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Gateway to Homechoice

Gateway to Homechoice logo

Gateway to Homechoice was launched in 2009 and offers people on the housing register the chance to look for accommodation to rent across the council and partner housing association properties in the local authority areas of Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Ipswich, Maldon, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council. The scheme has been designed to make the allocation of social housing more transparent and offer customers more choice. 

If you are looking for social housing in Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Ipswich, Maldon, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council you now only have to complete one application form. Your needs will be assessed against the same clear set of criteria no matter where you live and you will be able to bid for properties that you would like to live in.

Properties are allocated to the person who has the highest priority who has bid for a property and who has waited the longest time.

pdf icon Click here to find out more about the Gateway to Homechoice Banding Scheme. [399kb]

pdf icon Click here to read the Gateway to Homechoice Allocation Policy. [867kb]

We advertise available properties weekly on the Gateway to Homechoice website.

If you are a current social housing tenant often the easiest way to move is to find someone who wishes to swap with you. You can register for a swap or look for exchanges on the House Exchange website.

pdf icon Click here to see more information and facts about Housing including how many properties were let between 01 January 2011 and 31 December 2011. [231kb]

Affordable Rent changes 2012

pdf icon Click here to read about the latest affordable rent changes. [33kb]

Housing Medical Assessment

What is a Medical Assessment?

A medical assessment is the process that we use to assess whether your present housing is having a detrimental affect on your health. You should only apply if you have an illness which you feel is caused or aggravated by your accommodation.

It is essential that you have an active application on Gateway to Homechoice to apply for a medical assessment.

If you have an active Housing application you will need to update your form with your medical issues. If you do not already have an application you will need to complete an online application form on the Gateway to Homechoice website

Homelessness, poor housing conditions, marital problems, neighbour disputes and social need will not, on their own, be considered medical priority for re-housing. If you are experiencing problems with any of the above please visit our Housing pages for advice.

About the Assessment

You need to make sure you tell us as much information as you can about your condition and the way your housing affects your illness.

Remember your Medical form will only be valid if you have also completed a housing application form.

You should complete an application or amend your current application if you, or someone in your household, have a health problem which is affected by your housing.

Those who fall within the medical assessment criteria will be sent a medical form to complete. Please send this back to us with any letters of support from professionals to support your application. We will aim to reach a decision within 28 days.

Please do not make an application if your problems are due to:

  • Difficulties experienced during pregnancy that are likely to go away when the baby is born
  • Difficulties getting a pram/buggy up and down stairs
  • Illnesses or injuries that are likely to get better with treatment, e.g. a broken leg or arm recovering from an operation
  • Overcrowded accommodation - we already consider this in the general assessment of your housing situation
  • Minor illnesses like a cough, cold, flu, earache etc
  • The state of repair to your property, e.g. damp, condensation, infestation with mice or insects. Your landlord or housing manager should deal with these or you can contact us via the Housing pages for further advice.


Do I need a letter from my Doctor?

A letter is not required from your Doctor, as usually by telling us about your illness and the medication you take we can make an accurate assessment. If we need more in-depth information our medical officer will write to your Doctor or consultant.

Our medical officer may also request the advice of an occupational therapist to help assess how you function within your current home. If this assessment shows you require a specially adapted property you will be informed.

I am in receipt of disability-related benefits, will this mean extra priority?

No extra priority will be given if you are in receipt of disability related benefits, but we do need to know if you are in receipt of them in order to correctly assess your application, and proof will be required.

The damp and mould in my housing is affecting my health...

Because of the short supply of housing that we have, when we assess applicants for priority on medical grounds we also look to see what other things can be done in order to help you. It is the legal responsibility of your landlord to make sure your home remains in a good condition. If your landlord is unwilling to fix the problem or you would like further help and assistance you can visit our website Private housing repair and complaints, fill in and submit our Private Sector Housing advice/complaint form or call our team on 01206 282581.

If you are a tenant of Social Housing you can still make a complaint to us. However, in the first instance we will write to the Housing Association and ask them to contact us regarding inspections and what they propose to do.

How do I make a Medical application?

Contact us:


Phone: 01206 282569

Letter: Housing Options

33 Sheepen Road