Your housing options

There is a range of different housing options available, depending upon your circumstances. With the demands for social housing ever increasing, not everyone will be successful in applying for a council or housing association home so many applicants will need to consider other options.

Social Housing

With social housing (renting from a council or housing association) you tend to have more security of tenure although most Councils and housing associations now only offer fixed term tenancies, usually for five years. Rents are generally lower than if you rent privately, but this gap is narrowing. Demand for social housing is very high and many applicants will face an indefinite wait for social housing. 

Private Rented Accommodation

Private landlords offer a wide range of accommodation, often in areas that councils and housing associations cannot. They tend to offer properties on six monthly tenancies, which can be renewed if they are happy with the way you have managed your tenancy. You don't have the same security of tenure, but the shorter tenancies and higher mobility can work for people who need to move frequently. Rents can be higher than in social housing so if you need help with your rent, check out the Local Housing Allowance before you commit to a tenancy.

Supported Housing and Move-on

In some areas, supported housing options may be available which offers vulnerable people an opportunity to learn independent living skills in a safe environment.  Contact your housing options team for more information.

Low cost Home Ownership

Outside the traditional route to buying your home, there are a number of schemes to help you get on the property ladder. There is also more information on the Government's Help to Buy website.

Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange is available to existing social housing tenants. You are a social housing tenant if your landlord is a council or housing association.
You can move home by swapping your home with that of another tenant in the UK. Due to the demand for social housing, existing tenants often find this is the easiest way to move.

There are several websites to help you search and find an exchange such as:-

Extra Care Housing

Extra Care housing is purpose-built accommodation with care and support for older and vulnerable people usually for those over the age of 60.

Extra Care housing offers you the opportunity to live independently while having the reassurance of staff on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional support can also be arranged for those who need it.

If you would like to know more about Extracare housing, visit