Housing list - getting on the Bristol Housing Register
1. Before you apply
It’s very unlikely that you’ll be offered a council property because the waiting list is very long.
Even people with the greatest need often wait several years before they get a council property.
People on the housing register have told us that if they knew how unlikely it was that they’d be housed, they would’ve looked at other options earlier like moving into private rented accommodation.
We can also give you advice if you're worried about becoming homeless.
2. How to apply
You can apply for council or housing association housing on the HomeChoice Bristol website.
You only have to make one application to HomeChoice Bristol. There's no charge for the application.
What you need to do
You'll need to register your details first.
After you've registered your details, you'll need to complete the online application form. The form remembers the details you used when you registered.
The online application form is quite long. You can save each page as you go through it, but give yourself plenty of time, especially if you have a large household.
3. Who can apply
You must be eligible for social housing to apply for a property through HomeChoice Bristol.
Your application could get rejected if you don't qualify.
Before you apply, it may be useful to check if you qualify for HomeChoice Bristol.
4. What happens after you apply
When your application has been assessed we'll let you know:
- your application reference number, this will be the same as the registration number given to you when you registered your household
- the band your application has been assessed into
- the number of bedrooms we think your household needs
If we need to make a home visit, a member of staff will arrange to visit you.
How long it takes
It can take six to eight weeks to assess an application. It some instances it may take longer.
Proof you need to provide
You won't usually need to provide any documents until you're offered a property. We may ask for some information depending on your cicumstances.
5. How the banding system works
Your application will be put into one of four bands, depending on your housing need. The highest is Band 1 and the lowest Band 4.
Applications are looked at in date order within each band.
Our Housing Allocation Scheme (pdf, 318k) (opens new window) has detailed information about the banding system.
6. Bidding on a property
When your application has been assessed and placed into a band, you can start bidding for properties.
You'll need your reference number and your memorable date to start bidding.
Properties are advertised weekly. You can put a bid on up to three properties each week.
What happens if your bid is successful
If you make a successful bid, and are offered a property, we'll contact you with details of what you need to do next.
7. What is HomeChoice Bristol?
HomeChoice Bristol is the name of the scheme that Bristol City Council and our partner Housing Associations use to allocate our properties within the city.
Properties are advertised and people on the housing register who qualify for that size of property can express an interest in the properties they want to be considered for.
8. Other housing options
There's a high demand for social housing in Bristol. If you're on a lower band it may be worth looking at other housing options that are available to you.
There's information about becoming a private tenant, affordable housing and housing support for vulnerable, older or disabled adults on our housing pages.
You can also fill in the HomeChoice Bristol housing options assessment which will give you advice on the different housing options that may be available to you.
9. What are Housing Associations
We work with housing associations in Bristol as part of HomeChoice Bristol.
Each housing association is set up to provide homes for a particular group of people. Some provide housing for people in housing need and others provide accommodation for a particular group such as 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.
10. If your circumstances change
You must tell us if there are any changes in your circumstances so we can:
- reassess your application
- make any necessary changes to your band and priority date
To tell us about a change in your circumstances:
- go to the HomeChoice Bristol website
- log in using your reference number and memorable date
- tell us what's changed
We'll let you know of any changes to your assesment, once we've reviewed your application.
You must not give us false information or withhold information to get a property. If you do, you'll lose the property and we'll take legal action against you that could lead to a fine or imprisonment.