Frequently Asked Questions



Am I eligible to join the housing register?

Some groups are not eligible to join the housing register. These groups include:

- Those who have no connections to the district through current or previous residence (in last 2 years), immediate family (who have lived in district for 5 years) or not in employment in the district

- Those who own/part own their own home

- Those who have £60,000 or above in income and or savings

- Those who have criminal or anti-social behaviour convictions that mean they are unsuitable to be a social housing tenant


Can I complete an online application form?

If you are applying for housing in the Vale of White Horse District, please click here

If you are applying for housing in the South Oxfordshire District, please click here

You will need your National Insurance number, address history, landlord’s contact details and income information.


What if I can’t make an application online?

If you have difficulty reading, writing or using a computer and do not have a friend/family member who can help you to complete the online application, please call the Housing Needs Team on 01235 422 422.

If you struggle to access a computer there are computers available in the council’s reception areas at Abbey House and Milton offices.


Why haven’t I received a response yet?

Applications usually take 20 working days to process. 


How do I bid?

Log in to your online account using your bidding number, click on properties that you can bid for, and click "Apply now" next to each property that you are interested in. You can apply for up to 3 properties on each cycle.

The cycle starts every Wednesday morning until midnight on the following Monday. If you have difficulty leaving your home and do not have anyone who can help you place bids, you can contact us to request a Newsletter which includes details of how to bid using the automated bidding line.


What is my bidding number?

Your bidding number is the same as your housing application number. Please refer to any letters we have sent you, which should quote this number.


What should I do if my circumstances or contact details change?

Please update your details by logging into your account online and clicking current details.


Am I in the right band?

If you feel that you are in an incorrect band, please refer to our allocations policy.

If we have assessed your application correctly according to your circumstances you cannot appeal the banding decision.


Do I get any priority for new homes being built where I live?

We give priority on 20 percent of all new build properties to people who have a strong local connection to the area where the development is located. A strong local connection is defined as:

- where the applicant(s) have lived in the parish for five years out of the last 8 and are currently resident there

- where the applicant(s) had previously lived in the parish for at least 5 years and their parents or children still live there and have done for at least 10 years.


I’m aware of an empty property nearby – can I bid on it?

Only if the property is advertised on our website and you are eligible to bid for it. The Housing Association that owns the property may not choose to advertise it on our website.


Why has my queue position changed?

Your queue position is likely to fluctuate during the cycle period (Wednesday-Monday) as more people make a bid or withdraw their bid. If someone makes a bid after you and they are in a higher band or in the same band with a longer waiter time, their bid will be placed higher than yours in the queue.

Your queue position may also change after the cycle has closed at midnight on Monday as withdrawn bids are included. Withdrawn bids are not considered when we process the shortlist.

How do I know if I have been successful?

We will make every attempt to contact you if you make a successful bid. We are not able to consider you for a property if we are not able to contact you and verify your circumstances. We also need to see your ‘proof’ documents (proof of ID, address and child benefit where applicable).


What happens once I am nominated for a property?

Once all checks have been completed and you agree to be nominated, we will pass your contact and support details onto the relevant housing association. They will then contact you and discuss the property and arrange a viewing. Please be aware if nominated to a new build property, there can be a time delay in receiving contact from the Housing Association

We do not have the resources to contact all those applicants who have not been successful.


Can I view the property I am interested in?

You can only view a property once you have been nominated. The housing association that owns the property will contact you to arrange a viewing. You are not permitted to view the property before you have been contacted by the Housing Association.


What happens if I refuse an offer of accommodation?

If you achieve a successful bid we will contact you to ask if you want to be nominated. If you agree to be nominated and subsequently reject the property, your application will be suspended for 12 months unless you have a good reason for rejecting the property.


My landlord/lady has asked me to leave – what should I do?

Please complete an online application and the Housing Options and Advice wizard on the Homechoice website (if you have not already). We will then contact you to discuss preventing you from becoming homeless. If you have received a written notice to vacate, please also send us a copy.


I am homeless – what should I do?

If you have not done so already, please complete an online Housing application and the Housing Options and Advice wizard on the Homechoice website if possible.  Then contact us on 01235 422 422 to speak with a Housing Needs Officer.


What if I have a question about my housing benefit or council tax?

Please dial 01235 422 422 and select option 5.