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Birmingham City Council

FAQ Applying for a council home

This page contains answers to the questions we are asked most frequently about applying to Birmingham City Council for a home.

Please visit our Apply for a Council Home web page for more information at www.birmingham.gov.uk/housing-application

Who can apply for a council home?
How do I apply?
What happens once I have made an application to join the housing register?
I have applied to join the housing register, but I am unhappy with the decision. What can I do?
You have written to me to tell me that I have been added to the housing register, what happens now?
What if my details change after I have been added to the housing register for example, I get a new phone or have a baby?
How do you decide what to give points for?
How am I considered for a property?
Does Birmingham Home Choice only advertise properties in Birmingham?

Can I choose the area I want to live in?
Can I bid on any property I want?
How do you decide if I am eligible to bid for a property?
What happens after I have bid for a property?
Who will be offered the property?
What happens if I am in first place and refuse the offer of a property?
I do not have a computer, how can I view the properties?
Can someone help me to bid?

Who can apply for a council home?

Birmingham City Council can only provide housing for people who are eligible. Most people who are living in the UK permanently are eligible, but there are some exceptions.

Read our page on eligibility for council housing to find out more.

Being eligible for council housing doesn't mean that you are guaranteed to be offered a home. It means that you are entitled to join the housing register (the waiting list for housing).

How do I apply?

You must fill in a housing application form in order to join the housing register. You can get a housing application form here: www.birmingham.gov.uk/housing-application, or from your local Customer Service Centre. We can also send a form to your home if you ask us to, email: contact housing.

What happens once I have made an application to join the housing register?

All applications are assessed using the criteria in the Allocation Scheme. It is important that you provide all the proof we need to help us assess your circumstances properly.

If your application is incomplete, or it doesn’t include supporting information such as proof of identity, we will either write to you and give you 28 days to provide the information or return your application.

We will close your application if the extra information we have requested is not received within 28 days.

I applied to join the housing register, but I am unhappy with the decision. What can I do?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of our assessment, you can request a review of the decision. You can find the Review Form on the Apply for a Council Home web page, or get a copy from your local customer service centre.

The Allocation Scheme contains all you need to know about requesting a review and the procedure we will follow in addressing your concerns.

You have written to me to tell me that I have been added to the housing register, what happens now?

You will have received a letter notifying you that you have been put on the housing register, it will also give you your registration number, the number of points you have been awarded and a PIN (Personal Identification Number) which you will need to use to bid for properties through Birmingham Home Choice.

What if my details change after I have been added to the housing register for example, my phone number changes or I have a baby?

It is important that you tell us about any change in your circumstances as this may affect your housing application. To do this you must fill out a Change of Circumstances form.

How do you decide what to give points for?

By law, the council has to give a ‘reasonable preference’ to certain types of housing need, such as homelessness or medical reasons. The council has also looked at housing need throughout Birmingham and identified additional areas of housing need, such as overcrowding.

The Allocation Scheme gives a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded, however your points may be reduced (by up to 90%) if you:

  • do not have a local connection with Birmingham
  • have enough income or savings to buy or rent a property in the private sector
  • have behaved in a way that makes you unsuitable to be a tenant.

If this is the case, we will write to you and tell you why we have decided to reduce your points.

How am I considered for a property?

We advertise our available properties on the Birmingham Home Choice website, www.birminghamhomechoice.org.uk. Once you have been issued with your registration ID and PIN number you will be able to bid for properties that meet your requirements.

You can bid on properties in three ways:


You can also get help from a number of Birmingham Home Choice Access Points across the city. A list of these sites is available on the same website.

Does Birmingham Home Choice only advertise properties in Birmingham?

Yes.

Can I choose the area I want to live in?

Yes. You can bid for properties in any of the areas you are interested in as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for that property. Birmingham Home Choice advertises all council homes (including sheltered housing and adapted) and some local housing associations.

Can I bid on any property I want?

Each week you will be able to see all the available homes, but you will only be able to bid for properties suitable to the size and needs of you and your household.

You will not be considered for properties that are larger than you require.

If you are over 50 you can bid for our sheltered homes, which provide support to help you live independently (Link to SSOP information ) Linked to web page instead

How do you decide if I am entitled to bid for a property?

We look at a number of things:

  • Property size: The size of the home you will be eligible for is usually based on the number of people in your household and their age, sex and relationship to each other.
  • Property type: The types of homes most frequently available for letting are flats and maisonettes.
  • Whether you have medical or support needs.

What happens after I have bid for a property?

Once a bidding cycle has closed, our officers will produce a list of the people who have placed bids for each property.

The list will be arranged in order of points, so that the person with the most points will be at the top of the list. If two people have the same number of points, we will put the person who registered their bid first above the other person. Up to six of the top applicants will be invited to view the property.

Who will be offered the property?

The property will be offered to the person with the most points. If they refuse it, it will be offered to the person with the second highest points, and so on.

What happens if I am in first place and refuse the offer of a property?

If you have been awarded a homeless priority and you refuse an offer of a home, then you could lose your homeless priority. If you lose your homeless priority but you believe that you should not have, you have 21 days in which to request a review.

If you are not homeless you can continue bidding for other properties.

I do not have a computer, how can I view the properties?

Birmingham Home Choice has public computers for you to use at all its access points (these include local libraries).

Can someone help me to bid?

We suggest that you ask friends and family members to help you bid, but you can also ask for help from your nearest customer service centre.

Please note that due to demand you may have to wait 2 – 3 weeks for an appointment.