Click4Assistance UK Live Chat Software
Skip to main content

Accessing affordable housing

What type of affordable housing is best for you?

This section lists the main types of affordable housing available across the borough.

Affordable housing for rent

Affordable homes which are rented are frequently known as Council housing, social rented housing, or housing association homes. They are let at least 20% below local market rents (including service charges where applicable) and are generally managed by housing associations (registered providers) or the Council. For example, if the full market rent is £500 per month, eligible affordable housing applicants will pay £400 per month. Some affordable rented homes are let at lower rates than 20%; these are called social rents and tend to apply to older properties.

Affordable or social rented housing is available to any household who has a local connection to the borough and cannot afford to access market housing, regardless of whether you are working. This type of housing is allocated according to housing need, with those whose current housing situation is the most unsuitable, prioritised first.

Affordable homes for rent, are advertised through West Cheshire Homes Choice Based Lettings scheme. This scheme allows applicants to ‘bid’ for available properties of their own choice, based on their housing need. You can browse on the West Cheshire Homes website to see which properties are currently available and for further information on eligibility. You have to register on the West Cheshire Homes website and complete an application if you want to bid for properties.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is a low-cost home ownership product, sometimes known as part rent, part buy, shared equity or intermediate affordable housing. You buy a share in your home (for example 25%, 50% or 75%) and then pay a small rent to a Housing Association on the share that you don’t own. For example, if you were to take out a mortgage to own 75% of the property, the Housing Association would own the remaining 25%, which you would pay rent towards.

Additional shares can be purchased when you are able to afford to do so and this is known as ‘staircasing’. On some schemes you can staircase up, so you own 100% of the property and it becomes a market home. You are still responsible for repairs and maintenance of the property – this is not included in the rent.

Shared ownership homes are available to any household who cannot afford to access market housing. Owners are encouraged to purchase the largest share their income/savings allow them to, so they pay less rent. They are a useful option for working households on lower incomes, or those who have been homeowners but no longer have an income to support the purchase or maintenance of a market home and may wish to downsize.

Further information including eligibility, applications and how properties are advertised can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Other types of affordable housing

More information on affordable housing and other national schemes to help households to buy their own home, can be found on the Own your home website.