Other housing options

Due to the limited amount of social housing available, we strongly suggest you look at other housing choices even if you are on the Homeseekers Register.

Information about the options available to you can be found below.

Private Renting

If you are on a low income you could get Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance to help you pay your rent. Please see our Benefits pages for more information.

Your savings, as well as your income will be used to work out whether you can get benefit and if so how much. If you would like to find out if you will be entitled to claim benefit you can use the Entitled to benefit calculator.

If you are on a low income, in receipt of Housing Benefit but still need to top up your rent you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

This payment in some cases can also pay for a deposit on a new property or moving costs (providing you are in receipt of Housing Benefit already and the property you are moving to is to better your financial circumstances).

Another way you may be able to get financial help is through the Essential Living Fund (ELF).

This fund is there to help people remain self-sufficient during financial problems. For further information on both DHP and ELF please visit the Extra Financial Help page.

Mutual Exchange

Mutual exchanges allow two or more council or housing association tenants to swap properties. If you are interested in this service please visit www.homeswapper.co.uk or www.houseexchange.org.uk. Please note there may be a charge to register with House Exchange.

You will need to get your Landlord’s permission before you can complete a mutual exchange.

Help To Buy (Affordable home Ownership)

If you want to purchase a home of your own, but cant afford to buy on the open market, Help to Buy could be your way onto the property ladder. The Government has created the Help to Buy scheme to help you take your first steps into home ownership.

There are a number of Help to Buy products designed to make buying a home more affordable. You can buy a home using one of the home ownership options, or rent a home at less than the market rent, allowing you to save for a future deposit.

BPHA is the new Help to Buy agent for the East and South East and you can find out more about the services they offer by visiting the Help to Buy website.

Aids and Adaptations

We provide equipment, support and advice to help you live as independently as possible in your own home. See our Equipment service webpage.

Sheltered Housing

We offer different types of sheltered housing, mainly for those over 50 and those over 60 years old.

For more information about the various schemes please visit the South Essex Homes website.

Consideration is also given to:

  • lower age people with specific support or medical needs
  • elderly owner occupiers
  • former residents of Southend Borough

Please note that to be considered for Sheltered Housing you will need to be registered on the Homeseekers Register.

Jobs and Training Advice

Southends Jobcentre Plus is able to offer information and advice about searching for jobs and training schemes that might help you to get back into employment.

You can get support from Jobcentre Plus to help you prepare for, find and stay in work, including:

You may also be able to keep getting some benefits once you start working.

For more information please visit GOV.UK or call the Southend Jobcentre Plus for an appointment on 0845 604 3719.

Money and Benefits Advice

If you need advice to make sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to please have a look at how the Council might be able to help you.

You can also make sure you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to using the Benefits Calculator by visiting GOV.UK.

If you need to make a new claim for Job Seekers allowance you can do this on line by visiting GOV.UK.

If you need help applying for benefits on line you can call 0845 604 3719 to make an appointment and Jobcentre Plus staff can arrange to assist you with on line applications.

Registering with other Councils

You can apply to go on the housing register of any local council in the country. You can apply to as many councils as you wish at the same time.

However each council can decide how to prioritise the applications that they receive.

They may give greater priority to people who have a local connection with the area for example:

  • if you work there
  • used to live there
  • have close relatives in the area.

You will need to contact the council in the area that you wish to move to in order to find out more. To find the contact details for a local council visit GOV.UK.

Housing Associations

None of the Housing Associations or Registered Social Landlords in Southend run an open waiting list.

Nearly all new social housing lettings are allocated via our Choice Based Lettings system.

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