The Housing Register

The councils' Housing Register lists all of the people who want to rent social housing in Eastbourne or Lewes or who want to transfer from an existing social housing property. The register covers both council owned properties and housing associations.

To be eligible you will need to:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • meet the local connection criteria for either Eastbourne Borough Council or for Lewes District Council
  • have an identified housing need, or
  • be seeking housing for older persons/sheltered accommodation

 A household may have a housing need if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • under-occupation of social housing
  • insanitary or overcrowded housing in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
  • lacking bedrooms
  • medical conditions
  • risk of personal harm
  • the need for works to be carried out on existing social housing properties
  • bedroom requirements for existing fostering cases and/or adoption
  • management transfers in social housing
  • the need for adaptations
  • the need of applicants who have served in the armed forces
  • exceptional circumstances
  • anyone under the age of 16
  • households subject to immigration control who are ineligible for assistance
  • other persons from abroad who are ineligible for assistance
  • households with significant rent arrears still outstanding to any former landlord
  • households considered by the local authority to have caused anti-social behaviour
  • households considered to have sufficient financial resources in order to meet their own housing needs
  • those without a local residency connection
  • households with more than £32,000 in savings or assets within Eastbourne or who have more than £16,000 if applying for Lewes District Council
  • any household seeking general needs accommodation not considered to have a housing need
  • applicants who are existing tenants of a housing association that provides its tenants with alternative access to its housing stock
  • households giving false or misleading information or withholding information that has been reasonably requested

You will need to check first to see if you are eligible.

You can do this by:

  • completing the Housing Register Application form online within Eastbourne
  • completing the Housing Register Application form online, or by downloading and sending to us within Lewes

In order for your application to be validated, you will need to make sure you provide personal information and identification for yourself and every member of your household including:

  • formal identification documents (photo ID)
  • proof of address history for the last 5 years
  • proof of income
  • national Insurance numbers
  • evidence of a housing need

For Eastbourne: Please request a reconsideration telling us why you don't agree with our decision, new supporting evidence will be required to support your request.

For Lewes District: Please contact us explaining why you think you should be in a different band. It is helpful if you point to the criteria in the new band that you believe applies to you. Evidence to back this up is helpful.

You will need to get them. We cannot assist you without this documentation. If you require a birth certificate you will need to know which borough you were born in. You can go to the registry office in that area and pay for a copy of your full birth certificate or you can order one from GOV.UK.

Medical priority is awarded where a move to alternative accommodation would significantly improve the health or quality of life of an applicant or member of their family. It is not awarded on the basis of the medical conditions of household members alone. For some people with serious medical conditions, a move will not improve their health because they are already housed in the most suitable accommodation we can provide. Examples of scenarios where no medical priority will be awarded for an application to join the Housing Register are:

  • those with mild to moderate asthma (or other similar ailment) made worse by damp housing conditions
  • those with mild to moderate arthritis (or other similar ailment) made worse by their current housing conditions
  • those with mild to moderate depression/anxiety (or other similar ailment) made worse by their current housing conditions

For Eastbourne applications only: all medical related needs are assessed based on the level of medical benefit awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If no medical benefit is in payment, the medical need would not be considered enough to warrant a move.

Households will not be eligible to join the register if the conduct of any member of the household within the last 5 years amounts to antisocial behaviour that has resulted in intervention and/or action taken against them by the police, local authority or previous landlord. Antisocial behaviour is any aggressive, intimidating or destructive activity that damages or destroys another person's quality of life (Home Office 2013). Households that can demonstrate their circumstances have changed and they have taken action to address the antisocial behaviour will be eligible to join the Housing Register.  

Households will not be eligible to join the Lewes register if they are former social housing tenants who have been evicted for rent arrears in the past.

An offer of accommodation will not normally be made to a transfer applicant where a Notice Seeking Possession has been issued due to rent arrears to either a Lewes or Eastbourne applicant. 

Sussex Homemove is the choice based lettings scheme that both council's use to advertise social housing vacancies. You can use Homemove once you are accepted onto the Housing Register to 'bid' for homes you would like to rent.  

You need to find out which properties are available. All available homes are advertised with photos and a full description every two weeks on the Sussex Homemove website. You can make bids online on the website, by text message or over the phone. You can make up to three bids at a time. Although we call it bidding, no money changes hands - you're just telling us you're interested in the property. You will not be notified where you came in your bids unless you are successful. 

The adverts Homemove will tell you about the size, type and location of the property, usually with a photo of a similar property type. You need to carefully read the whole advert to check that the property is suitable to meet your needs. Please ensure you look at the symbols to ensure that this is a property that you are able to bid on as some properties are only available to certain types of households, e.g. transfer tenants. On the website you will only see details of properties that match your assessed need, for example, if you have been assessed as needing 2 bedrooms you will only be able to see the adverts for 2 bedroom properties.

All eligible bids for each property are placed into priority order called the 'shortlist'. Priority is then determined by priority band. If more than one person in a band applies, people will then get prioritised in date order from the time they went into the band. Everyone who has told us they're interested will be listed in band order. More information regarding bands can be found on the Homemove website. 

If you cannot put bids on for yourself you will need to contact us. We may signpost you to another organisation that may be able to help you do this such as Homeworks or Steps.

This could be due to a number of reasons, for example, major works being carried out to the property from when the previous tenants left. You can only bid on the properties that are advertised on the Homemove website. 

The waiting time for social housing varies in accordance with the type and availability of property. Stock levels within both areas is limited.

You will automatically be written to, but you will also be able to see any changes to your banding when you log in to the Homemove system to bid. If your banding is increased to a higher band then your priority date will change to the date that your banding increased. This is to ensure that all those in the same band are treated fairly.

For Eastbourne: Please fill in a reconsideration form telling us why you don't agree with our decision, new supporting evidence will be required to support your request. It is helpful if you point to the criteria in the new band that you believe applies to you. Evidence to back this up is helpful. 

For Lewes: Please contact us directly with further information about why you think the banding is wrong. You need to allow us 56 days in which to make this decision.  

For Eastbourne: You will need to complete a Change of Circumstances form online to tell us of any changes. You will be required to supply supporting evidence of this change. For example, a baby being born will require a birth certificate.

For Lewes: Please complete a Housing Register Form.

This process is the same for all change of circumstances, for instance; if you have moved address but want to stay on the Housing Register.

Please complete a housing application form for assessment, or if you feel your house is severely overcrowded please contact us as soon as possible. Please remember that accessing housing in the private rented sector is a quicker option to resolve overcrowding.

If you think you are in danger of becoming homeless, you can find help from several different external agencies who are set up to specifically help with homelessness. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need immediate help with homelessness.  

Please contact us to organise a Housing Options interview. You may also be eligible for housing benefit or other temporary financial help

We have strict policies on anti-social behaviour on council properties and housing estates, further advice on noise, nuisance, and anti-social behaviour is available.

GOV.UK has full information on what your rights as a tenant are, and the responsibilities of your landlord. This also covers issues surrounding rent disputes and anti-social behaviour. 
You can find the full information on the Repairs and maintenance page. Which has information about out of hours support, as well as major and minor changes to your home.