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Apply for social housing

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We no longer own council houses. They're all owned and managed by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH). RBH is a registered housing provider and has the largest selection of accommodation across the borough of Rochdale​​​. There are a number of othe​r registered housing providers who have different types of properties so it's worth considering them too.

Housing d​emand in the borough of Rochdale

Demand for social housing in Rochdale is high and more people want social housing than the number of homes available. Some areas are more popular than others, so being flexible about the type of home and area you wish to live in might reduce your waiting time.

Who can apply for social housing?

Any British citizen or person with a right to reside in the UK can apply for social housing. You can do this either by making an online application using the Rochdale HomeChoice system or by contacting a registered housing provider directly. 

If you're an asylum seeker, you're not able to apply for social housing. All accommodation for asylum seekers is provided by private companies under contract by the Home Office. If you're not happy with your accommodation, view asylum seeker and refugee support.

Once you have refugee status, you can apply for social housing.

Am I eligible for social housing?

​As part of the council's​ Housing Allocations policy, we use priority bands to compare the needs of customers on our housing register. If you register for rehousing your housing needs will be assessed by RBH and given a priority band from ​A-E.​​

  • ​​Serious medical - life at risk
  • Serious risk of harm - domestic violence, racial and hate crime, severe harassment
  • Anyone facing imminent discharge from hospital or a specialist provision
  • Applicants threatened with homelessness where the council would have a statutory duty to rehouse
  • Homeless applicants where there is a statutory duty to provide housing
  • 16/17 years old owed duty and/or leaving care
  • 16/17 years old homeless and vulnerable
  • 18-21 years old homeless (other than a 'relevant student') who is a 'former relevent child'
  • The property is subject to demolition or a Compulsory Purchase Order
  • ​​Unsuitable condition of privately rented property with a vulnerable age group present
  • Under occupation by 2 or more bedrooms
  • Applicants living in an adapted property which is no longer required
  • Leaving the armed forces
  • Move On from supported accommodation
  • Care management
  • Learning disability
  • Severe and Enduring Mental Health
  • Physical Disability
  • People with HIV and​ Aids
  • Applicants that are homeless or threatened with homelessness but not in a priority group
  • ​Under occupation by 1 bedroom
  • Learning difficulty
  • Carers, registered foster workers and key support workers
  • Medical condition
  • Overcrowded – lacking 1 bedroom and another hazard
  • Overcrowded – lacking 2 bedrooms or more
  • Unsuitable condition of privately rented property without a vulnerable age group present
  • Moving for work
  • Mental illness
  • Parents under 18 years old requiring support
  • Leaving prison
  • Hardship, as defined in section 167 of the 1996 Housing Act
  • Applicants that are homeless or threatened with homelessness, but are deemed to be intentionally homeless
  • ​Applicants without a recognised housing need, except for those applicants who qualify for Band E
  • ​​Applicants without a housing need, who own a residential property/properties in which they could live
  • Applicants without a recognised housing need, who are adequately accommodated in significantly adapted accommodation
  • Applicants who are considered to have deliberately worsened their circumstances ​to gain priority for housing​


​Applicants are also shortlisted according to:

  1. If you currently live within the borough or have a strong local connection
  2. If you're employed or volunteering
  3. Time in need/length of waiting time on the Housing Register
  4. Applicants with no housing debt will be given priority, if when shortlisted they are equal to another applicant who has a housing related debt. ​​​​

For most of the available accommodation in the borough, housing providers use the council’s Housing Allocations Policy to prioritise applicants. ​However, not all housing providers use the council’s policy, so if you register for rehousing directly with them, their allocation policy might be different and you may be prioritised differently.

How to apply for social housing?​

To apply for social housing you'll need to complete an application with RBH on Rochdale HomeChoice and you'll be added to the council housing register. Rochdale HomeChoice also has information on the homes available, how to exchange your home, contact details of their partners and other ways of finding a home.

The information you'll need to support your application​​ can be found in the 'before you receive an offer' section.

​​​​​Apply for social housing with RBH on Rochdale HomeChoice​​​​​

What happens after I've applied with​ Rochdale HomeChoice

RBH will assess your circumstances and contact you within 7-10 working days to inform you of:

  • The housing priority band you've been allocated
  • The size of property you're entitled to
  • Your Rochdale HomeChoice number
  • How to bid for properties on Rochdale HomeChoice ​

Being registered doesn't mean you'll be successful in bidding and waiting times are lengthy.

More information about 'how Rochdale HomeChoice works'​​

How do I bid on ​​social housing?

Most available accommodation is advertised on the Rochdale HomeChoice​ website. Each week there's a 6-day period when you can place bids for the advertised homes that you're interested in, this is called the ‘bidding cycle’. Each bidding cycle opens on a Thursday at 2pm and closes the following Wednesday at 2pm. You decide which homes you'd like to be considered for and place bids on up to 3 available homes in each advertising cycle. ​

If you've applied directly to a housing provider, there may be another way of expressing an interest in their available accommodation. Please ask them for details.

How long will I have to wait for social housing?

The length of time you have to wait will be dependent on your priority banding, the type of home you require and for how long you've been registered. Feedback is provided on Rochdale HomeChoice website, about previously advertised homes, including the priority band and waiting time of the successful applicant. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Buying your home​​ - Right to Buy scheme

The Right to Buy scheme helps eligible council and housing association tenants in England to buy their home with a discount.