Apply for housing
If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, read our guidance and contact us by completing an online self-assessment form
Our aim is to help you explore the wide range of housing options available to you. Not everyone is eligible to apply for social housing in the Lewes district or in Eastbourne. We do not have enough houses for all of the applicants on our waiting list, so it is important we help you make the best housing choice based on your own personal circumstances.
Each council has separate council housing stock and has separate waiting lists for their properties.
It is important to note that:
- You can only apply for social housing in the Lewes district if you are currently a Lewes district resident or have a local connection.
- You can only apply for social housing in Eastbourne if you are currently a resident in Eastbourne or have a connection to the local area
- Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils also have access to privately rented housing managed by Homes First and these are available, subject to affordability, regardless of your local connection to either Authority.
Introducing Homes First Lettings
Homes First Lettings is the new choice-based lettings website for both Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Council. It replaces Homemove. If you are an existing Homemove customer, you do not need to re-apply. We have written to you with details on how to login and bid.
Homes First Lettings will also advertise the privately rented properties available through Eastbourne Housing Investment Company Limited, Aspiration Homes and Lewes Housing Investment Company Limited.
There are no bidding requirements for these properties. Applicants who are successful will be offered an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Check the Homes First Lettings website for the available properties. If you want to be considered for any of these properties you will need to complete an application form.
Are you eligible to apply?
- You must read our notes on eligibility below to find out who can apply
- If you think you are eligible, you will then need to complete an online housing options self-assessment
- The assessment will tell you if you can apply to join the housing register or not
- You may only apply for housing if you have completed the online self-assessment first
If you are not a social housing tenant, you may register on our waiting list if you have an established local connection within the Lewes district or Eastbourne.
There is no eligibility criteria, other than an affordability assessment, to apply for the privately rented properties advertised on Homes First Lettings website. You may wish to apply for the available properties before applying to the housing register.
As an applicant or joint applicant you must (with certain exceptions as set out below) meet at least one of the following criteria:
- reside in the Lewes district or Eastbourne as your only or principle home and have done so for the previous 2 years
- have resided in the Lewes district or Eastbourne as your only or principle home for a period of at least 3 consecutive years out of the previous 5 years
- have served in the Armed Forces within the previous 5 years. You do not need a local connection to join our waiting list
- be in permanent employment in the Lewes district or Eastbourne and have been for the previous 2 years
- you need to move to the Lewes district or Eastbourne for work related reasons. Read the work-related qualifying criteria. You may not require a local connection to join our waiting list
- have close relatives who reside in the Lewes district or Eastbourne as their only or principle home and have done for at least the previous 5 years
Close relatives will normally only cover parents, adult children or siblings. Consideration may be given to other relatives if there is evidence they provide a substantial supporting role to the applicant. Professional evidence of the support must be provided.
Once you have found a privately rented property you are interested in on the Homes First Lettings website, you will need to complete the following application form so we can do the necessary affordability checks. Send your completed application form to EHICL@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk and Aspiration.homesLLP@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk. A separate application is not needed for each property you are interested in if you have already applied.
The Housing Needs Team will assess your circumstances and will contact you in due course to discuss the property.
Before you complete our housing application form
- You must have read and understood the eligibility information
- You must first complete an online housing options self-assessment on the Homes First Lettings website:
Apply for housing or tell us about a change
Download, complete and save our housing register PDF application form below. You should only do this once you have completed the online self-assessment form and it has confirmed you are eligible to apply . You can also use housing register form to tell us of a change in your circumstances.
Returning your application form
You can return the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively if you prefer to send the form back to us by post you can send it to us at either Lewes District Council or Eastbourne Borough Council
- Homes First Lettings
- Homes First Lettings
Retirement housing - additional medical and support needs assessment form
If you are applying for sheltered housing accommodation you will also need to print off and complete the medical and support needs assessment form.
Once registered you can make bids for properties you are eligible for on the Homes First Lettings website
How we record bids and allocate properties
All the bids for the properties are recorded in priority order by band, local connection and time on the register. In the case of rural properties in the Lewes district, we will allocate to the person who is highest on the shortlist, with a local connection to the village. Even if you are at the top of the list you may not be offered the property if you have outstanding rent arrears or a history of anti-social behaviour.
Successful bids and property viewings
If you are successful in your bid for a property we will contact you to arrange a viewing. If you do not attend the viewing, or make alternative arrangements, we will treat this as a refusal. When you have viewed the property you will need to let us know by noon the next day if you are going to accept it. If we do not hear from you within this timescale we will treat this as a refusal and the property will be offered to the next applicant.
Our allocations policies
Effective from June 2018 Lewes and Eastbourne councils each have a new allocations policy. Key points:
- we will seek to make sure social tenancies are offered to those most in need of housing and the process of allocations and lettings is fairer
- applicants currently on our housing registers will be assessed against the new banding
- some applicants may be awarded a different band, but will retain the date they were placed their existing band
- under the new policy for Lewes district council, Band D for applicants without a housing need will no longer be used
- bidding numbers will remain the same
- if your band changes we will write to you
- if you provided relevant supporting evidence on your original application then you do not need to take any action
- if you have any questions about the new policy or you have new information you wish to provide us with so that we can re-assess your application, please contact us to let us know what the new information is and why it wasn't on your current application.