Affordable housing

Affordable housing

What affordable housing is, types of affordable housing, who provides it and how you can rent or buy an affordable home.

What affordable housing is

Affordable housing is low-cost housing for people who can’t meet their housing needs because their income is too low to meet private market costs. This can include:

  • people who need to rent a home but can’t afford to pay market rents 
  • people who are unable to get on the property ladder, including first time buyers

There are eligibility criteria for people needing an affordable home in Bristol. 

Affordable rented homes

Affordable rented housing includes:

  • Social Rented properties
  • Affordable Rented properties
  • Intermediate Rented properties
  • Build to Rent: Affordable Private Rented properties

Social rented properties

Social rented properties usually have the lowest rents. These rents exclude service charges. 

Some social rented housing is owned by us and some by registered providers, such as housing associations. 

Affordable rented properties

These properties are more expensive than social rented properties but the rent is controlled. The rent is not more than 80% of local market rents or Local Housing Allowance, whichever is the lower, including service charges. 

The homes are let by local authorities or social housing providers to those eligible for social rented housing.

Intermediate rented properties

These properties are more expensive than social rented properties but the rent is controlled. The rent is not more than 80% of local market rents.

Intermediate rented properties may be offered by housing associations and let on an assured shorthold tenancy.

Build to Rent: Affordable Private Rent

Affordable Rent homes are let by Build to Rent landlords at 20% below market, or Local Housing Allowance rates, whichever is lower.

These properties will include service charges. 

Find an affordable rented home

Register with Home Choice Bristol to find an affordable rented home in Bristol.

Own your own affordable home

You can get help to buy your own affordable home. For example:

  • Shared Ownership
  • First Homes
  • Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme

Shared ownership

When you buy a shared ownership property, you use a mortgage to buy a percentage of the property.

You then pay rent on the remaining percentage, to the housing provider. You'll then be able to buy a bigger stake of the home when you can afford to do so. 

Find out about shared ownership schemes on the Help to Buy South website.

First Homes

First Homes is a new scheme designed to help local first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

This is by offering homes at a discount of 30% compared to the market price. The discounts will apply to the homes forever.  

First Homes properties will be sold by private developers as part of the affordable housing delivered through the development. First Homes are not yet available in the Bristol housing market. 

Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme

The new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme will run from 1 April 2021 to until March 2023.

The government will lend first time homebuyers up to 20% of the cost of a newly built home. This includes regional property price limits to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most.

The previous Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme ran until March 2021. 

Other government support

Visit for further information and other government home ownership schemes.