Housing Needs Register Assessment

Apply for housing

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

Please Note, if you are threatened with homelessness please do not complete this form - please call an Advisor at Contact Harlow.

Housing Initial Assessment


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 be given a number when the Housing Initial Assessment is completed. Please make a note of the number and provide this to Reception at Contact Harlow when you go to collect your Housing Needs Register form.
    • You will have 42 calendar days to complete the Housing Needs Register form 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.
    • “Right to Move” - if you do not meet the local connection to join Harlow Council’s Housing Needs Register but you are a Council or Housing Association tenant and have to move to Harlow to work in the town, you do not need to demonstrate a local connection in order to join the Housing Needs Register. 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 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 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