, Portfolio holder for Housing, said: “Applying online is the quickest and most efficient way of making an application for housing, and removes any delay in the Council receiving and processing paper-based applications.

“Currently 85% of bids for our properties are made using Homefinder, our online application service, without any problems. But we appreciate that some people are not confident with digital technology and we are happy to help people who need assistance with their applications.”

You can use a computer free of charge at Lancashire County Council-run libraries, provided you are a member, but it’s easy to join online or at your local library. Anyone who lives in the in the UK may join a Lancashire library, it's free and there are no age restrictions. For more information on facilities at local libraries please contact Lancashire County Council on 0300 123 6703.

You can also use a computer free of charge at community centres. Contact details and opening times of the community centres with internet facilities are as follows: Quarry Bank Community House, 364 Ormskirk Rd, Skelmersdale WN8 9AL Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Telephone number 01695 50446.

Evermoor Enterprises, Birleywood, Digmoor, Skelmersdale, WN8 9HR Open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm. Telephone number 01695 726269.

Greenhill Community Hub, Beech Close, Skelmersdale, Lancashire,WN8 8DL Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. The centre can be available outside of these times by arrangement: call 01695 558869.

Tanhouse Enterprise Group, Ennerdale, Tanhouse, Skelmersdale, WN8 6AN Open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm. Call 01695 720128 or 07815744 002 Email tanhousecommunityenterprise@gmail.com.

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