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Bristol City Council and most housing associations working in the area have developed a combined application form and register of people needing housing in the city.
This is known as HomeChoice Bristol.
If you are looking for housing to rent in Bristol you will only have to fill out one application form. There is no charge.
If you are not already a Bristol City Council or Housing Association tenant (in Bristol) you will need to provide proof of identity for yourself and the joint applicant, if there is one.
Please supply us with one of the following for yourself and the joint applicant. If you are unable to provide one of these four please contact us to discuss alternatives.
- Home Office Travel Document
- Photo Drivers Licence
- Birth Certificate
In some cases we may also need other information or evidence in order to process your application or assess your priority for housing.
You must not:
- Sub-let your home without permission
- Live somewhere else whilst holding a council tenancy
- Gave us false information or withhold information to obtain your home.
If this is the case, you will lose the home and we will take legal action against you that could lead to a fine or imprisonment.
In May 2015 changes were made to the council housing allocation policy. Changes affect who can be included on HomeChoice Bristol (the housing register or ‘waiting list’), who can bid for homes, and who gets priority.
In order to be included on HomeChoice Bristol, applicants will need to be meet one of the qualification conditions:
- Residency. You will need to have lived in Bristol for the last two years.
- Income. No applications accepted from people with income over £40,000.
- Savings. No applications from people with savings over £40,000.
- Home owners. No applications from those who own their own home.
- Behaviour. No applications from those with a history of serious unacceptable behaviour.
- Age. You will need to be 16 years of age or over
There are exceptions to these qualification criteria which are explained in Bristol’s new Housing Allocation Scheme (pdf, 313 KB)(opens new window).
A person may not be eligible if they are subject to immigration control.
Find out more at the HomeChoice Bristol website.
- If a home visit is necessary, a member of staff will arrange to visit you.
- Your application will be placed into one of four bands, the highest being Band 1 and the lowest Band 4. Applications will be considered in date order within each band.
- You will be contacted with details of what band your application has been assessed into.
- Once your application has been assessed and placed into the appropriate band, you will be able to start bidding for properties advertised through HomeChoice Bristol.
HomeChoice Bristol is the name of the scheme that Bristol City Council and partner Housing Associations within the city use to allocate their properties. All properties are advertised and people on the housing register who qualify for that size of property can then express an interest in properties they wish to be considered for. This is called placing a “bid”. For more information about how to bid for properties please read our How to Bid leaflet (pdf, 2.9 MB)(opens new window).
If you make a successful bid and receive an offer of accommodation, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Identification for all adults listed on the application
- Proof of address for all adults on the application
- Proof of receipt of Child Benefit for all dependant children on the application
- Proof of pregnancy, if applicable
If applicable, you will also need to provide evidence of your continued eligibility. If you fail to provide the required documents in the time specified by the landlord, this may result in the offer of accommodation being withdrawn.
Your application will be assessed into one of four bands, depending on your housing need. For more information on how bands are awarded please read the Introduction to HomeChoice Bristol leaflet (pdf, 2.8 MB)(opens new window).
You can also download a copy of the council's Housing Allocation Scheme (pdf, 313 KB)(opens new window) which gives further information about the banding system.
Other housing options
Demand for social housing in Bristol far exceeds the number of properties that are available.
For this reason we advise those of you on lower bands to look into other housing options that may be available to you.
For more information please see our Other Housing Options leaflet (pdf, 3.3 MB)(opens new window).
Housing Associations provide accommodation for people who need a home but cannot afford to buy or rent privately. Housing Associations (also called registered social landlords) are generally non-profit making organisations. The size, type and location of properties varies from one association to another.
Some associations are quite small, with only a few flats or houses. Others are much bigger with many different types of housing.
Each housing association will have been set up to provide homes for a particular group of people. Some provide housing for people in housing need and others provide accommodation specifically for a particular group e.g. for older people. Some housing associations provide housing and support for people who need support or assistance to help them set up their home or to live independently.
For more information about the Housing Register and other housing advice, contact HomeChoice Bristol.
Our four Citizen Service Points can also give advice. Appointments to discuss more complex rehousing queries with a Rehousing Advisor are available at each Citizen Service Point.