Join the Poole housing register

If you are homeless or at risk of being made homeless, you should read our homelessness advice.

Your current accommodation must be unsuitable for you or a member of your household for you to join the housing register.

You may be disqualified from the housing register due to past behaviour such as rent arrears or antisocial behaviour. These are considered on a case by case basis.

Our available housing does not meet demand, and you are not guaranteed to be housed quickly, in your preferred area or property type.

How to apply

In Poole, you'll only have to make one application to Dorset HomeChoice. There's no charge for the application.

Once you've registered, you can bid for properties, across all areas within the partnership where you are eligible.

Being registered and bidding regularly does not mean you will one day be allocated accommodation.


If you don’t currently have access to a computer or a smart phone, we would recommend that you ask a family member or trusted friend to log in to your account for you and place bids on your behalf.

If you have no other way of making bids, you can contact us on a Friday to check the property list. 

Application and bidding advice

Although we place adverts daily, all properties are available for you to look at on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week. This means you only need to check on one of those days as it doesn’t make a difference to where you come on the shortlist.

There is some advice you should consider when applying for social housing and bidding for properties.

How to bid

To look at properties to bid for, you will need to log in to Dorset HomeChoice and follow the instructions.

To bid, you will need:

  • your unique reference number (sent to you when you were accepted onto the register)
  • your date of birth
  • the password you used to register on the site

Maximising bids

Make sure you are maximising your bids. You can place 6 bids every week. Bids can be reviewed and changed before the bidding cycle closes. This means that if you place a bid early in the bidding cycle, at which point you are in bid position 1-5 but when you check again a few days later you find that there are a lot of people ahead of you, then you can remove the bid and use it on a different property.

Expand your search area

Expand the areas that you are bidding on. Social housing availability varies in different areas across Poole and Dorset. Many areas are in high demand. In particular there is a shortage of larger properties (3 and 4 bedrooms) across the whole of the area.

Change the property types

Change the property types that you are bidding on. Houses are in greater demand than flats and this may mean that it takes a very long time to secure a house, especially if the areas you are looking in are limited or you have a low band award.

You may need to consider that the only way you will get social housing to meet your immediate needs will be to bid on property types that are not your preferred option.

Consider other options

If it is taking too long to get housing of the type you want in the area that you want then you should consider other housing options such as the private rented sector.

Local lettings plan

The Local Lettings Plan for Canford Paddock is available to download.


There is currently a public consultation about the proposed changes to how we decide who is eligible to join the housing register in the future. As this could impact on you, we recommend that you take the time to have a look at this. 

Page last updated: 08 September 2020
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