Finding a home

How to apply for social housing (a council house) in North Lincolnshire through Home Choice Lincs, including sheltered housing and what to do if you need to move urgently.

Applying for social housing (a council house) through Home Choice Lincs

Home Choice Lincs is a partnership of social housing providers across North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. To apply for social housing (often referred to as a ‘council house’), including sheltered housing for people above the age of 60, in this area, you need to apply online via the Home Choice Lincs website.

Whether you are looking to rent, buy your own place, need emergency housing or want to find a care home, it is important to find somewhere that suits your needs. You also need to understand the rights each option would give you:

If you have health problems, a disability or are an older person and struggling to manage your property, please contact our Adult Social Care team.

If you need to move urgently, for example because of domestic violence, or because conditions are so bad in your current home that it is no longer reasonable for you to stay there, you should always contact your housing association first as many have emergency procedures to help their tenants.

Transfers and exchanges take time. If you need to move urgently, and your housing association is unable to help or you would like independent advice, please contact the Housing Advice Team to see if you can get higher priority on the waiting list and ask about making a homelessness application.

Local councils have a duty to re-house people immediately in certain circumstances.

DO NOT move out of your current home without getting advice first.

If your housing association is unable to help or you would like independent advice, please contact our Housing Advice team on housingadvice@northlincs.gov.uk or 01724 297000. We have a duty to re-house people in certain circumstances. Do not move out of your current home without getting advice first.

Your chances of getting a new home will depend on:

  • the reason you want to move
  • the sort of property you are asking for (if you need a larger property or one that has been adapted for support needs, you may have to wait longer)
  • the sort of property you currently live in and where you are currently living

All applications are prioritised depending on how urgently a person needs to move depending on their individual circumstances.

Visit the HomeChoiceLincs website or contact the Housing Advice Team for more details.

You can apply for a transfer if you have a secure or assured tenancy with the local council or housing association. You will probably not be able to apply if:

  • you have a demoted tenancy, an introductory tenancy, a starter tenancy or an assured shorthold tenancy
  • you live in supported housing or a care home
  • you, or any member of your household, are guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour.

You will also need to show that your circumstances have changed since you moved in, resulting in a need for a different home. This could be because:

  • your family has grown and your current home and it is now overcrowded
  • your home is now too big for you, for example, because your children have left home
  • you are ill or have a disability and your current home isn’t suited to your needs.

How do I apply for a transfer?

Some housing associations have internal transfer waiting lists, but applications are usually processed through the Choice Based Lettings Scheme. The system doesn’t work on a first come first served basis but on a point system based on housing need. The more points you have, the higher up the waiting list you will be.

To apply to go on the housing register you must apply online with HomeChoiceLincs.

You can also apply for a swap or mutual exchange. You can do this online using a site like Homeswapper .

Depending on why you need to move, you may have to wait a long time before you are offered a new home. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get what you want.

Transfers often take a very long time. There is a shortage of property in most areas, especially if you need a larger property. However, thousands of people get a transfer every year, so don’t give up too easily.

Existing tenants don’t automatically get priority on the waiting list, so you should explain any special circumstances that might mean that you get extra points. A local advice centre may be able to help you to complete forms to make your application as strong as possible. They may also be able to help if you want to challenge a decision that the council has made about your application.

You will only get offered a property that you have ‘bid’ on. So it is important that you only apply for a property that you are interested in and that is suitable. It is also very important that you attend any viewings that you are invited to.

If you are accepted as homeless, the council or housing association will only make you one offer of a new home.

Yes, you will need to register on the list in the area(s) you wish to move to. You should speak to the council in the area you want to move to for more details.

You can also apply for a swap or mutual exchange. You can do this online using a site like Homeswapper .

No, there is no charge to apply for a transfer.

There are a variety of projects and schemes to help you buy your own home in North Lincolnshire, including:

  • Starter Homes
  • Discounted Market Sales
  • Rent to buy or purchase
  • Shared ownership
  • Specific shared ownership scheme
  • Right to buy
  • Finance options available

If you have any queries or want to discuss your options, please call 01724 297000.

  • Supported housing

We work with other agencies to provide temporary accommodation to single, homeless people who are vulnerable. Please talk to you support worker about accessing supported housing.

  • Specialist and long-term supported housing

For advice for people with a learning disability please contact our Housing Advice team.

  • Help to keep my tenancy (floating support)

Support is available to vulnerable people who already have housing and require help to sustain their tenancy, or to those who require help to find suitable housing.

If you have health problems, a disability or you are an older person and struggling to manage your property please contact Adult Services.

Certain countries require a resident in the UK to provide an accommodation certificate stating that the property they are living in is safe and free from any harmful hazards. This is to ensure any family member or loved one who may be visiting them in the UK remains safe.

A housing immigration inspection of your property is usually required prior to applicants gaining entry to the UK. A report is made on the housing conditions of your property under the Housing Act 2004 and is part of the application provided to the British High Commission.

The report confirms that:

  • The property is acceptable for occupation under the requirements of the Housing Act 2004.
  • The property has been inspected prior to being occupied.
  • The occupant will not overcrowd the property.

It costs £180 for an inspection report. If a letter is re-issued within 12 months from the date of inspection, a fee of £60 is charged.  If a letter is requested after the 12 month period, a full inspection will be required at full cost.

The accommodation must be occupied exclusively by you or your family. Shared accommodation with members of another family is not acceptable.

You will need to provide the following details when contacting us:

  • Name of applicant
  • Contact telephone number – or e mail
  • Address of premises to be inspected
  • Name of visitor(s) as detailed on their passports
  • Applicants relationship with the visitor(s)
  • Number of adults and children currently living at the premises

A typical inspection will take around one hour and the officer who visits will need to look around the whole property and you will be asked to outline who else lives in the house with you.