Housing Options

Current Housing Situation in Reading

As of 31 May 2019 there were 4,284 households registered with Homechoice at Reading and received a further 1,231 new applications from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.  During the last financial year we let to 452 homes.
As we house less than 10% of those registered each year we have listed some alternative options for you to explore in order to address your housing need.  If you need any assistance exploring these options you can contact the Voids and Lettings Team for more information on 01189 372172.


Homefinder UK is an easy to use online service that helps to match applicants with properties belonging to other local authorities and Registered Providers throughout the UK giving you more choice over where you live how much rent you pay and access to employment.  It may be easier to access social homes outside of the South East if this is a priority for you.

Who can join

Homefinder is open to all households in housing need.

How it works

Properties are advertised on the Homefinder website, once you have completed the online registration form it is sent to Reading Borough Council to confirm the details you gave. Once approved you will be provided with log in details and will be able to bid for homes.

How to join

Apply online here. If you need any help please contact the Housing Needs Outreach Worker on 0118 937 2311.

Private rented

With social housing in such short supply, the majority of households are able to resolve their housing situation within the private rented sector.  If you are already renting from a private landlord and you feel your home is no longer suitable for your needs you could consider look for alternative private rented accommodation:

  • Through a letting agent
  • In local newspapers
  • Lettings websites
  • Shop windows

If you don’t have a deposit you could consider joining Community Loans and Savings – a Credit Union offering good deals on loans. For more information visit their website or call 0118 958 5803.  You may also be eligible to be considered for our Rent Guarantee Scheme, however please check that you are eligible before you apply.

You may be able to negotiate a transfer of your current deposit to your new landlord – as long as you are not liable for damage or outstanding rent arrears.

If you are finding it difficult to secure your own private rented accommodation we can offer you some practical advice on successfully securing your own accommodation, such as how to approach letting agents, etc.  If it is not affordable for you to rent accommodation in Reading, you may wish to consider the surrounding areas which could be more affordable, such as Bracknell, Basingstoke and Swindon.

Rent Guarantee Scheme (RGS)

With social housing in such short supply, the majority of households are able to resolve their housing situation within the private rented sector.  The Rent Guarantee Scheme matches people who need homes with landlords who have private rented properties to let. We pay the rent directly to the landlord, in advance. We also guarantee to pay up to six weeks' rent as a tenancy deposit
Landlords and tenants sign a three-way agreement with us at the start of the tenancy.

To join the scheme all the following must be true:

  • You have a local connection
  • You are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • You are receiving benefits or are on a low income
  • You have no other way of finding a deposit
  • You have a good tenancy history
  • You are actively engaged with any support services

There are more tenants on the scheme than properties available, so you will probably have to find your own accommodation. We will give you a leaflet and evidence that we have accepted you on the scheme to let the landlord know the benefits of taking you as a tenant, using the Rent Guarantee Scheme.  We can also provide you practical advice on finding your own accommodation.
Once you have moved into your new home, you must pay your rent to us and start saving towards your deposit. If you fall behind in paying your rent to us or saving towards your deposit you will be breaking the terms of the agreement and we may remove you from the scheme. This could result in you having to leave your home.

You can find out more in our RGS tenant factsheet by clicking here.


Help to Buy South offers a number of different options for purchasing an affordable home and these are explained in brief below:

The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is available to both first time buyers and those that have bought a property before. If you have the minimum 5% deposit and want to buy a new build home, you'll be able to access the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. You will need to be able to take out a mortgage for 75% of the value of the property and the remaining 20% will be funded by the government.

Here's how to submit your application:

  • Find a new build property with a developer that is offering the Help to Buy Equity Loan
  • Complete a reservation form with the developer
  • Fill in a Property Information Form
  • Send the completed Property Information Form and the Reservation Form to reservations@helptobuysouth.co.uk or by fax to 023 8062 8392


Shared Ownership

Click here to find out more about Shared Ownership