Oxford City Council

PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
Web http://www.oxford.gov.uk/


Oxford Register for Affordable Housing (ORAH)

We have formed a partnership with Housing Associations who have properties in Oxford so that most social rented properties are let through one single housing register.

How do I apply to go on the General Housing Register?

If you want to apply to go on the housing register you should ask for an application form from the Housing Needs Team by phoning us on 01865 249811 or email housingneeds@oxford.gov.uk. You can also email to tell us about any changes to your circumstances so, we can keep your application up to date. 

Alternatively you can contact one of the partner housing associations listed on our ORAH contacts page.

We will be pleased to help if you need any help in completing the form. It is important the form is completed as fully as possible as this may affect the priority you are given.

Applications are assessed in line with our Allocations scheme using a banding system. Information about the full Allocations scheme can be found in the document below:

PDF icon Allocations Scheme (PDF)
PDF icon Summary of Allocations Scheme (PDF)

Being on the register does not guarantee you will be housed, especially if you are in a low band.

What information will I need to provide?

The information you need to provide is listed on the application form.

You will need to show some original documents as evidence, for example passport or birth certificate.

All information will be treated as confidential, although information may be shared if we need to check against fraud or follow up information about your housing needs.

Action will be taken against applicants found to have been fraudulently applying for accommodation or not giving full details as to their circumstances.

If your circumstances change whilst you are waiting on the register you must notify the Housing Needs Team at the Council and a form is available for you to do this.

A change of circumstance includes a change of address or family changes such as the birth of children.

Do I need to do anything whilst I am waiting?

Yes. To be considered for accommodation, you must express an interest in a property by making 'bids' through the Choice Based Lettings Scheme. You will be given more information on this when your application is added to the Housing register.

You will be required to re-register annually. A form will be sent out to enable you to do this. You must notify us if your circumstances change at any point.

I am already a tenant with the Council or a Housing Association but would like to move

There are four options:

  • A transfer to another council or housing association property through the Oxford Register for Affordable Housing (for Transfers).
  • A swap with another tenant who lives in a council or housing association property through the Mutual Exchange Scheme.
  • Through the private sector with help to move into home ownership through Homebuy or finding a privately rented property via the Council's Home Choice scheme.
  • If your housing association landlord is not an ORAH partner: either as a transfer within your landlord's stock or a general register application.

Transfers via the Oxford Register for Affordable Housing

Any existing Council or partner housing association tenant living in Oxford City can apply. However your application is only likely to be approved if:

  • You do not have a current court order against your for rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.
  • You are living in your property as your main home.

If you want to move because of problems with anti-social behaviour, problems with repairs or because you need your property to be adapted, a transfer may not be the best option and you should speak to your own landlord for advice.

How do I apply to go on the Transfer Register?

You can obtain a transfer form from your landlord's local office. Please see the ORAH contacts page for details.

This should be completed and returned to your landlord.

Once you have done this your landlord will ensure the form and any accompanying evidence are fully completed and will send it to the Housing Needs Team at Oxford City Council who will put your details on the register.

It is useful to discuss your housing needs with your Housing Officer or Tenancy Management Officer as they will be able to advise you and can help you complete the form.

You should consider other options that might help you find a more suitable home such as the Mutual Exchange Scheme.

Incentive Scheme for Under-Occupying tenants

If you are an Oxford City Council tenant and you live in a family-sized property and are prepared to move to a smaller property you may be eligible for compensation plus certain other expenses. For more information please see the leaflet below:

PDF icon Incentive scheme for under-occupying tenants (PDF)

Please note some housing associations may run similar schemes.

Change of personal or household circumstances 

If you are on the housing register and need to notify us of a change of personal or household circumstances, please contact us on 01865 249811.

ORAH Contacts

Contacts details for members of the Oxford Register for Affordable Housing (ORAH)

Page last updated 19 December 2014

Housing Needs Team

St Aldate's Chambers

109 St Aldate's



01865 249811

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