I Would Like a Home

It used to be the case that if you wanted to apply for a house with OrweResidential streetll, you would have to fill out an application form and join our waiting list. You would also have to join the waiting lists for all other Housing Associations, and the Local Council. If your circumstances changed, you would then have to tell everyone who you had registered your details with of the change. Very time consuming! Luckily the registration process has become much simpler for prospective tenants, with Local Authorities choosing to manage their allocations by what is known as 'Choice Based Lettings' (CBL).

Choice Based Letting (CBL)

CBL is an exciting new way of allocating properties, which allows you the applicant to have more choice and control over where you live. Choice based lettings schemes have now started in many area's and once you are registered, you will be told what kind of properties you are able to bid for. Each of the CBL’s will be able to advise you on how the schemes work. Generally properties are listed weekly or fortnightly in newspapers or on a web page. If you are interested in a property, then you will have a certain amount of time to 'bid' on it. Once bidding has finished, you will be notified if you are successful.

Gateway to Homechoice - Choice Based Lettings Scheme

The way in which social housing is allocated across the Greater Haven Gateway changed at the end of 2008. The following Local Authorities worked together in partnership to develop the new Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme for the Greater Haven Gateway:

  • Babergh District Council
  • Braintree District Council
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • Maldon District Council
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • Suffolk Coastal District Council
  • Waveney District Council

Tendring Council chose not to join the sub regional scheme.

The main difference of the new approach is available homes will be advertised and you will be able to express an interest in the homes that suit your requirements. All empty council and housing association homes in the seven council areas will be advertised on the Gateway to Homechoice website, at local offices and in a property newsletter, and anyone on the register can put in a bid for homes they would like.

If you are looking for a council or housing association home in Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Ipswich, Maldon, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council you now only have to complete one application form. Your needs will be assessed against the same clear set of criteria no matter where you live.

The Councils have adopted one common allocations policy against which everyone will be assessed. An applicant will only need to apply to one of the Councils but can be considered for housing in any of the areas.

Gateway to Homechoice has now completed full review of the Allocation Policy and will now hold a period of consultation with customers and partners on the proposed recommendations. The consultation period will be from 8th May 2012 - 30th July 2012. 

Each home that is made available through Gateway to Homechoice will go to the applicant with the highest need in the highest band. If two families or people in the same band bid for the same home, it will go to the people that have been waiting the longest.

For more information about Gateway to Homechoice and how the scheme works, please click here. 


Home-Link is the choice based lettings scheme for Council and Housing Association properties in the Cambridge sub-region. This scheme allows you to choose where you would prefer to live of the housing that is available. The scheme has been introduced by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and six other local authorities which make up the Cambridge sub-region, including Forest Heath District Council.

For more information about Choice Based Lettings and how to apply for housing please click here

Alternatively, you may call St. Edmundsbury Borough Council on (01284) 757178 or click here to visit the St. Edmundsbury Borough website

Breckland Council

The Council has changed the way you can apply to the housing register for affordable housing.  The Council has introduced a choice based lettings scheme called Breckland Key Select.

Housing association properties for rent or sale will be advertised through Breckland Key Select when they are available. To be considered for a property, applicants registered on the system will be able to ‘bid’ ( which is to express an interest in a property, there are no payments  involved). Only applicants registered on Breckland Key Select will be able to bid. 

You can find out more information and also register on the new scheme on www.brecklandhousing.co.uk. 


Broadland District Council Housing Options

As from 2 April 2012 the old Home Options bidding system will come to an end for accommodation in the Broadland District Council area and the Housing Options Team will be allocating properties directly to applicants on the Housing List on behalf of the housing associations. All new housing applications will be assessed either over the phone by calling Broadland District Council or by visiting the Housing Options team. 

For more information on Broadland District Council Home Options and how to apply for housing please click here.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

For more information about applying for housing with Great Yarmouth Borough Council please click here.

All new housing applications will be assessed either over the phone by calling Great Yarmouth Borough Council or by visiting the Housing Options team.

Norwich Home Options

Home Options is the way that people can apply for social housing (council and housing association/registered providers) and shared ownership in the Norwich City Council area.

For more information on Norwich Home Options and how to apply for housing please click here.

South Norfolk Home Options

Home Options is the way that people can apply for social housing (council and housing association/registered providers) and shared ownership in the South Norfolk District Council area.

For more information on South Norfolk Home Options and how to apply for housing please click here. 

Applying for Housing

Depending on where you wish to live, the Association will accept nominations from a local authority or council or bids through the local Choice Based Letting (CBL) process. To view contact details for the various local authorities click here.