How to Apply for a Home

In Cumbria, Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) are a member of the Choice Based Lettings - Cumbria Choice.  For details on this process, please see below.

In the North East of England, there is a different application procedure and details can be found by clicking here.

North West


To apply for housing with Cumbria Choice you must be on the Cumbria Choice Housing Register. When you are on the Cumbria Choice Housing Register you will be able to apply for housing with:

- Accent

- Barrow Borough Council

- Castles & Coasts Housing Association

- Eden Housing

- Home Group

- Impact Housing

- Riverside

- South Lakes Housing

How to register

Firstly you are required to complete an application form online at 

When you are accepted onto the Register you will receive a letter with your registration number, date of registration and band (the priority you have been given for housing). You will need to keep this information safe as you will need it in the future when you start applying for properties.

When you complete your application form you must choose one housing organisation to administer your form. If you are a current or former tenant of any of the partner organisations, then they must administer your application.

They will assess your priority for housing and review your application each year.

It is important that you tell Cumbria Choice immediately of any change in your circumstances as failure to do this may mean that you cannot be offered a property.

How to find out about available properties

You will be able to view all the properties available each week via the buttons below, in news sheets at all the Local Authorities and housing organisations offices.

The adverts will give you information about the property to help you make the right choice. The advert will tell you who is eligible for the property for example, household type – couple with 3+ children, age restrictions (over 60 years for example) and any local connection requirements.

If you try to bid on a property and you are not eligible you will be told the reason why – for example, you may be ineligible because of household type – you are a family with one child and the property is only suitable for a single person. Eligibility will also be subject to ages of children. 

Household type and eligibility

  Household size   Number of bedrooms 
  Single person   Bedsit, 1, 2 (D) or 3 (D) bedrooms
  Couple   Bedsit, 1, 2 (D) or 3 (D) bedrooms
  2 adults (non-couple)   2 or 3 (D) bedrooms
  2+ adults (non-couple)   2 or 3 (D) bedrooms
  Household with one child   2 or 3 (D) bedrooms
  Household with 2 children   2 or 3 bedrooms
  Household with 3 children   3 or 4 bedrooms
 Household with 3 + children   3, 4 or 5+ bedrooms

Please note:

(D) Discretionary and only accepted in low demand areas.

Households who have only part time access to, and not permanent custody of children will not be able to bid to include them as part of the household in relation to property size.

In South Lakeland District Council area applicants without children will not be able to be considered for houses.

CCHA will carry out Right to Rent checks as part of the Pre Tenancy Assessment.

How to bid for a home in Cumbria

You can express an interest on a property (‘bid’) by:

Visiting Cumbria Choice, Contacting us or Making a ‘bid’ in person at one of our offices

Priority for Housing - The bands

Those accepted onto the Register will be placed in one of five bands in accordance with the Cumbria Choice Allocations Policy.

  Band   Banding reasons
   Band A
   ‘Urgent Need’
  • Exceptional need
  • Statutory overcrowded
  • Statutory Homeless – priority need
  • Unfit housing
  • Abuse/violence/harassment
   Band B
   ‘High Need’
  • Two or more* from Band C
  • Move on from Supported Housing
  • Care leavers via Social Services
  • 16-17yr old via Social Services
  • Homeless prevention option
  • Under occupancy of 2 or more bedrooms- social landlord tenant only
   Band C
   ‘Medium Need’
  • Non-priority homeless
  • Homeless prevention option
  • Medical Need*
  • Employment purposes/give or receive support*
  • Assessed as overcrowded by Cumbria Choice Policy*
  • Under occupation by 1 bedroom – social landlord tenant only*
  • Existing social housing tenants suffering financial hardship as a result of housing benefit changes under welfare reform *
  • Non-social housing tenants suffering financial hardship where re-housing through Cumbria Choice will alleviate their situation
  • Unsatisfactory housing –where at least one Category 1 hazard has been identified by the Local Authority *

  Band D+

  'Low Need'

  Assessed as low housing need but have met           Partnership Community Contribution criteria e.g.   voluntary work, members of tenants group, transfer   applicants with positive tenancy history, pre-tenancy   qualification or in employment

    Band D

    'Low Need'

  Assessed as having low housing need

   Band E

   'Reduced Priority'

  Households will have a reduced priority when:
  • Rent arrears or other housing related debt
  • Breach of tenancy conditions
  • Transfer applicant – property not to standard
  • No local connection
  • Sufficient financial resources
  • Refusal of 2 reasonable offers in last 12 months
  • Starter /probationary tenant
  • Under 18 unless meet criteria for offer of accommodation


How shortlisting works

You can ‘bid’ for up to 3 different properties every week. When you ‘bid’ for a property you will be told your position on the shortlist. Your final position on the shortlist will not be known until the end of the ‘bidding’ period. You can see how your position is changing during this period as other people also express an interest in the property. It is then up to you if you leave your name on the list or remove your ‘bid’ and choose a less popular property.

You will be able to ‘bid’ each week from Thursday through to midnight on the following Tuesday. It does not matter when you ‘bid’ as the shortlist is drawn up once the ‘bidding’ period has closed – midnight on Tuesday.

At the end of the ‘bidding’ process (midnight on Tuesday) Cumbria Choice puts the ‘bids’ for each property in order – by Band and effective date. Please note that the Cumbria Choice system does not currently show priority of local connection and therefore your place in the shortlist may change once the Lettings Officer has checked local connections.

Usually the person at the top of the shortlist will be invited to view the property. Only the person to view the property will be contacted.

How properties are offered

Cumbria Choice aims to contact the person at the top of the shortlist within 24 hours.

An offer of a property will only be made once the information on the application form has been checked, acceptable references received and proof of identity provided.

If you have been made an offer you will not be able to ‘bid’ on another property until you have decided to accept or refuse the offer.

If you refuse two properties in one year you may be placed in a lower priority Band.


Details of the properties offered will be given the following week on the website and in the news sheet. It will show which Priority Band the successful applicant was in and the length of time they had been registered with Cumbria Choice.

If you are unsuccessful with your ‘bids’ you can use this information to help you decide how best to bid in the future.

North East

Across the North East of England, Castles and Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) works with a number of local authorities to provide affordable housing. The allocation of properties is administered through Choice Based Lettings (CBL) Schemes. These schemes allow you to make choices about where you want to live and the type of home that is most suitable for you.

Currently the CBL systems in the North East of which CCHA is a partner with are:

Northumberland Homefinder -

Tyne and Wear (covering Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead and South Tyneside) - 

Durham Key Options -

CCHA will carry out Right to Rent checks as part of the Pre Tenancy Assessment.

To find out more on how to apply for properties please watch our video or contact our Neighbourhood & Lettings Team on

Would you like to apply for a home in the North East of England?


If you're looking for a house swap, CCHA subscribes to the HomeSwapper mutual exchange service and pays for our residents' registration, subject to no breaches of tenancy.

You can access the service online, through social media, or download an app for your mobile. Once you've seen adverts for properties you like, you can contact the resident to arrange a viewing.

For more information, visit: