Toggle menu

Cost of living support

Financial advice and emotional support on how you can ease the cost of living squeeze.

Apply for a council or housing association home

Check if you are eligible, find out how to apply and search for available council and housing association homes.

You can apply for council housing in Uttlesford through the Home Option partnership. You'll usually have to join a waiting list and you're not guaranteed to get a property.

Demand for council homes is very high. We cannot find homes for everyone who applies. You could also:

• rent from a private landlord or agent - there is guidance on how to rent on GOV.UK
• apply to an independent housing association
contact our Housing Otions Team if you're at risk of becoming homeless


Check if you can apply

You must be 16 years old or over to apply for council housing and have a local connection to Uttlesford.

A local connection can be if you have:

  • continuously lived for 3 years in the district
  • family who have lived in the district for 5 years and who you are supporting
  • been working in the district for at least 24 hours a week for the last 3 years

Eligibility can also depend on:

  • your nationality
  • immigration status
  • and if you've recently lived abroad

This is because the law says that there are some people who arrive in the UK from abroad that we cannot rehouse.

Who cannot apply

You cannot apply if you have sufficient funds to meet your housing needs. If you are applying for sheltered housing, though, we will not take your funds into consideration.

We will not accept your application if you have a history of unacceptable behaviour that will make you unsuitable as a tenant This includes:

  • rent arrears
  • antisocial behaviour
  • criminal activity or damage to property

Existing council tenants

If you are an existing council tenant and you want to move to another home you can apply for a transfer through the Home Option website. It might be faster to swap your home through a mutual exchange.

Apply to Home Option

To apply for council housing, you need to register online on the Home Option website.

You will need to provide your:

  • national insurance number
  • income and savings details
  • details of previous addresses you have lived at with dates

Apply to Home Option

What happens next

The Home Option team aim to process your application within 6 weeks if you have supplied all of the documentation.

If your registration is approved you will be able to bid on available properties advertised on the Home Option website. This includes properties owned by the council and local housing associations. 

New properties are advertised every Friday from 9am to the following Wednesday at 1pm. You can bid on up to 3 properties a week.

How it works: Home Option

Check what you need to do to apply to use the Home Option website and when to tell us if your circumstances have changed.

Check your eligibility

If you have a local connection to Uttlesford you may be eligible to register to bid on properties on the Home Option website.

A local connection is when you have:

  • been living in the district continuously for 3 years
  • family who have lived in the district for 5 years and who you are supporting
  • been working in the district for at least 24 hours a week for the last 3 years

In exceptional circumstances we may allow you to register even if you do not have a local connection.

You will not be eligible to join the waiting list if you are:

  • from abroad with no recourse to public funds; this is set out in law
  • not deemed to have a strong local connection; the criteria is quite specific
  • have sufficient funds to meet your housing need
  • have housing related debt
  • guilty of unacceptable behaviour which makes them unsuitable as a tenant


Register to bid on a property

We can only accept applications via the online registration form on the Home Option website.

To complete the form, you will need to have to hand:

  • photo identification, such as a current driving licence
  • proof of your current address and tenancy agreement if you have one
  • proof of a local connection - as set out in the council's Allocations Policy
  • identification and proof of any dependents who will be living with you
  • recent payslips
  • last 3 months bank statements
  • details of your previous accommodation


Express an interest in a property

Once you have completed an application and returned all of the required documentation, you will be placed in a band which will reflect the urgency of your need for housing. You will then be able to log in and view the available properties which are advertised weekly.

If you want to be considered for any of the properties available to you, you will need to express an interest or "bid". The application in the highest band for the longest time will be usually be considered first but there are some instances that others get priority but it will say this on the property advert.

If you are having difficulties bidding or viewing properties please contact our Housing Otions Team.

It is not possible to say how long you will be waiting to find a property. If you choose to bid for a number of properties across the district you will be more likely to find a home more quickly than someone who has specific criteria about where they want to live and the property type.

Tell us if your circumstances change

It is essential that you let us know when your circumstances change because we cannot offer you a property if your application is not up-to-date.

If you have moved address or wish to add a joint applicant to your application please log in to your account on the Home Option website and complete the change of circumstances form. It is likely that you will have to send in supporting evidence to confirm your change of circumstance.

Renew your application

Once a year you will be prompted to renew your application. If you fail to do this then your application will be cancelled.


Allocations Policy

Find more information on local connections, who can apply and how registration works in our Allocations Policy (PDF) [312KB] .