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Social Housing (Council Housing)

If you have an affordable housing need in Carlisle, you may be able to access social housing in the district. This involves renting a property off a registered social landlord or housing association at a rate lower than market level rent. To apply for social housing, you therefore need to contact the registered social landlords operating in Carlisle. The Council’s Guide to Registered Social Landlords (see below) details the individual lettings policies of these organisations.

Cumbria Choice based lettings

Logo image for Cumbria Choice Org

Cumbria Choice based lettings is the way of allocating social housing across Cumbria. Six district authorities and eight housing organisations have developed the new allocations policy, which will give local residents more choice in securing socially rented homes in the areas they want to live. You can now browse available properties and apply for a new home..

There are several ways of applying for properties through Cumbria Choice. These include:

  • Visiting their website
  • Using the automated telephone line and calling 0300 011 2160
  • Sending an SMS Text Message to 07537 402596
  • Contacting a housing provider
  • Making a 'bid' in person at the Offices of a housing provider.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news by following Cumbria Choice on Facebook or Twitter.

Changes are coming to Cumbria Choice 

They wish to provide their customers and applicants with an overview of the changes to the Cumbria Choice Policy and system that we will be making in 2022.

During consultation with customers and our stakeholders in 2020, they were informed that our customers wanted an easy-to-understand policy and a simple system that would function on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

What they will be delivering?

  • A new and improved Cumbria Choice website.
  • An easy to navigate customer housing portal.
  • The ability for customers to reset their own passwords.
  • A shorter more intuitive application form.
  • The flexibility to upload evidence to your housing application yourself.
  • A modern website, showing adverts complete with a map view search option.
  • Reduction of our current banding system to 3 simple bands A. B. and C.

Band A – Urgent need for housing

Band B – Statutory housing need to move

Band C – All other applications with an evidenced housing need

  • Unlimited bids each week for applicants in Band C.
  • Nine qualification guidelines.
  • The ability to suspend applications which previously may have been made ineligible. This means if an applicant is suspended due to unacceptable behaviour or housing-related debts, they will be registered to the system allowing them to accrue time on the register, but they will be prevented from bidding. This will allow applicants time to address any issues before bidding can take place.

Do you need to do anything?

You don’t need to do anything.

They will update their website when the changes are closer to being implemented with a fixed date for the changes. All changes when applied will occur automatically for you. 


Shared Ownership

Taking a first step towards home ownership through "shared ownership" is often over-looked by prospective buyers. Shared ownership does not mean sharing your house with someone else; it involves the purchase of an initial share of a property, and paying rent to a not-for-profit organisation for the remaining amount. The initial share purchased is normally between 25% and 75% of the full market value, and this share can generally be increased as and when you can afford it. In most cases (except in protected rural areas), you can own 100% of your home.

New Build HomeBuy is the government’s current shared ownership scheme. Riverside Home Ownership is the government’s HomeBuy agent for Cumbria; anyone can apply to Riverside regardless of who is developing or selling the property.

To get more information on shared ownership, and to find available properties, please contact Riverside Home Ownership on the details provided below.

Riverside Home Ownership
Tel: 0845 155 9029 / 0345 155 9029E-mail: [email protected]




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