Apply for social housing | Apply for social housing | Oldham Council

Social housing is housing which is provided for rent or sale at a fairly low cost by housing associations and local councils.

It is let on a secure basis to households who are most in need. 

Most of the social housing in Oldham is owned by housing associations and a small proportion (2,000) by the Oldham Council. 

Before you apply

To apply for social housing you need to provide documents to prove your identity and eligibility.

Please read our checklist before making an application to make sure you have everything you need.

Application process

Properties are generally allocated to the applicant who:

  • Bids on the property
  • Is in the greatest housing need

It can take up to 12 weeks for us to process your application.

Once your application is assessed and accepted onto the Housing Register, the council will award 'bandings' to reflect the needs of your household.

This determines your priority on the housing needs register (what sort of housing you can apply for and how long you may have to wait for it).

The banding criteria looks at things like:

  • Health issues
  • Medical needs
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Safety concerns
  • Unsuitability of current housing 

However sometimes properties are allocated based on factors other than need.

The full details of eligibility and how bandings are awarded are included in the Oldham Council Allocations Scheme:

To access social housing in Oldham you must register with Oldham Council by completing the Housing Options Registration Form. 


Housing Options Registration Form

Change of circumstances

If your application is live you can log in to your account and update your information.

If your application status is showing as:

  • Suspended
  • Offer refused
  • Reassessment required
  • Removed 

you will not be able to log into your account and will need to email to the Housing Register team to let them know about your change of circumstances:


If you disagree with the band you have been allocated you can appeal the decision in writing within 10 days of the date on your decision letter.

Full details on how to appeal your decision can be found in your decision letter.

Bid on a property (search for available housing)

As soon as your application status shows 'Live' you can bid for a property.

A user guide on how to bid on a property will be emailed to you with your outcome letter.

Please use our 'Property search' to bid for properties.

Property Search

All properties are advertised on the council's 'Property Search'.  

If your application status is ‘live’, and you cannot see any properties there are none currently advertised.

Keep checking daily for new properties becoming available. 

You will not be able to see any properties advertised if your application status shows anything other than 'Live'.

When a property advert closes the property status changes to ‘shortlisted’, this means that all the bids placed have been prioritised by the person in the highest banding who's been waiting the longest.

This status may show for some significant time after the advert closes as the next status change is when the successful bidder has signed the tenancy agreement for the property.

The landlord of the property will contact the successful bidder usually within three working days of the advert closing.

If you do not hear anything from the landlord, please assume that on this occasion you have not been successful.

The demand for properties is always high, you should bid on all properties including flats and maisonettes in all areas of the borough.

Problems accessing your application

If you are unable to access your application please check your application status and any emails you may have received.

If your application status is showing as 'Offered', the Landlord of the property should have contacted you. Please direct any questions you have to the Landlord.

If your application is showing 'suspended', 'offer refused' or 'reassessment required', the Housing Register and Allocations Officer should have sent you an email explaining why your application status has changed.

If you have any queries please email the Housing Register team.