Housing Needs Register Assessment

Apply for housing

To join the Housing Needs Register (housing application) you will need to first complete an initial assessment.

Housing Initial Assessment

Complete the Housing Initial Assessment online

Alternatively you can contact an Advisor at Contact Harlow.

The Housing Initial Assessment takes up to 15 minutes to complete and asks for basic information about your circumstances to assess whether you meet qualifying conditions in order to apply to join the Housing Needs Register.

  • If you do not meet qualifying conditions, you will be referred to other housing options that may be available to you.
  • If you meet qualifying conditions you will receive a contact call from Harlow Council's Housing Options Team (see below Housing Needs Assessment for details).
    • “Right to Move” - Since April 2015 new government guidance is in place to ensure that council and housing association tenants wishing to move to another Local Authority area for work related reasons can do so. This means that existing social tenants in other Local Authority areas in England who need to move to Harlow because the tenant works or has been offered work in the town do not need to demonstrate a local connection in order to join the Housing Register. We have amended our policy and procedures to reflect this change. If you are moving to the town to take up an offer of work or you already work in the town and wish to move here you can discuss this with the Housing Options Team. More information on the Move to Work scheme
    • If you are downsizing from a Harlow Council property to a smaller property via the Housing Needs Register or Mutual Exchange, you may qualify for practical and financial assistance under the Tenant Moves Incentive Scheme. More information on the Tenant Moves Incentive Scheme

More information on how housing is allocated

Housing Needs Assessment

The Housing Options Team will contact you by telephone within 10 Council working days upon completion of the Housing Initial Assessment, for further assessment and to inform you of your predicted band, based on your current housing circumstances. After being informed of your predicted band you will be asked if you wish to proceed to apply to join Harlow Council's Housing Needs Register.

  • If at this stage you do not wish to proceed with your application, you will be referred to other housing options that may be available to you.
  • If you wish to proceed to apply to join Harlow Council’s Housing Needs Register you will be issued with a Housing Needs Register Application Form for completion within 42 calendar days and to provide relevant proof/documentation. Applications returned after 42 days will not be accepted and the applicant will need to begin the whole process again, starting with the Housing Initial Assessment.

Housing Needs Register Application Form

Housing photoOnce your completed Housing Needs Register Application Form is received, Harlow Council will process your application to join the Housing Needs Register and will verify all the information provided and supporting documentation submitted. This process should be completed by Harlow Council within 28 days of the application form being submitted.

Where a housing application has been made by giving false information the applicant will be excluded from the Housing Needs Register.

If your application still meets the qualifying conditions and all the information has been verified and required proof provided, you will join the Housing Need Register, receiving details of your priority band, bidding number and how to bid for vacant properties using the Homefinder website. www.harlowhomefinder.co.uk.

Housing Needs Register

The following is summary information for those on the Housing Needs Register:

  • You can make up to three bids during the weekly bidding cycle between 9.30am every Thursday to 1am every Tuesday. For more information on how to bid please visit: www.harlowhomefinder.co.uk
  • If your bid is successful we will let you know of your offer by first class letter and will also try to contact you by telephone, it is therefore important to ensure your provide us with up to date contact details.
  • If you are shortlisted for a possible property, verification checks will be made into your current circumstances to ensure that the allocation is made in accordance with the Housing Allocation Scheme. You will have only 24 hours (excluding weekends) to provide the requested documents. More information on proof required for shortlisting verification process
  • All housing debts (mortgage arrears are not included) need to be cleared before an offer of accommodation will be made
  • Anyone refusing two reasonable offers of accommodation will be moved down a band for a period of six months (N.B. homeless applicants lose their priority after one reasonable offer). Please, therefore ensure that you only bid for properties you would be willing to accept.
  • You must inform us of any changes in your circumstances whilst on the Housing Needs Register (as detailed below).

Change of Circumstances

If you are on the Housing Needs Register and your circumstances change, it is important that your notify us as soon as possible by completing and signing a Change of Circumstances Form (pdf) and provide any proof/documentation to Contact Harlow.

If you you require help to complete the form please speak to an Advisor at Contact Harlow.

A change of circumstances includes:

  • Change of address or contact details
  • Changes in household details
  • Change of marital status
  • Changes to local connection
  • Changes in income or housing debts
  • Changes in criminal convictions and/or Anti-social Behaviour Orders

Please note: you do not need to notify us if you are pregnant, however please complete the form when the baby is born, as this is a change to your household.

How Harlow Council uses your information

Harlow Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers and it may share information provided to it with other bodies in order to prevent and detect fraud. More information on how Harlow Council uses your information