Finding a home
Housing in St Albans is in high demand and there is a shortage of social housing and affordable private rented accommodation.
To resolve your housing difficulties please consider all options available to you including staying in your current home, renting privately, or moving to a more affordable location.
If you are faced with Homelessness within the next 56 days please refer to link to the Homelessness webpage for support.
To qualify for the Housing Register an applicant must have a recognised housing need and have a local connection as defined by the Allocations Policy.
Applying for social housing Toggle accordion
An application for social housing in the district can be made via the St Albans Home Choice website. Please refer to our guide to how to make a housing application.
If you need assistance in making a housing application, please contact Customer Services on 01727 819450 for an appointment. If you, or a member of your household, is in need of adaptations please also refer to Aids and adaptations.
Please refer to the below guides if you intend to make a housing application or if you are experiencing difficulties in making an application.
My social housing property is too big Toggle accordion
If your council property is too big, there are a range of incentives available to move to a smaller council or housing association property. Details of these incentives are available in the below leaflet.
You will still be required to make an application for housing via the St Albans Home Choice website.
My social housing property has adaptations which are no longer needed Toggle accordion
If your Council or Housing Association property has adaptations which you are no longer in need of, there are a range of incentives available to move to an alternative Council or Housing Association property.
How do I look for properties once I have been accepted onto the Housing Register? Toggle accordion
Available properties are advertised on a weekly basis from Friday at 9.00am to Tuesday 12.00pm. Each property advert will be clearly labelled as to the size and type of property and who is eligible to place bids. A guide on how to place bids for properties is available below.
Details on how many council and housing association properties were allocated in the last year can be found in the Social Housing Allocation publication below
Mutual exchange of social housing Toggle accordion
Due to the shortage of social housing in the district, you may find it quicker to arrange a mutual exchange to move to a different property that meets your needs. This process involves two or more tenants swapping their homes. This could be within the district or anywhere in the country.
HomeSwapper is a website that has been set up to help tenants in social housing swap their properties. It is possible to register for free, and view available properties, on the HomeSwapper website.
More details on the mutual exchange process can be found on our Mutual Exchange webpage.
Due to the shortage of social housing in the district, people looking for housing should consider renting accommodation in the private sector.
You may want to consider saving with the St Albans Credit Union. After a small period of time you may be able to benefit from a low interest loan to help you with a deposit or first month’s rent. Loans are available for many reasons so please contact them with any questions.
Please see the Private Sector Housing - Tenants webpage which provides advice for those people who are renting in the private sector.
Further advice on how to access private rental accommodation can be found in the leaflet below.
Shared Ownership and Help to Buy
There are a number of products available to help you take your first steps into home ownership if you are unable to afford a property on the open market. Details on the products available, eligibility, and properties available can be found on the Help to Buy website.
The most common product is Shared Ownership. This can be for new build and resale properties.
Shared ownership allows you to buy a percentage share of a property whilst a registered housing provider, commonly a housing association, retains the other share. It is sometimes known as ‘part-buy part-rent’ because you will then be charged a rental payment on the remaining share owned by the housing association. In most cases shared owners can choose to buy additional shares at a later stage to increase their equity. This is known as ‘staircasing’.
Housing for Over 55s
If you are over 55 years old, there may be additional housing options available to you, including properties that are designated for applicants over 55 only.
If you have a support need but wish to continue living independently, you might wish to consider sheltered housing in the district. Sheltered housing is self-contained, usually 1-bedroom properties or studio apartments, with some communal facilities. Further details about sheltered housing can be found on our Sheltered Housing webpage.
If you need help with cooking, housework or personal care, support is offered in extra care, or flexicare, housing schemes in the district. Hertfordshire County Council Adult Care Services will help to assess the level of support that you might need.
To apply for either of these types of housing, you will need to make an application for housing via St Albans Home Choice website.