Apply for council housing

Check if you are eligible, how to apply and search for available council and housing association properties.

We are committed to offering an element of choice to all those looking for homes, allowing people to make well-informed decisions about their housing options referred to as ‘Choice Based Lettings’.

Demand for council homes is very high. We cannot find homes for everyone who applies.

You could also:

Check if you’re eligible

You must meet the following criteria to join the housing register, this includes existing council tenants wishing to transfer:

have a
housing need

can include medical issues, overcrowding, under crowding and homelessness.

Accordion end
and a
local connection

could include (one of the following): 

  • living in the Arun area for the last 5 years 
  • living in the Arun area for 10 of the last 15 years and are currently living in Arun
  • working more for more than 24 hours a week in the Arun area for the last 2 years 
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A full list of the criteria and details of the process can be found in the Housing allocation scheme[docx] 545KB.

If you meet the criteria you can then apply to join the housing register.

How to apply

To apply for council housing, you need to register online.

Apply for council housing

Already a council tenant – apply for a transfer

You can apply for a transfer if you’re already a council or housing association tenant and want to move to a new home.

You’ll need to make a new application  to go on the housing register. Your application for a transfer will be considered under our Housing allocation scheme[docx] 545KB.

You may get priority for a transfer if:

  • your home is too big for your needs
  • you can no longer afford the rent
  • your family has grown and your home is overcrowded
  • your home is not suited to your needs because you are ill or have a disability

Swap your home through mutual exchange

A transfer is different to swapping your home through mutual exchange where you find another council or housing association tenant to swap your home  with. This can sometimes be a quicker option than applying for a transfer.

If you’re flexible about where you live you might also consider moving out of the area where demand may not be so high. You need to contact the relevant council in that area to find out what is available.

What happens next

Once we receive your housing application we will assess your housing need. We will look at your medical needs, your housing conditions, whether you are homeless and any other reason why you need to be rehoused.

If approved, we will notify you of your priority banding along with the bidding instructions so you will be able to bid on properties suitable for your needs.

If we reject your application we will write to you to explain why.

Priority bands

There are three priority bands - A, B and C.

  • Band A – emergency, urgent priority
  • Band B – high housing need
  • Band C – identified a housing need

The bandings are explained in detail in the Housing allocation scheme[docx] 545KB.

Change to your application

If your circumstances change after you have submitted your application, please tell us by completing our change of circumstances form.

If you disagree with our decision

If your application is rejected or you disagree with the priority banding you have been allocated you can request a review of the decision. Details of how to do this can be found in the Housing allocation scheme[docx] 545KB.

Bidding for a council or housing association property

By ‘bid’ we mean to apply for a property by making an ‘expression of interest’.

We advertise properties every other Thursday on our i-housing portal. Your bids must reach us by midnight on the following Wednesday.

You can bid on a maximum of 4 properties in each bidding cycle.

See the bidding cycle dates below:

Bidding Cycles 2021


Opens Thursday

Closes Wednesday at midnight


1 December 2022

7 December 2022


15 December 2022

21 December 2022


12 January 2023

18 January 2023


26 January 2023

1 February 2023


9 February 2023

15 February 2023


23 February 2023

1 March 2023


9 March 2023

15 March 2023


23 March 2023

29 March 2023


6 April 2023

12 April 2023


20 April 2023

26 April 2023


4 May 2023

10 May 2023


18 May 2023

24 May 2023


1 June 2023

7 June 2023


15 June 2023

21 June 2023


29 June 2023

5 July 2023


13 July 2023

19 July 2023


27 July 2023

2 August 2023


10 August 2023

16 August 2023


24 August 2023

30 August 2023


7 September 2023

13 September 2023


21 September 2023

27 September 2023


5 October 2023

11 October 2023


19 October 2023

25 October 2023


2 November 2023

8 November 2023


16 November 2023

22 November 2023


30 November 2023

6 December 2023


14 December 2023

20 December 2023

How to bid

You can search and bid on available properties through our online i-housing portal.

Bid online through i-housing

Offering you a home

Once bidding closes we will put the bids for each property into priority order based on need to make a shortlist of applicants for each property.

If your name is at the top of the shortlist we will phone you to invite you to view the property. If you decide to reject the property we will offer it to the next priority applicant.

Only successful candidates will be contacted.

If you refuse an offer you may not get another offer for some time or you may lose your priority.

Further information about how properties are allocated can be found in Housing allocation scheme[docx] 545KB.

Local lettings plans

We have one local lettings plan in place for Nightingales in Findon. If you would like to bid on a property with a local lettings plan in place, please read our local lettings plan page first.