Housing Options

The Housing Options Team are here to provide free information, assistance and specialist advice to landlords, tenants and owner occupiers to help keep you in your home or to help you find an alternative.

Apply to join the register for social housing

If you are aged 18 you can apply to join the Housing Register provided;

  • You are not ineligible for an allocation of social housing due to your immigrations status; and
  • You do not have an annual gross household income of £48,000 or more; and
  • You are not disqualified as a result of unacceptable behaviour; and
  • You are not disqualified as a result of housing related debts

If you are aged 16 or 17 you will be eligible to join the register if you have been accepted by the council as homeless and in priority need.

There is a very high demand for social housing. Being accepted onto the housing register is not a guarantee that you will get an allocation of social housing. The register prioritises applicants according to their housing need, in line with the council's current adopted housing register and allocations policy. Many people on the register may wait years for an offer of social housing and some will never be allocated.

To apply to join, please follow the register for social housing link on the HomeOptions website.

Staying with family

If you can stay with family while you save up for a deposit or look for work then this may be the best option. While many adults want to move into their own place the cost of housing means that it may be better to stay with parents or family where you are likely to have low accommodation costs, until you are financially in a better position, either with a regular income or with some savings for a deposit and rent in advance.

If you are staying with family and they claim benefits to help with housing or council tax costs it is important that they declare you are living there.

Private renting self- contained or shared accommodation

If you have little prospect of getting social housing and cannot afford home ownership then renting from a private landlord is likely to be the main housing option available to you. See our Finding Private Rented Accommodation page for more details.

Supported housing

Supported housing is an option for people who are homeless and would benefit from some support to help them live independently. If you meet the criteria for supported housing we may be able to refer you or in some cases you can self-refer. See our Supported accommodation page for more details.

Sheltered housing

There are a number of sheltered housing schemes across the district. Sheltered housing is usually restricted to people aged 55 or over. See our Sheltered Housing page for more details.

Residential Care

Residential care is for older people who need 24 hours support. For more information on Residential Care, see Hertfordshire County Council's website.

Mutual Exchange

If you are already in a social housing tenancy you may be able to swap your home with someone else who wants to move to a more suitable home. You need to have lived in your home for at least 12 months to be eligible for a mutual exchange. If you are a housing association tenant, you must have an assured or secure tenancy or a fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy with a minimum term of two years.

You will need to check with your landlord that your home is eligible for mutual exchange. There may also be a financial impact if you move from a home for which you pay a social rent to one where an affordable rent is charged.

If you want to exchange your home you can register with a tenancy exchange website to help find another tenant to swap homes with, for example:

Shared Ownership

If you can't quite afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, Shared Ownership offers you the chance to buy a share of your home and pay rent on the remaining share. Later on, you can buy bigger shares when you can afford to.

Shared ownership properties are usually owned and managed by housing associations. Information on how to apply can be found on the Government website. 

East Herts Council has a Local Priorities Cascade for Shared Ownership properties effective from the 1st September 2015.

  1. Joint 1st Priority - Social housing tenant living in East Herts continuously for 12 months preceding. MOD personnel living in East Herts or had lived in East Herts before being posted elsewhere.
  2. Applicant currently resident and has done so continuously for 12 months preceding in East Herts; 1st priority non home owner, 2nd shared owners needing to move to larger accommodation; home owners needing to move to larger accommodation; 3rd relationship breakdown where a person cannot afford to buy on the open market.
  3. Applicant with a local connection, for example with past residence (have lived in the district for 5 years) or close family association (parent/siblings/adult children who have lived continuously in the district for the last 5 years), to East Herts but not currently living or working in the district.
  4. Applicant permanently and currently employed for at least 1 year proceeding for over 16 hours per week in East Herts, but resident outside of East Herts.