Information On Housing

Renting from the Council

In order to rent accommodation from the council or a housing association, first you will need to apply to go on the local authority’s general housing register. This involves completing an application form which can be obtained by contacting your local council housing team. Contact details for each area are below:

Cherwell Housing, Tel: 01295 227004 or email:

Oxford City Housing, Tel: 01865 249811 or email:

South Oxfordshire Housing, Tel: 01235 520202 or email:

Vale of White Horse Housing, Tel: 01235 520202 or email:

West Oxfordshire Housing, Tel: 01993 861010 or email:

In order to qualify for council housing you must have a local connection to the area you are applying for housing in, by either

  • living in the area for 6 months, or living there 3 out of the last 5 years
  • Working in the area
  • Have close family associations in the area

After the council have received your application form, they will decide if they consider you to be in suitable need of housing. If they deem that you are in need of housing, you will be accepted onto their waiting list and awarded a priority band based on how quickly you need to be housed. You will then be eligible to bid on properties using a choice based letting scheme. There is usually a long waiting list to gain accommodation through the council especially in Oxford city.

The video below shows the bidding process for properties.  Though this is Bedfordshire specific, the process is very similar for other areas.

Bedfordshire Property Bidding

Private Rented Housing

This option gives you the freedom to choose accommodation to suit your needs and choose the location in which you live. However private rented accommodation can be expensive, and normally requires a deposit. If you are in receipt of benefits you can apply for Housing Benefit to help to pay the rent, however there is normally a restriction on the maximum amount of housing benefit you can claim. The council website has more details. Some people choose to top-up their housing benefit from their own money if they want to lease a property that is more than housing benefit will cover.

Finding Privately Rented Housing / Kent Homechoice

Where to look for private rented accommodation:

Private Renting Information

Guide to private renting