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To apply for a new home, you must register first with Homes for Bolton before you can see available homes and bid on them. You can only have two live bids on properties at any one time.

If you need help registering, bidding, or searching, phone Homes for Bolton on 01204 335811.

Demand for social housing exceeds the number of available properties. It’s a national, regional, and local issue, and why we’re investing in new developments to increase the overall number of homes available and working to make empty properties ready for new tenants. Tap here to learn more about our new housing development projects.

We get more than 100,000 expressions of interest for our properties each year and for each one listed, there are on average 50 bids. Therefore, properties are allocated on a needs first basis. You can learn more about how we allocate properties below.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Please read the important information below before continuing to apply for a home. When you're ready, use the button at the bottom of this page.

Each home is allocated by need and appropriateness

Each bidder on a home is separated into a band based on need. These bands affect who is most likely to be successful when they bid on an available home.

Tap on the buttons below for details on each band:


The highest priorty band is reserved for people who urgently need a new property. This band includes:

  • Families where there is an urgent concern for the health and welfare of children.
  • Households where an applicant requires a high level of social work support because of a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • Households where somebody is escaping domestic abuse, harassment, or violence.
  • Somebody who is currently homeless (as defined by VII Housing Act 1996).
  • Where a household is living in a property where there is an immediate threat to life or limb.

There are also additional criteria such as for returning armed forces personnel.

The second highest priority band is reserved for people who may fall into the following criteria:

  • Households in temporary/homelessness accommodation.
  • Households who are at risk of becoming homeless (after they have presented to Bolton Council).

These households are normally given priority status for a limited time period.

This band includes most other households in Bolton who want a new home, but don’t have an urgent need.

To qualify in this band, households should also have a local connection. A local connection is when someone already lives, previously lived, works, or has family living in the area. It also covers people who have a special circumstance, such as a medical reason they need to live here.

This band covers people who have no priority, such as people who already own their own home, or have no local connection.


Applicants are also allocated based on the suitability of the home they’ve bid on.

For example, a family of two adults and two children can bid for two- and three-bedroom properties but are unlikely to be accepted for a four or five bedroomed property without special circumstances.

Similarly, two adults wouldn’t likely meet the criteria to get a home with three or more bedrooms.

You can read the full allocations policy at www.homesforbolton.org.uk.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most common questions we're asked:


You can complete an application at www.homesforbolton.org.uk.

The application form is in two parts:

  • Part 1: pre-assessment. This section is a pre-assessment, which will provide you with options relevant to your circumstances. The answers you give will be used to create a personalised plan showing the best options for you based on your circumstances. It will give an indication of whether you’ll qualify for the housing register. Based on your action plan results, you should decide whether to continue.
  • Part 2: full application. You’ll need to complete a full housing application after the pre-assessment if you wish to continue. You’ll need an email address to create a full application.

Look through the available properties on the website and select the property you wish to bid on. You’ll need to be logged in to place a bid.

Bear in mind that you should only bid on properties that are suitable for your size of household.

When you find a property that you’re interested in, we suggest you know or visit the area before expressing an interest and check to make sure you meet the criteria for that property as it may not be appropriate for you.

You’ll be asked to confirm your household make up if you’re shortlisted for a property. If you don’t meet the criteria, unfortunately it’ll be rejected.

You can have two active bids at any one time.

Many properties are advertised over one week, but some are advertised on a flexible cycle so keep checking the site for new adverts and the number of days until the advert closes.

Please note we also advertise our new build homes for rent through Homes for Bolton.

When you make a bid on a property, a shortlist is created of everyone who is interested in that home.

This list is based on the band (see above about bands) and if more than one person has the same band then the date you registered is taken into account.

The person with the highest band and/or longest registration date and who meets the criteria for the property is the person who is likely to be offered the property. However, the housing provider will also need to carry out checks and references.

You can check your previous bids 24 hours a day on your account.

You’ll be able to see the status of the shortlist once the advert is closed. This is helpful to see if the housing provider is still shortlisting or they’ve offered the property to someone.

If you have any queries about a bid, please contact the housing provider that manages the property for more details. In the Bid History section, if you’re application has been unsuccessful then you can hover over the word to find the reason.

The housing provider will contact you by phone, email, or letter, making an initial offer of the property.

You can also view the status of the shortlists on your account by looking at your current and previous bids.

It’s important that you ensure that your contact details are correct before you confirm your bid as if they’re out of date you could miss out on an offer.

You’ll be able to view the property before you accept it.

The housing provider will advise you what they need from you before they confirm the property is yours. This could include a reference from your landlord or employer, housing benefit form or other details.

If your bid is unsuccessful, you’ll need to submit a new bid on another relevant property and will continue to compete with other applicants.

There is no special priority based on volume of bids already submitted.

If you’re currently homeless or facing eviction, you should register with Bolton Council’s Housing Options team, so that you can be allocated urgent or priority status.

The team can also:

  • negotiate with your landlord
  • address your arrears
  • advise on welfare benefits and maximising your income
  • assist and represent you at County Court
  • help with a referral to Money Advice to help sort out any debts you may have.

If you live in the Bolton area, please contact Housing Options on 01204 335900 or email your query to housing.options@bolton.gov.uk.

It’s really important that your details are up to date on Homes for Bolton:

  • Ensure that you complete the additional comments section on your application to fully explain your circumstances.
  • Are there any special requirements you need to tell us about?
  • Think about why are you moving or need a property.
  • What will this property offer you that you that your current one doesn’t?

There are also other things to think about, for example:

  • Are you meeting the advertised criteria?
  • Are you bidding for the right properties?

Tap here to view the Allocation and Lettings Policy on Bolton Council's website.

To open the policy (PDF format), scroll to the bottom of the page linked above and tap "Find out more about how properties are allocated by looking at the Homes for Bolton allocations policy."

Ready to apply for a home through Homes for Bolton?

If you need a new home, you can apply for one through Homes for Bolton.

Homes for Bolton is managed by Bolton Council and is the website to apply for social housing in Bolton and across Greater Manchester.

Please make sure you've read the information on this page before continuing.


Useful information

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Checklist for renting in England

This guide helps tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process.

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Preparing for your tenancy

If you're successful in bidding for a Bolton at Home property, you'll need to have several documents ready otherwise the property may be passed to the next person on the waiting list.

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Important: Advanced Rent and Direct Debit

You'll need to have one week or month's rent ready (depending on agreed payment frequency) if you're offered a property.

Rent must be paid by Direct Debit, so you'll need a bank account. If you don’t have one, contact our Money Advice Team on 01204 328000 for support.

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We're here if you need us

Remember: if you're currently registered with Homes for Bolton, you can tap here to view available properties on their website.

If you'd like further advice on finding a home, tap here to email our Homefinder Team or call them using 01204 328000.