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Applying for Social Housing

Couple holding a small wooden house

Information on how you can apply for social housing.

Housing Waiting List Closed

We're sorry, but our housing waiting list is closed at the moment. 

The only exception to this will be if you're an Estuary general needs tenant and you meet the criteria for urgent rehousing or downsize. 

If you think this is you, please email allocations@estuary.co.uk and, although we can't promise anything, we'll do our best to help. 

Applying for Social Housing

There's a few different ways you can apply for social housing. You may be able to register with a local authority. As they work with all social landlords in their area, they have access to far more properties than we can offer.

Most of our homes are let through the local authority’s choice-based lettings schemes. If you are registered for rehousing with the local authority, then you would be able to bid for our properties through them. This will be the best way to go if you're looking for a social housing home.

We do have a housing register, but this is closed at the moment. If you're already a tenant of ours and you need rehousing for any of the reasons below, you can contact us to discuss your rehousing needs.

  • Your current home is making your medical conditions worse.
  • You are in a home that is too big for your needs.
  • You are experiencing domestic abuse, or other forms of abuse/harassment and feel moving is the only solution. This does not include neighbour disputes.

If you're already in social housing, the quickest way to find the type of home in the right area is by a mutual exchange. Our tenants can register for free on www.homeswapper.co.uk and www.houseexchange.org.uk

How Long Will I Wait?

The short answer is, we just don't know.

We have our own waiting list which is closed at the moment and most of our lets are carried out are through local authority.

Even if you're already on our waiting list, we're not able to say exactly how long you will have to wait. This is because wait times depend on individual circumstances and also how many homes we have available to relet.

Our homes information page has information on how many homes we have in each local authority area. This is based on the number of homes we have relet over the past 5 years for each size home. You will see the number of relets from our own list is very low.

As there's a shortage of social housing, applicants are unlikely to be able to choose houses or bungalows in preference to flats or maisonettes

Of course, we will contact you as soon as a property becomes available if you're next in line to be offered a home.

Keeping Us Up To Date

You must let us know any change of address or circumstances as soon as they happen.

Every year you're on the waiting list, we'll email you a review form, which you must fill in and return to us. If you don't do this within 10 days of it being sent, your application will be closed and you'll have to start the process again. 

Being Offered a Home

If a property suitable for you becomes available, we'll take the following steps:

  1. We'll get in contact with you. We'll need to complete an affordability assessment with you to make sure you can afford the rent and perhaps run a credit reference check before we can formally offer the home to you.
     
  2. We will carry out an affordability assessment. This is based on the information you give us and includes any income from benefits. Where more than 50% of any income, including benefits, is being spent on rent, we will consider this unaffordable. It will also take into account the average costs for the size of home you are being considered for. Where a home is unaffordable, this does not affect your housing application and you would stay on the waiting list.
     
  3. If you meet our eligibility criteria, including affordability, we email you an offer letter.
     
  4. If the property is not ready, we will keep you updated. We'll let you know as soon as possible when you can view it.
     
  5. If you want the property, you will normally sign the tenancy agreement at the viewing. Just to let you know, the agreement will say rent is due weekly, but we can agree monthly payments if that's better for you. You don't need to pay us a deposit, but you must pay a minimum of a weeks' rent when you sign the tenancy. If monthly payments work better for you, you must make sure your rent account doesn't get behind in between payments. This applies even if you are claiming housing related benefits. We can help you work out how much to pay and when. 
     
  6. Once you've signed your tenancy, we give you the keys. The tenancy normally starts the Monday after you have signed. If you're in receipt of Universal Credit, you'll need to upload your tenancy agreement to your Journal straight away. This is so there's no delay in any claim for the housing element of your claim.
     
  7. A member of our Income Team will get in contact with you during the first week of your tenancy. They will introduce themselves and talk with you about things like how you'll be paying your rent. Paying your rent by Direct Debit is best method and is quick to set up. The Income Officer can do this with you over the phone.
     
  8. If you're on our waiting list and refuse a home, you will be removed from the waiting list. If you feel the offer wasn’t suitable, you can appeal the offer. You must make it clear why you refused and why the property wasn’t suitable. If the reasons are not considered to be justified, your application on the housing waiting list will be cancelled and you'll be removed. You'll also be disqualified from reapplying for housing with us for 12 months.

    Customers nominated to us by the local authority who refuse a home will need to speak to the local authority. You will need to check if the refusal will have any impact on your application with them. We will be unable to hold the property if you need to appeal with the local authorities offer.