We do not own any housing stock.
Housing associations own and manage all social rented accommodation in our district. They advertise available properties through the Gateway to Homechoice scheme.
The number of people registered for social housing greatly exceeds the supply. This means that it may take several years to get social housing and many households may never receive an offer.
So, if you need to find accommodation, our Housing Options Team will be happy to give you advice and help. It is important that you keep an open mind about the type of accommodation you are willing to live in and where it is.
You can contact our Housing Options Team using our online form.
To complete the form you will need:
- your name address and contact details
- your email address
- details of you current living arrangements including any tenancy or rental agreements
- details of your housing need
Groups with particular needs
If you're 55 or over
If you are 55 or over, you should consider:
- registering on Gateway to Homechoice and
- expressing an interest in sheltered accommodation
The wait for sheltered accommodation can be much shorter than for general needs accommodation.
Eastlight Community Homes is the main provider of sheltered accommodation in our district.
Gypsies and Travellers
Essex County Council manages 12 local authority sites for Gypsies and Travellers in the county.
You should contact Essex County Council Gypsy and Traveller Services if you have any questions about this service.
You can also be found advice on the Shelter website.
You can find out how we respond to unauthorised traveller encampments.
People experiencing domestic abuse
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse you can find information on help and support on our domestic advice page.
Former or serving members of the regular armed forces
You may get additional preference on the Housing Register if you are:
- a member of the armed forces
- a member of the reserve force
- a bereaved spouse or partner of a member of the armed forces or reserve force
If you qualify, you will get priority in your band when you apply for an eligible property.
There is more advice for armed forces personnel on the Shelter website.
If you are thinking about buying your own home, you can get help through the Forces Help to Buy scheme.
You can contact our Housing Options Team, if you've left, or are about to leave the military, and have nowhere to live.
If you are a care leaver, your Leaving and Aftercare Personal Advisor will have agreed on a pathway plan with you. This will confirm where you are going to live.
Your Personal Advisor should review your pathway plan with you on a regular basis.
They should stay in contact with you and provide ongoing support and help until:
- you turn 21 or
- until your 25th birthday if you are still studying full time
There is more advice for care leavers on the Shelter website.
If you become homeless, our Housing Options team will work with you and your Personal Advisor to explore your options.
The Shelter website provides advice for anyone:
- who has left prison and is homeless
- who is due to leave prison in the next eight weeks and doesn't have anywhere to stay on the release
You can also contact our Housing Options team to talk about what help and support are available.
- We are part of Essex Prisoner Housing Protocol, together with:
- The other Essex Local Housing Authorities
- The Essex CRC
- The National Probation Service
- Essex County Council
- Chelmsford Prison
The aims of the protocol are:
- to identify any risk of homelessness before someone leaves prison
- for agencies to work together to reduce the chances of offenders leaving prison without having somewhere suitable to stay
Sometimes you know in advance that you will be going into hospital, and sometimes you go there as an emergency.
There is more advice for people going into hospital on the Living Well Essex website.
If you are at risk of being homeless on leaving the hospital, or soon after, the hospital has a duty to refer you to a local authority for help and advice.
Our Housing Options team can advise you on making longer term plans for changes to adapt your home to make it suitable for your needs, You can find more information on our grants page.
You can also speak to our Housing Options team to talk about a move to more suitable accommodation.
We have several supported housing schemes, which provide:
- accommodation for up to two years
- a support package for single people who need help developing their independent living skills such as budgeting, cooking, managing a tenancy
Most of the accommodation is in shared housing.
If you’re 16 or 17 and homeless, we will work with Essex County Council Health and Social Care to assess your situation. Our joint assessment will determine if we are going to refer you to supported accommodation.
We can refer single people aged 18 to 35 with low-level support needs to supported accommodation through the Joint Referral Panel. You need to contact our Housing Options team if you want to apply for a referral.
We can refer single people 18 and over with light-touch support needs for accommodation in a house in multiple occupations. You need to contact our Housing Options team if you want to apply for a referral.
Adults with mental health support needs, who need specialist mental health supported accommodation can be referred to the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust scrutiny panel by their care co-ordinator.
There are supported housing schemes in the Braintree District for people who need:
- intensive enablement (usually following discharge from hospital) or
- support to independence for those needing some support to prepare them for living independently
You need to contact your Mental Health Support Worker to discuss a referral.
Adults with Learning Disabilities
If you are an adult with learning difficulties and want to be considered for specialist supported accommodation you need to:
- speak to your social worker or
- contact Essex County Council Adult Social Care