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Important Information for current and new HomeChoice Applicants

Published: Friday 11 September 2020

If you are a current member of our HomeChoice scheme or looking to apply soon then it is important you read the following information:

We are changing our software system we use to process and hold your application for the scheme.

What does this mean for you?

When our new system is ready to use, we will require everyone who is already a member of the HomeChoice scheme at that point to re-register. This means you will have to fill out a new application form, so all your information can be stored on the new system and you will be able to continue to bid for housing.  

We expect this to take place from November 2020, but you will be notified directly when you need to re-register with a deadline date and instructions on how to do this. Assistance can be provided for people who need help in re-registering and details will be available on how to access help and support nearer the time.

For the time being, you should continue to bid for housing like you normally do.    

Why are we doing this?

The new system is more modern and will be easier for you to use. There will be an advanced customer portal where you can access and update your application, for example, you will be able to upload documents rather than posting them in.

It also has the same design and provider as our homelessness software system. For any HomeChoice members who have made a homelessness application in the last couple of years you should be familiar with the customer portal and how to use it.

Will this affect your application priority– application date and banding?

As long as you re-register when asked, you will keep your original application date. For example, if you originally applied for the HomeChoice scheme in July 2018 and have renewed your application and been a continuous scheme member that date will be transferred to the new system.

Your banding will ordinarily remain the same unless there has been a relevant change in your circumstances which affects your housing need. This is no different to when you renew your application every year. You will also keep your effective date (the date you were awarded that banding).

Will there be any changes to the HomeChoice Policy?

There are some minor changes to the Policy, so we can follow best practice and bring the Policy in line with national guidance. The changes are mostly to do with local connection. For example, we are reducing the amount of time you need to have lived continuously in North Somerset to have a connection through residency, from 3 years to 2 years. The housing need categories for different bandings will remain the same.

What happens now?

Over the next few months we will be working on developing the new system and you will see no disruption to the current service. You will be notified in plenty of time when you need to complete a new application form, but in the meantime please keep checking this website for any updates.

Extra Care housing apartments available now

Published: Thursday 3 September 2020
Extra Care housing apartments available now

If you’re aged 55 or older and need support with day-to-day tasks, extra care housing might be right for you.

Strawberry Gardens in Yatton is a brand new extra care housing scheme. There are 60 self-contained apartments at the scheme, with additional communal facilities including a restaurant, residents lounge, hairdresser and scooter store.  The on-site care team provides personalised care and 24/7 emergency response service.

Half of the apartments are available for rent. If you’re interested in applying for a rental flat at Strawberry Gardens contact our Care Connect team on 01934 888 801 and ask for a care assessment for extra care housing.

For information on the eligibility criteria go to

For a tour of the show flat

Strawberry Gardens, 18 Moorhen Road, Yatton, Bristol, BS49 4GB


Published: Wednesday 1 July 2020

Alliance Homes have a number of sheltered flats immediately available to applicants over the age of 55 who express an interest. You do not have to have an active HomeChoice application to express an interest in these flats, but will need to have a brief interview with the Alliance Homes lettings team before a viewing can be arranged. To express an interest in these properties please contact Alliance Homes on 03000 120 120 and ask for lettings. For more information, see the property pages:

Covid-19 Updates

Published: Thursday 21 May 2020

In light of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak we are advising applicants not to attend Town Hall for assistance with their housing. If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, please complete a self-referral form on Housing Jigsaw (

The HomeChoice and Homelessness Prevention services are providing telephone consultations for those unable to self-serve online, and can be contacted on 01934 426330.

To limit face-to-face contacts, many of our partner landlords are not currently carrying out routine sign ups for properties until further notice. If you are matched to a property, you may need to wait for restrictions to be eased before you can move. If your need to move is urgent, please contact the partner landlord directly.

If you have a medical need that is negatively affected by your housing then you need to complete a self-assessment medical form and email it to Please note, for us to be able to contact any medical professionals you list on the form we will need the back page of the form, which gives your consent to release your medical records, physically signed before returning. We will accept photographs and scans of completed forms.

Rent In Advance Requirements

Published: Friday 24 February 2017

Most Registered Providers of Social Housing now require rent in advance, RIA. Please see below:

  • Alliance: Four weeks in advance for most successful applicants, with some discretion applied in exceptional circumstances.
  • Aster: Four weeks plus additional days to rent date in advance for all successful applicants.
  • Curo: One month in advance for all successful applicants.
  • Guinness: One week in advance for all successful applicants, with a payment plan to get all tenants up to four weeks in advance early in tenancy.
  • LiveWest (General Needs): Four weeks in advance for most successful applicants, with some discretion applied in exceptional circumstances.
  • LiveWest (Sheltered): One rent period (either one week or one month) in advance for those paying their own rent; four weeks in advance for housing benefit claimants.
  • Stonewater: Minimum of one week in advance for all successful applicants. More may be required if paying rent monthly.
  • Southwestern: Four weeks in advance for most successful applicants, with some discretion applied in exceptional circumstances.
  • Sovereign: One week in advance for all successful applicants.