Gateway to Homechoice is the choice based lettings scheme for council and housing association properties in the following seven local authority areas:

  1. Babergh District Council
  2. Braintree District Council
  3. Colchester Borough Council
  4. East Suffolk Council
  5. Ipswich Borough Council
  6. Maldon District Council
  7. Mid Suffolk District Council
How the scheme operates

The 7 local authorities in the Gateway to Homechoice scheme advertise vacancies in rented social housing using the same system that operates as follows:

  • Each week the vacant social housing in the area of operation of the 7 local authorities is advertised on the Gateway to Homechoice website. 
  • Applicants who are registered can indicate up to 2 properties they are interested in either online or by phone. 
  • All of the vacancies advertised through the scheme are owned by councils or housing associations. 
  • All of the local authorities operate the same Allocations Policy
Qualification and Local Connection

People register with the LA where they live (or would like to live if they come from outside the subregion of the scheme). Applicants with no local connection to any of the LAs are ‘demoted’ by one band compared to someone with the same housing issue from within the area. An applicant will be considered to have a local connection to the sub-region if: 

  • their only or principle home is in one of the participating districts; or 
  • they were placed in specialised housing outside the sub-region, but previously lived here; or 
  • they are in permanent paid work in the sub-region; or 
  • they have an adult son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father who lives here and has done so for at least 5 years.

Full details of qualification and local connection criteria for the Gateway can be found in our Allocations Policy.