To contact Care Direct, please telephone 0117 922 2700.
As at 08/04/13, there were 14,360 households on the Bristol Housing Register. However, the supply of social housing in Bristol is limited, and there are only between 2300-2800 vacancies each year.
Allocations are made in accordance with the Housing Allocation and Banding scheme. Applicants in the higher bands (Band 1 being the highest and Band 5 the lowest) have a greater priority for housing than those in the lower bands and are therefore more likely to be allocated a property. For more information on how applications are prioritised, go to Prioritising applications.
However, even applicants in higher bands may find it difficult to be rehoused through the housing register. This could be down to the size of property they require, as there is a real shortage of properties with 4+ bedrooms. Also, in some areas of the city, like Clifton for example, there is a general shortage of stock.
Applicants in Bands 4 & 5 generally have less chance of being rehoused through the housing register, therefore the following will give you more information about other housing options available to you.
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|If you would like to print a copy of our "Other Housing Options and Advice" leaflet, please click here.|
If you are interested in buying a property but are unable to do so on the open market, either because you cannot afford the full mortgage repayments or the deposit, or both, then low cost home ownership may be an option for you. Some schemes may offer you the opportunity to purchase a share in a property, with the option of buying more shares later on. Other schemes will provide you with a loan to enable you to purchase a property of your own choosing.
To find out more about low cost home ownership schemes, please visit the SouthWest Homes web site at www.southwesthomes.org.uk
SouthWest Homes are the Homebuy agent for the South West. HomeBuy agents administer the Homebuy Direct and New Build HomeBuy scheme, which helps eligible first time buyers to buy their homes.
If you decide low cost home ownership is for you, as well as applying to South West Homes, you will also need to apply on our housing register.
Shared ownership properties for re-sale
Many shared ownership properties become available when the current owners wish to move. As with New Build HomeBuy, qualifying applicants can't afford their own property but can afford to buy the current owner's share of one between 25% and 75%, and pay an affordable rent on the part of the property owned by the housing association.
Housing associations keep lists of people who have expressed an interest in re-sale shared ownership properties who they can contact when a re-sale property becomes available. For more information please contact Knightstone or Sovereign housing associations.
This option offers new build homes to rent at 80% (or less) of the rent you may pay to a private landlord. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on an assured shorthold tenancy, usually for an initial period of six months. This is reviewed regularly.
Properties are listed by developers and housing associations on the SouthWest Homes web site. For more information, please click here.
If you have applied to the housing register and we have told you that you do not have a very high priority within our banding scheme, but you still want to find alternative suitable accommodation, private renting may be for you. Renting privately means you have more choice of area and property type.
There are many different ways to find properties available for privately renting, including local newspapers and property web sites.
The Bristol Association of Letting and Management Agents (BALMA) is a group of letting agents who aim to provide a reliable and trustworthy service. They have a code of practice which all members must abide by.
For more information on BALMA and it's members click here
www.findaproperty.com contains details of flats, houses and other properties that are available to rent in Bristol and the surrounding areas. It also advertises flat shares, house shares and rooms to rent.
If you need help with a deposit for a privately rented property, Bristol Credit Union may be able to help you with a loan for a deposit, and sometimes the first month's rent. All loans are individually assessed and you will need to be able to afford the repayments. You will also pay interest on the loan. For more information, please click here to visit their web site, or contact them on (0117) 924 7309.
Private Tenants Information booklet
We have produced a comprehensive information booklet for private tenants. It covers a range of essential topics including;
How to find a property
What to do when you first move into a new property
Whilst living in the property
Moving out of your property
Useful contact details
For more information, or to download a copy of the booklet, please click here
Property rents are higher in the private sector, and can often seem unaffordable. However, if you are receipt of benefits, or you are working but on a low income, you could be entitled to claim Housing and Council Tax benefit.
For more information about claiming Housing and Council Tax benefit, please visit our web site at www.bristol.gov.uk To see if you may be entitled to some help with your rent or Council Tax, you can use the online Benefits Calculator. There is also a Welfare Reform calculator that will help see if you are going to be affected by the under occupation or Benefit Cap, you can use the online Welfare Reform Calculator.
You can also call into any of our Customer Service Points and speak to a Customer Advisor.
You can contact the Benefits Service directly by:
Telephone - (0117) 922 2300
Fax - (0117) 903 7051
Post - Housing and Council Tax Benefits, PO Box 43, Bristol, BS99 1BF
If you are concerned about debt and need some practical advice, please visit the Credit Action web site at www.creditaction.org.uk.
For local help with debt problems, Bristol Debt Advice Centre provide free independent advice for people in debt. Further information can be found on their web site www.bdac.org.uk
If you are struggling with your mortgage payments or facing repossession, the Directgov web site offers a range of advice from helping you to keep your home, to what to do if your mortgage lender takes you to court.
Many first time buyers are struggling to find a mortgage without a large deposit. Lenders are often asking for deposits of 10-15% which can be dificult to raise.
'Local Lend a Hand' is a new partnership from Lloyds TSB and local authorities which offers mortgages where a local authority provides a cash-backed indemnity as extra security for the mortage. Aimed at first-time buyers with a minimum deposit of 5%, the local authority will guarantee up to 20% of each mortgage. The indemnity (or guarantee) means that although the buyer would still be putting forward a 5% deposit and taking out a mortgage for the remaining 95%, the mortgage rate would be lower than you might normally get with smaller deposits.
Please visit the LLoyds TSB website for further details www.lloydstsb.com/mortgages/llah.asp
The Housing Advice Team (HAT) is an advice centre for families and singles or couples with medium to high support needs who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Housing Advisors will case manage customers and advise on all housing options available. They can also refer households of all sizes on to the Private Renting Team (PRT), who help people into private tenancies. Referrals to the (PRT) can also be taken from a range of Supported Housing Providers.
Access to the HAT is by referral only; there is no drop in. If your needs meet the criteria for this service you can be referred by either a Customer Service Point or by a current Support Worker.
This service offers advice to private landlords and tenants about their responsibilities and rights. They also investigate and take legal action against cases of harassment and illegal eviction. For further information, please contact them direct on 0117 352 1600, by email at email@example.com, or visit our web site by clicking here.
A mutual exchange is where you swap your property and your tenancy with another council tenant or tenant of a housing association. To do this you must be a secure tenant. Mutual exchanges are often found to be a quicker method of moving house than a transfer.
Bristol City Council and many of our partners have signed up to a service which is free to their tenants. HomeSwapper is a national exchange advertising web-site. This means that you can search for a mutual exchange with tenants who live in and outside of Bristol. If the site identifies a potential exchange match, you will be notified by email or text.
Here is a list showing which Social Landlords in Bristol have signed up to this service.
Please visit www.homeswapper.co.uk to sign up to this service. If you do not have a computer at home, you can use the self-service facilities at our Customer Services Points, or computers at your local library.
Once you have found someone to exchange with you must both submit exchange application requests to your own landlords to request permission to exchange. You cannot exchange until both parties have received formal written permission from their landlords.
If you are a tenant of Bristol City Council and would like to find out more about exchanges, please click here
If you are considering moving from your present home, it may help if you consider the alternatives available to you.
More information about housing for older people can be found by clicking here
You may have decided that sheltered accommodation is the right choice for you. Bristol City Council has 28 schemes throughout Bristol which offer older people the possibility to live independently while still having emergency support available 24 hours a day.
For more information about Bristol City Council Supported Housing for older people schemes, click here
If you are 50 or over and wish to maintain your independence, you might like to consider 50+ Housing. This is a mixture of self contained walk up, multi-storey flats and some bungalows and prefabs, that are located throughout the city.
Some housing associations in Bristol also have housing for older people, to find out more about housing associations in Bristol go to HCB Landlords.
Bristol Care and Repair is a charitable organisation providing services for older and disabled people throughout Bristol. Care and Repair offers a variety of services, including:
help and advice to access grants and funding
large adaptations and repairs
small adaptations and repairs
For more information about the services that Care and Repair offer, please click here
Very Sheltered Housing
Very Sheltered Housing accommodation is primarily for people over 65 years of age, but if you are disabled, have learning difficulties or have mental health issues then you may be eligible if you are over 55.
Most of the flats are for rent and will be given to people on the Health and Social Care 'waiting list'. To be included on this list you should contact Care Direct to request an assessment for Very Sheltered Housing. If you have a social worker already, please let Care Direct know.
To contact Care Direct, please telephone 0117 922 2700.
Fore more information about Very Sheltered Housing, please click here.
Supported housing is available in the city for people who need extra help. The accommodation is almost always shared with other residents, and the type of support offered varies - some schemes offer 24 hour support or regular visits from workers. There are supported housing schemes for:
The Housing Support Register is Bristol's new centralised service for the referral and placement of customers into Supported Housing Services. If you would like more information on the Housing Support Register and Supported housing in Bristol, please click here.
Sofa Project - If you are moving into a property and you need household items, the Sofa Project provides new, nearly new and secondhand furniture, household goods and electric appliances at affordable prices, with further discounts available to those on a low income or benefits. For more information, please click here.
Directgov - this web site lists all public services in one place. If you need advice on anything from mortgage worries to education and learning, please click here
Bristol City Council - our web site offers a wide range of advice, from claiming Housing Benefit to information about housing.
School admissions - this web site provides advice on admissions to primary schools and transfers to secondary schools. You can also apply online for school places. For more information, please click here.