Choice Based Lettings

Choice Based Lettings is a way of allocating social housing in Peterborough. Applicants accepted on the Housing Register can bid on a property of their choice by logging into their Jigsaw account.

How the Choice Based Lettings Scheme works

If you’re new to the Choice Based Lettings Scheme, read below the process you’ll go through to receive a home.

We accept your application to join the Housing Register. You become a ‘live applicant’.

We advertise available properties on the Peterborough Housing Jigsaw website.

You need to register an account on the Housing Jigsaw website to search and bid for properties.

Having an account allows you to:

  • View your Housing Register application
  • Inform us of any changes to your circumstances
  • Check the number of bedrooms you’re eligible for
  • See your banding priority
  • Find out if we have awarded you additional preference in your band
  • Search for and bid on available properties
  • View final property bid position
  • Seek homelessness help

Live applicants on the Housing Register can place a bid on a property to express their interest.

The property must have the same number of bedrooms an applicant is eligible for.

You search for and place bids on properties using the Housing Jigsaw website.

When you view an advert, you may find that hundreds of people have placed a bid.

The average waiting time for a home is between two and six years. This depends on the number of bedrooms you’re eligible for. Your banding priority also influences how long you must wait for a home.

Once a property advert closes, you can no longer place a bid. We release a shortlist which indicates your final bid position.

We select the top three applicants who have placed a bid. Our Housing Allocations Policy sets out the procedure we use to select the applicant.

The Registered Social Landlord who lets the property then reviews the three applicants in order of final bid position. They check the successful applicant meets the criteria in their own lettings policy.

The Registered Social Landlords are part of the Peterborough Homes Partnership (PHP). They have their own lettings policies. These are different to, and in addition to, our own Housing Allocations Policy.

The Registered Social Landlord contacts the top three applicants on the shortlist one at a time, starting with the applicant in first position. Applicants two and three should check their Jigsaw account for status updates.

There may be various reasons why an applicant is bypassed for a property. This has no impact on future bidding.

If you require further information, please email

If your bid is successful, the Registered Social Landlord will contact you directly to arrange a viewing.

During the viewing, you can sign the tenancy agreement which begins on the day.

If you have a homelessness application, or are in Supported Accommodation, you may be eligible for our Rent Deposit Scheme. See details further down this page. You must contact us before your viewing takes place.

If your bid was unsuccessful, you continue to search for and bid on other properties. They must have the same number of bedrooms that you’re eligible for.

A Peterborough Registered Social Landlord may assess that an applicant doesn’t meet the criteria of their own individual lettings policy. If this happens, they will contact the applicant to explain why. They will also advise of an appeals process.

Further information

If you have a homelessness application, or are in Supported Accommodation, you may be eligible for our Rent Deposit Scheme. The scheme can assist with one to four weeks' rent in advance.

If you require assistance, you need to contact your caseworker as soon as you know when your viewing is. Waiting until the viewing itself or after you sign up is too late.

If you do not have a caseworker, please email

1. Your application status is not 'live'

You can check the status of your Housing Register application in your Housing Jigsaw account.

  • Status is 'proofs outstanding' - you need to upload the documents listed in the 'things you need to supply' section
  • Status is 'pending assessment' - we are assessing your application, which normally takes 28 days, but may take longer depending on service demand

2. You have recently made changes to your application

You may see a red banner at the top of the page when you view a property advert.

This happens after you make a change to your application. We must review any changes you make in case it impacts your eligibility or banding priority. It can take us up to 28 days to review the change(s), but may take longer depending on service demand.

Please contact the Housing Needs Team if you:

  • Have any issues with your Housing Jigsaw account
  • Don't have internet access
  • Would like to ask us a question about the process

Phone: 01733 864 064 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

In Peterborough, the level of demand for social housing exceeds supply.

It may take several years before an applicant is successful in finding a suitable home through our scheme. View our apply to join the Housing Register page for information on:

  • Number of Housing Register applicants waiting for a home
  • Waiting time for a home

Supply of social housing properties

We operate and maintain the Housing Register on behalf of the Peterborough Homes Partnership (PHP).

The PHP is a partnership between us and ten housing associations who have accommodation in Peterborough. We don't have any council-owned housing stock.

The ten housing associations in the PHP include:

  • Accent
  • BPHA
  • Clarion
  • Cross Keys Homes
  • Home Group
  • Hyde
  • Longhurst Group
  • Muir
  • Riverside ECHG
  • Sage

Find more information on the Peterborough Homes Partnership in our Housing Allocations Policy.