Applying for social housing or home exchange
Choice Based Lettings
A background to the scheme
Choice based lettings is a new way of allocating social housing. In 2009 Ipswich Borough Council along with Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Maldon, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal developed and implemented the Sub Regional choice based lettings scheme known as Gateway to Homechoice. Waveney later joined the scheme in 2011.
All allocations of social housing are managed through the choice based lettings scheme. Once applicants are registered and placed in their band in accordance with their current circumstances and the allocations policy, they may place bids (register their interest) on properties in any of the eight authority areas.
How do I apply for housing?
To apply for social housing within Ipswich or the seven other authority areas, please go to the Gateway to Homechoice website and complete an application form.
Your application will be assessed and you will be placed in a band in accordance with your current circumstances. Please see Prioritising Applications for more information regarding this.
You will receive a letter confirming your band and what type/size of property you are eligible to bid on.
Before you apply for housing...
Before you complete your Gateway to Homechoice application, you will need to make sure you have the following information to hand:
- Name, address, date of birth of all household members to be housed.
- National insurance numbers for all household members over the age of 16.
- Current landlords details.
- Last six years address history for all applicants including tenure (landlord name and address/living with family/owner occupier).
- Employment details.
- Details of any unspent convictions that apply to any household members.
You will also need to provide the following documents within 14 days of the date of request before your application can be processed:
- Proof of identification for all household members over the age of 16 - this must be in the form of a photo driving licence or current passport. If you do not have either of these a birth certificate will be acceptable however, along with this you will need to provide two forms of proof of your address.
- Proof of address for all household members over the age of 16 - this must be a current bank statement or utility bill (of no less than 3 months old) or a current benefit award letter. No other forms of proof of address will be accepted.
- Proof of receipt of child benefit for all children to be housed - this must be your latest Child Benefit award letter, or a bank statement (of no less than 3 months old) showing the payments. We will not include children on your application for whom you do not receive Child Benefit.
- Proof of pregnancy if you, or a member of your household, are pregnant - this must be in the form of your MATB1 maternity certificate showing the name and address of the expectant person, along with the estimated delivery date (EDD).
- A valid Notice to Quit (Section 21 or Section 8 Notice) - if this has been served upon you by your current landlord.
Failure to provide these documents within 14 days of the date of request will result in your application being closed with no further notice.
Once you have applied for housing you may be asked to complete the following forms:
- Medical assessment form (this will be used to assess your long term housing needs based on the information you provide).
- Home owner form if you, or a member of your household, own or has previously owned a property.
- Guarantor letter of approval form if the main applicant is under the age of 18.
Original documents must be provided at the Customer Services Centre at the Town Hall where copies will be taken. The opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Please note: We will also contact your current and previous landlords to establish a tenancy history and obtain references.
Further information on how to use the Gateway to Homechoice website including an instruction demonstration is available via the link below:
Is Your Housing Need Urgent?
If you have recently been served with a notice of seeking possession or a notice to quit and are likely to be homeless please contact our Housing Options team on 01473 433033 where you can make an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer.
Last Updated: Monday 15th April 2013
Further pages in Applying for social housing or home exchange
- Choice Based LettingsYou are here
- Mutual exchanges