Before contacting us, check that you are eligible to apply to join the Housing Register.
Are you eligible?
The answer is likely to be yes if any of the following apply:
- You are a UK national
- You have EEA worker status
- You have a family member of an EEA worker
- You are from outside of EU and have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or ‘limited leave to remain but with recourse to public funds’
Do you have a five year local connection to Crawley?
The answer is likely to be yes if:
- You have lived in Crawley continuously for the last five years
- You have held permanent employment in Crawley for the last five years
- You have immediate family who live in Crawley and have done so for the last five years
Are you in housing need?
The answer is likely to be yes if you can demonstrate one or more of the following:
- You have medical issues that are affected by your housing situation
- You are overcrowded in current residence
- You want to downsize
- You are fleeing domestic abuse
- You are aged 60 or over and want sheltered/extra care accommodation
- Your home is in disrepair
- You are a serving/former member of the armed forces
- You are owed a duty under homelessness legislation
If you have answered yes to these questions you can apply to join the housing register.
Applying to the Housing Register
If you are eligible to join the Housing Register, we will give you:
- a priority housing date (usually the date you applied), and
- one of the following bandings:
- A+ = emergency priority
- A = very high priority
- B = high priority
- C = medium priority
- D = low priority
We decide your banding by assessing your current housing situation and personal circumstances. See section 3.2 of the Housing Allocation Scheme for more information. Your banding will only change if your circumstances change.
If we assess you as either band C or D you won't join the Housing Register. You will receive a letter explaining our assessment of your application. Future applications are likely to be unsuccessful unless your circumstances change.
Bidding on properties
Properties are advertised on a weekly cycle from Monday to Thursday.
- You can view property details and bid online via HomeChoice
- You can bid in person using the self-service machines at the Town Hall
- If you are over the age of 60, or have mental and/or physical health issues that make bidding difficult, you can use the autobid system
You will receive a maximum of two offers of accommodation, therefore please ensure that you only bid on properties that you want to live in.
Households owed a duty under homelessness legislation are placed on autobid for all areas of Crawley (unless one or more areas are unsuitable for safety reasons) and are made one offer of accommodation only.
The weekly bidding cycle closes at midnight on Thursday. We then make a list of eligible applicants for each property. Applications are ordered by highest banding and the earliest priority housing date.
We offer 80 per cent of available properties to those with the highest banding (A+ or A). The remaining 20 per cent of available properties go to applicants in bands B, C, and D.
These quotas do not apply to sheltered accommodation. Priority always goes to applicants in band A+, followed by A, B, C and D.
If we cannot contact the successful bidder, or if they refuse the property, we offer it to the person next in the list. This is to make sure that we offer properties to those in greatest need.
Refusing an offer
All offers of accommodation must be suitable and meet the needs of your household. If a property is not suitable it will not be counted as an offer.
If adaptations are required but the property is unable to be adapted, the property will not count as an offer. Refusing a property on grounds other than suitability will count as one of your offers.
Refusing two offers of housing (or one if you are owed a duty under homelessness legislation) will result in your housing register application being closed and you will not receive any further offers of housing. It will also affect any future applications to the housing register.
Average waits are between 6 months to 3 years, but can take much longer.
Your wait for housing will be dependent on your banding, priority housing date, and the type and size of property you are bidding for. Some properties are in very high demand (two bedroom houses), whereas others may not be in such high demand but there are less properties available (four bedroom houses).
HomeChoice shows the banding and priority housing date of households that have successfully bid for properties. It also shows your queue position when bidding for properties. Both will help you determine the likely wait for a property.
The autobid system places bids at midnight on Thursdays. If you have checked your queue position before this time it may change after the automatic bids have been placed.
- You can change your telephone number or email address by logging in to your HomeChoice account.
- If you have a new baby, email a copy of the baby’s birth certificate to the Crawley Homechoice team.
- If your health or medical issues have changed, email details and copies of any documents (such as a doctor’s letter) to the Crawley Homechoice team.
- For any other changes email details to the Crawley Homechoice team.
When you are entering your memorable date, make sure that you enter it in the dd/mm/year format. So enter 5 March 2020 as 05/03/2020.
You can find your banding, priority housing date and reference number:
- On your acceptance letter
- By logging on to your HomeChoice account.
If you are bidding on the Homechoice website or by phone, we will tell you which properties you can bid on.
Properties only become available when an existing tenant moves out. We cannot control or predict which properties will become available and when. If you have not found any eligible properties to bid on recently, please continue to check each week.
You may not have had the highest level of priority for the property you bid for. There are other reasons why you may not have been successful such as:
- Are you in rent arrears with the council or another landlord? Rent arrears affect your banding and whether we can offer you a property. You need to pay them off as soon as possible.
- Were you eligible for the property? For example, you cannot bid on a three bedroom house if we assessed you as needing a two bedroom property.
- Are your contact details up-to-date? We need an up-to-date phone number so that we can contact you to offer you a property.
- Was there any extra criteria? Sometimes there is extra criteria in the property advert. For example, a property may only be available for transfer applicants or applicants in band B.
- Some properties are only suitable for families or the over 60's.
- Has your income, household size or address changed? If so, this may affect your banding or your eligibility to be on the housing register.
You can login to your HomeChoice account to find out why you were not successful with your bid.
We determine your banding by assessing your current housing situation and personal circumstances. If your circumstances change we will re-assess your application. This could mean you get a higher banding. You can find more information about this in section 3.2 of the Housing Allocation Scheme .
Adding people, such as a new baby, to your application is unlikely to change your banding. Although, it may affect the size of property you are eligible to bid on (see section 4 of the Housing Allocation Scheme ).
You can request a review if you believe that our original decision was not correct.
If you wish to request a review, you must:
- put it in writing
- provide your reasons for the request
- provide documentation to support your review
You should not request a review because you are unhappy with the decision.
A panel of at least two senior officers (who were not involved in making the original decision) will review your application. The panel aim to complete reviews within 28 days. This can take longer if they need to carry out further investigations. This may include contacting:
- your GP, landlord, employer or bank
- the Inland Revenue
- the Department of Work and Pensions
- Social Services.
You can find details of how to request a review in your original decision letter.
We will contact you each year to check whether you want to remain on the Housing Register. Until then you do not need to do anything. When we contact you we will tell you how to renew your application.
It is unlikely that you will get a property with the right adaptations for your needs. When you accept a property, we can adapt it to make it suitable for your needs.
An occupational therapist and/or a surveyor may visit the property to assess:
- if it is suitable for your needs, or
- if it can be adapted to meet your needs.
If it isn’t, then it will not count as an offer and you will need to continue to bid on properties.
You see the position of your bid in the queue as the bidding data is live. If people place bids after you it will change your bid position. If you bid by autobid your position in the queue may still change. Your position in the queue is set by your priority banding and housing date.
Your chances of success are not affected by the time that you place your bid in the bidding cycle.
You can only bid on properties that you are eligible for. If the property is bigger than your assessed need, you will not be able to bid on it. Sometimes there is extra criteria in the property advert. For example, a property may only be available for transfer applicants or applicants in band B.
If you are homeless or facing homelessness you need to complete our online form as soon as possible.