Apply for council and social housing

To apply for a council or housing association home you will need to

Join the housing register

In Babergh and Mid Suffolk, council and social homes are managed through the Gateway to Homechoice. This allows you to view all the homes available through the council and each housing association on one website.

If you are accepted onto the housing register, you can ‘bid’ for council and housing association properties in Babergh and Mid Suffolk. Babergh and Mid Suffolk applicants are prioritised on properties in Babergh and Mid Suffolk. They can also bid for home though other partners on Gateway to Homechoice but will not be prioritised for those properties.

Read the Allocation Policy

What you need to know before you apply

The Gateway to HomeChoice online form takes around 30 minutes to complete.

You can save the form at any point and complete it later - even if you are not on your own computer.

You will need to complete the form within two weeks. If not, you will have to start again.

You will need the following information:

  • Names, dates of birth and current addresses of everyone who will live in the house
  • Telephone number and an email address (if you have one)
  • National insurance numbers for yourself and your partner
  • Full address history for the last six years. There must not be any gaps and dates must not overlap
  • Your employment and income details
  • Once you have started the form, you will be given a unique login reference number, please note it down
  • If you do not have access to the internet, please call us on 0300 1234000 (Options 3). We can help you complete an application form, or navigate the bidding process

Gateway to Homechoice Verification

Download full list of supporting evidence

The Verification Housing History form must be completed with all of your household members' addresses, for the past 6 years (and for the past 10 years for any property ownership).

It must also include the name and address of your landlords, and the dates that you moved in and out, together with the reasons for leaving the property.

Please complete the form:

Verification Housing History


The declaration must be signed and dated.

Please download, print, sign and return the declaration. If you are unable to print the declaration please contact us and a paper copy can be posted to you

Download Verification Declaration (PDF)

Sending in your documents

Email all relevant documents in ONE message. Use consecutive messages for larger households. If you need support to send us your documents please contact us

Email my documents

What happens next

You will receive an acknowledgement email immediately to confirm we have received your documents.

We do not keep previously sent documents on file, unless uploaded to your online account, so it is important that you gather all of the documents which are relevant to you and send them together at the same time. You don't need to resend any clearly readable documents that you have already uploaded to your online application - you can check these by logging in to your application online.

From the date we receive your full clearly readable set of step 1 documents, we aim to assess your application so that, if eligible, you can place bids within 6-8 weeks.

Your application will be closed automatically if we do not receive a full set of clearly readable and relevant documents altogether within 28 days from the date of your Gateway to Homechoice application.

Additional bedroom entitlement / banding priority can be requested at any time but will only be considered once evidence in step 2 documents have been received. We strongly advise sending step 1 and 2 documents at the same time where possible.

Please allow a further 6-8 weeks for documents in step 2 to be assessed (from the date we receive them) if sending after your basic assessment documents in step 1.

The following applications will NOT be accepted:

  • If you have been housed in the last 12 months via Gateway to Homechoice or Mutual Exchange
  • If you have a previous application under another Gateway to Homechoice number (you will need to re-apply using your original number)
  • If you are a joint social housing tenant and are only applying in your own name (unless fleeing violence)
  • If your application should be for Birmingham, Cornwall, Kent, Yorkshire, Doncaster, Reading, Rochdale or Bristol where, for example, they also have Homechoice  schemes but are not part of our sub-region. Please check you are applying to the correct Local Authority.

What happens after I have registered?

After you have registered, we will write to you within 28 days. We will ask you to provide certain documents. This is so we can review your application.

Once these have been received and your application has been approved, we will inform you of:

  • Your banding
  • Your login number
  • Information about how to bid for a home

Frequently Asked Questions

View our list of frequently asked questions