Select Page

How To Apply For Social Housing

Allocations of social housing are managed through the Gateway to Homechoice choice based lettings scheme. Find out how to make an application.

You will need to join the housing register by applying through the choice based letting scheme, Gateway to Homechoice. You only have to fill in one application form to be considered for both housing association and council properties in any of these areas:


  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Babergh District Council
  • Braintree District Council
  • Maldon District Council
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • East Suffolk Council

How to make an application

You can register online with any PC or tablet, for example from your home or at the public access computers in the Greenstead local office or any library, including the Colchester town centre library. If you do not have access to a computer or tablet, are unable to get to a location with a public access computer or have nobody to assist you complete an application please contact Colchester Borough Homes Gateway To Homechoice Team on the details below.


Tel: 01206 580292

What Next?

When you join the housing register, your application will be assessed within 28 days of completion and a member of the team will try to contact you to discuss the assessment.

Applicants are placed in five different bands depending on their housing need. Information on these bands can be found in Section 5 of the allocations policy.

Please note, we have around 3,000 active applicants registered with Colchester Borough Homes on Gateway To Homechoice and the people on the highest priority bands have the most chance of getting a home. It is important to realise that only around 20% of people on the housing register are successful in getting a home. If you are in the lower three bands, it is unlikely you will be successful securing a property in the Colchester area.

If you choose to proceed with your Gateway To Homechoice application we will require documents to verify your application. Each applicant will be required to provide ID and sign a declaration allowing us to make enquiries on your behalf and confirming the information given is correct and true. Depending on your circumstances you may be required to provide additional information about you and other household members, like proof of income, tenancy agreement, and address history. You may also wish to provide information about the suitability of your property. Information on the Gateway To Homechoice privacy policy can be found here.

If you have a smart phone you can take pictures of the documents you wish to provide and e-mail them to or upload them directly to your application. Once provided, the documents will go into our work flow and be assessed within 28 days.  We receive on average around 500 documents a week for customers Gateway To Homechoice applications.

Once all the requested documents are provided, required references received and any necessary risk assessments completed your application will be activated and you will be able to bid on suitable properties.