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Help with housing


Help with housing overview video

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing schemes aim to make cheaper homes available for people who cannot afford to buy or rent at market rates. There are different types of affordable housing schemes, from renting to shared ownership to helping you to buy your first home.

What is affordable rented housing?

There are two types of affordable rented housing, both of which are provided by local housing associations. The first type is called 'social rent', which is usually around 50% cheaper than local market rents, and the second is 'affordable rent'. These must be at least 20% cheaper than local market rents. Recently built properties are usually let at 'affordable rents' rather than 'social rents'.

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership schemes offer a helping hand to first-time buyers who can't afford a property outright.

Shared ownership properties are usually sold by a housing association. You generally buy between 25% and 75% of a home and pay rent on the remainder. Over time, you can buy more equity in your property - a process known as staircasing.

There are also Government own your home schemes (opens new window)..

How can I find an affordable home to rent?

The council doesn't own or manage social or affordable housing. Instead, it works with housing associations to provide accommodation for people who need it.

This is managed through a scheme called Homemove, which allows approved applicants to express interest in properties that are advertised on the Homemove website every fortnight. Those with the highest priority will get first refusal on a home.

How can I apply for affordable housing?

You first need to join the council's housing register

Once your application has been accepted you will be able to browse and bid for housing on Homemove (opens new window).

What types of financial help can I get with housing costs?

There are a number of schemes to support you if you are struggling to pay for housing costs. See our 'help with finances' section.

What help is available for people whose existing home is in poor condition or needs adapting to meet their needs?

There are a number of housing financial assistance schemes that can help with this, including:

  • Disabled Facilities Grants;
  • Home Repairs Assistance,
  • Energy efficient grant discounts
  • and the Chichester Warm Homes initiative.

Each scheme has its own eligibility criteria.

The Home Repairs Assistance is for those people who have owned their own home for more than a year and are responsible for the maintenance and repairs. It is available to those in receipt of a means tested benefit, Disabled Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, or your household income is less than £20,000 per annum and you have less than £16,000 in savings.

The Government is offering grants to help residents to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. These schemes regularly change and so it's best to contact Arun and Chichester Citizens' Advice to find out what is currently available.

How do you support those facing homelessness?

We're committed to ensuring that everyone in our district has a safe and secure place to live. Anyone who is homeless or threated with homelessness can apply to the council for assistance.

As part of a package of support for people facing homelessness, we can offer short stay temporary accommodation, while we work with to find a longer-term solution.


New Supporting You service

We've launched a new holistic service to support those who are struggling with the cost of living. This is delivered by a dedicated team of trained advisors - our Supporting You team - who are able to support people with a range of challenging issues at once. You can contact the
team on or 01243 534860. For more information, read our .


Supporting You leaflet

The rise in the cost of living has impacted on all of us in many ways. Whether you are struggling to pay bills, feel isolated, or are concerned about rising energy costs, the council and our partners are here to help.

We have produced a new leaflet called Supporting You, which aims to highlight key information. This includes support for the vulnerable; help with finances; and energy tips.

Supporting You leaflet (PDF) [321KB]