In this section you will find information about social housing in Rother, how to register, how   the Sussex Homemove scheme works and the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

  1. How to apply for social housing and Sussex Homemove scheme
  2. Documents needed for your Rother Homemove application
  3. Rother Housing Allocations Scheme
  4. Social housing information and waiting times
  5. Housing for older people/sheltered accommodation
  6. Swapping your social housing home through Mutual Exchange
  7. Social Housing FAQs


Got a question about housing and homes?  

How to apply for social housing and Sussex Homemove scheme

What is the Sussex Homemove Scheme?

Sussex Homemove, also known as the Housing Register or choice based lettings, is the scheme that Rother District Council uses to advertise social housing properties available in Rother. 

Eligible applicants bid for properties they are interested in via the Sussex Homemove website.  

In order to bid you will need to make an online application and submit evidence so we can verify your case. 

Applicants are assessed and prioritised according to their housing need and the criteria can be found in the Housing Allocations Scheme

How do I apply?

Please click the link below to complete an online pre-assessment to see if you are eligible for social housing.   

If you are eligible you will then be able to complete the housing online application form.  

At the end of the online application form you will also be asked to upload your supporting documents. Your application will be assessed once we have received all your supporting documents. This will take up to four weeks.  

Apply on the Sussex Homemove online form. 

If you need help to complete the online pre-assessment call our Customer Services contact center on 01424 787000  

Documents needed for your Rother Homemove application

If you are making a new application you will need to provide supporting documents so we can verify your case and assess your housing need. 

If you already have a live application you can upload the evidence to support your change via your sussex homemove account. 

If you have changed address you will need to complete a change of circumstances form as well. 

Supporting Documents


  • Proof of ID for each family member included on your application – A copy of Birth Certificate or Passport 
  • If your name has changed since birth we will need to see a copy of official Deed Poll documentation or if through marriage, a copy of your marriage certificate.

Accommodation – Evidence of where you currently reside

  •  A Tenancy Agreement
  • A Licence Agreement – If living on a caravan site or in a hostel
  • A Letter Confirming Current Living Arrangements – If living with friends or family
  • A Valuation of Property for Home Owners

Income – Proof of Income for each family member included on your application

  • Your Last 3 Payslips (If paid Monthly)
  • Your Last 5 Payslips (If paid Weekly)
  • Your Benefits Award Letter
  • Details of any payments from an Occupational Pension


Official Documentation from the Home Office confirming your current Immigration Status.

Adding Children

  • Child Benefit Award Letter
  • Tax Credits Award Letter or
  • A Joint Court Order which confirms the custody arrangements for your child. Or alternatively a Solicitor’s Letter that confirms the extent to which you look after your child.

Please provide any additional information which is relevant to your housing need. See our FAQs for the most frequently asked questions

Rother Housing Allocations Scheme

The Housing Allocations Policy is the criteria we use to prioritise applications for social housing and the procedures that will be followed. It also explains who will and who will not be assisted, how to apply for housing and how homes will be allocated.

Social Housing Information and Waiting Times

Social housing

Rother does not own any council housing.

Social housing in the district is owned and managed by Registered Providers (Housing Associations) and are let at relatively low rents. 

These properties are available via the Sussex Homemove scheme.

If you would like a social housing property you need to apply to join the Council’s Housing Register.

If you are eligible you will be able to bid on properties through the Sussex Homemove website.

What is the Sussex Homemove Scheme?

For details of the scheme and how to apply go to this Section

How long will I have to wait for social housing?

Demand for social housing in Rother is high and far outweighs the supply. Unfortunately we cannot advise how long it may take before you would receive an offer. The waiting time for an allocation of social housing varies according to the type of property you require, the availability of property, your housing need and who else on the register bids.

The following table lists all the lettings during 2020:

Please note that whilst the waiting times may not seem particularly high nearly 60% of these vacancies were allocated to applicants assessed as being in urgent housing need.

Lettings between 01 January 2020 and 31 December 2020:
Type / SizeNo. of LetsShortest WaitLongest WaitAverage Wait
Sheltered accommodation353 Weeks6 Years13 Months
Studio General needs45 Weeks31 Months9 Months
1-bed general needs7012 days7 Years17 Months
2-bed flat or maisonette224 Months29 Months8 Months
2-bed house438 Weeks3 Years9 Months
3-bed flat or maisonette88 Weeks9 Years33 Months
3-bed house184 Months5 Years18 Months
4-bed44 Months12 Months 6 Months
*A significant number of these properties are sheltered or age restricted properties and also includes accommodation suitable for applicants with mobility problems.

How many people are on the waiting list?

On 1st January 2021 the total number of households waiting for a property was 1761. The total number of properties let through Sussex Homemove from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 was 204.

This table shows the number of households waiting for a property as of 1 January 2021:

Band1 Bed*2 Bed*3 Bed*4 Bed*5 Bed*6 beds or more*
Total All
Properties let
from 01 January
2020 to 31
December 2020
*These include a large number of sheltered properties or properties for over 55’s.
** Those with a four bedroom need are allowed to bid on a three bedroom property.

Housing for older people / sheltered accommodation

There are a number of schemes across Rother which cater specifically for the over 55’s and several sheltered schemes offering independent living. 

Sheltered schemes are generally for applicants aged sixty or over  who  wish to retain their independence but may prefer a smaller, easier to manage, self-contained home. 

Sheltered housing is usually a one or two-bed self-contained apartment, each with their own kitchen, bathroom and front door. Some studio apartments are also available. 

These vacancies are advertised via the Sussex Homemove scheme. 

If you need help to bid for properties you can ask to be set up for automatic bidding. 

You just need to tell us the type of property you require and the area you would like to consider and bids will be automatically placed on your behalf. 

Please click here to request automatic bidding (not sure what the link is meant to be)

Support available

If you are over 60, and feel that you need support with your housing needs, ‘STEPS to stay independent’ provides a free and improved short term support service for those with a housing support issue, to help you to stay living independently.   

For more information please visit 

Or if you live in Rother please contact STEPS East - Phone: 0300 123 2422 (local rate).  

Text: 07944 140 016.  

Email: (service provided by Peabody Housing Association)

Extra Care Housing

Extra Care housing is independent living, generally for older people aged 60+, who have a  range of care and support needs.  

Residents have access to 24 hour on site care and support with the aim to provide an independent home for life so that residents don’t have to move into residential care and allowing them to retain their independence. 

In general to be eligible for extra care housing applicants must: 

  • Be 60 or over or assessed as requiring this service 
  • have a housing need 
  • have clear care and support needs as assessed by East Sussex Social Services 

If you would like to be considered for extra care housing in Rother please contact East Sussex Adult Social Care 

Phone: 0345 60 80 191 (open 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including bank holidays) 

Email: Health and Social Care Connect 

If you are interested in St Bartholomew’s Court in Rye please see the Sanctuary Retirement Living website or call 01797 226233

Swapping your social housing home through Mutual Exchange

If you’re already living in social housing, an easy way to relocate is to swap your home with another social housing tenant. You can do this through the Mutual Exchange process.  

There are various websites that assist with this, for example Home SwapperHouse Exchange or Exchange Locata.  

These services match properties with tenants who want to swap houses across the country and can often be the easiest and quickest way to do this.  

You will need your landlord’s permission to swap.  

The Mutual Exchange process is not managed by Rother District Council.  

When you find a person who is prepared to swap their social housing home for yours, you will need to contact your Registered Provider (Housing Association). They will assist you in arranging the Mutual Exchange. 

Social Housing FAQs

Please visit our social housing FAQ page