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Home > Housing > Looking for a home > How to apply for housing

How to apply for housing

This is the Council housing landing page where you can find information about how to apply for council housing.

Anyone can apply for housing, including people who are already in a Council property who wish to move.

There is no paper application form. There are two ways to apply:

1) You need to register using an online form for our Gateway to Homechoice lettings system.

2) By completing the form over the phone with a member of staff by contacting us.  

Online applications can be made on behalf of individuals by family, friends or support advocates.


If you or your family or friends do not have a computer, free access is available at our council offices:

  • Mid Suffolk District Council, 131 High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk, IP6 8DL (8.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
  • Babergh District Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh, IP7 6SJ (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)

All Suffolk Libraries also offer free internet access and informal advice on getting online.  


What happens once I have applied?

When we receive your application we will assess your housing need according to our allocations policy and your application will be placed in one of our five bands A to E), with A being the highest. You will receive a letter advising you of your banding and the size of property you are entitled to bid for.

Bidding or showing an interest in a house simply means putting your name forward for the properties you are interested in.

Bidding is nothing to do with money.

The property is offered to the person in the highest band who has been waiting the longest.

You can select two properties each week. Adverts will include a description of the home and other relevant information, for example the rent charge for the property, the size of it and any disabled adaptations or other special features the property might have.

Each bidding cycle runs from midnight on a Wednesday to 11.59pm the following Wednesday.

At the end of the cycle, we look at the list of people who have bid for each vacancy.

They invite the person who is in the highest band who has been waiting the longest to view the property before they decide if they wish to accept it.

You do not need to bid every week however if you do not take part, you will be restricting your chance of being offered a property. 


How will I know if it is worth showing an interest in a house?

When you select a property it will tell you what position you are in. 

So if you are 100th in line for a property you will know that there is a little chance of being offered that property and you may wish to select another.

We will only ever house about 20% of the people on the register.  If you are not in a high band (A or B), you are unlikely to be successful for a property unless it is a lower demand property such as one of our sheltered schemes or in an area of less demand.