Housing options

There are many things to consider when deciding where to live.  This article will explain what options are available to you when making this decision. Further advice is available through the council’s housing options wizard. The wizard asks you a series of questions about your situation and sets out your housing options.  Alternatively, the GOV.UK  website provides further guidance on your options. 

If you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, the council’s HomeChoice team can advise and support you. See our article on advice about homelessness for more information.    

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Options to rent

Renting privately

There are many advantages to renting in the private sector. Renting in the private sector lets you choose the type and location of your new home. There are many more properties available, so it will often be the quickest way of finding a new home. See our article on renting privately for more information.

Lodging options

If you are unable to afford to rent a property on your own, you may want to consider a house share or lodging. 

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ (for example a family), but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

Lodging enables you (the lodger) to rent a room and share some accommodation with your landlord such as the bathroom or kitchen. Your monthly rent will often include bills, so it is important that you find out exactly what is included in your rent before signing a tenancy. For more information on lodging, see the Citizens Advice webpage.

Local Authority Housing (social housing)

HomeChoice is the name of the council’s housing register and lettings system, the way that we let social housing in South Gloucestershire. 

You can register an application for social housing on HomeChoice if you meet the qualification criteria to join.  When you have registered, we will send you confirmation of your registration number, your priority for housing and the size and type of properties you are eligible for.    Further information on how to ‘bid’ for (express an interest in) properties and how we prioritise applications is available on the HomeChoice website.

 There is a high demand for housing in the district and a shortage of suitable properties, which means that applicants can wait a long time before they bid successfully. Most people who apply to the council will never receive an offer of housing, so it is important you consider other options if you need to move urgently.

 Contact HomeChoice by:

Options to buy

Mortgages

You may have enough money to buy a new home.  If not, you may be able to apply for a mortgage from a bank or building society.  This is where you pay the mortgage company back some money each month, to repay your debt to them.  

It is important that you work out how much money you get each month and how much you need to pay to reduce your mortgage and pay other bills.

Please remember, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any loan secured against it.

If you pay for a house yourself, either by using your own money or having a mortgage, then you have outright ownership of it.  This means that you will have to look after it, keeping it clean and paying for things to be repaired when they are not working.  

For general information and advice about buying your own home you can visit the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice.

If you have a disability find out about getting a mortgage if you have a disability.

Affordable Home Ownership

Help to Buy and affordable home ownership schemes (also known as low cost home ownership) provide financial help to first-time buyers and home movers who want to buy a home and live in England. Help to Buy is the government’s home ownership scheme and products available include mortgage guarantee, equity loan and shared ownership.  For more information see our article on Help to buy.

Shared Ownership (Part Buy Part Rent)

Shared ownership gives those who cannot afford to buy a home outright the opportunity to buy a share of it. This can be between 25%-75% of the home’s value. Over time you can buy more shares in the property.

You will pay rent on the percentage of the property that you do not own. This will usually be to a registered provider (also known as a housing association).  The amount of rent paid is agreed and fixed at the outset and there is a maximum amount by which it can increase each year. The more of the property you own, the lower your rental payments will be.

You can buy a shared ownership home by taking out a mortgage and using your savings. Any deposit you pay will be smaller than if buying outright, as you will not be purchasing the whole of the home.

Options for people with disabilities or health needs

If you feel you can no longer stay in your home or would like to move to improve your lifestyle there are housing options across South Gloucestershire designed specifically for people over the age of 55. See our article on housing options for over 55s.

If you are finding it difficult to live on your own or with the help of others and have decided to move into a residential care home, you can find information and support here to help you choose a care home.

If you or someone you care for has a life limiting illness, see our article on palliative care which explains how to access support.

If you are a young person with SEND or care for a young person with SEND see our articles on: