Waiting List

Because the Society does not have enough housing to help everyone who asks us, we maintain a list of applicants (a Waiting List) which we review each time one of our homes falls vacant. Our charitable aims mean that not everybody is eligible to make an application. If we receive an enquiry about housing from you, the first step we have to take is to establish whether you are eligible to apply to WHS (see below – Eligibility). Then, if eligible, we would ask you to complete our application form, which gathers more information about your circumstances and allows us to find out whether we own any housing that might be suitable for you and your household should a vacancy arise. Sometimes, we discover that we will never be able to help – for instance, if the enquiry is from a large household of more than 5 people, we would never be able to help as we do not own any housing large enough.

Once an application has been accepted onto our waiting list, it will be considered alongside all the other applications on the list, each time a vacancy arises. We do not use a bidding system for our properties. If your circumstances have changed since you completed your application form, we need to know the new details – for instance, the arrival of a new baby, or a change of address. We do try to contact applicants if we have not heard from them for some time, but it would be your responsibility as an applicant to keep the Society informed of any changes in your circumstances or contact details. We will not be able to offer housing to everyone who joins our waiting list.


Winchester Housing Society has charitable aims and is a private registered provider of social housing.  This means that to be eligible to apply for housing at WHS, you need to be:

  1. Living or working in Winchester or its immediate area; AND
  2. Have a housing need suitable for charitable assistance.

If you are already a tenant (or leaseholder, or shared owner) of a social housing provider, your housing need is likely to be lower than somebody who is not already receiving help from the sector. Your tenancy with a social landlord might allow you to consider swapping your home with somebody else – see Mutual Exchanges.

Waiting Times

It is very difficult to estimate waiting times for applicants on our waiting list. This is because vacant homes do not arise very often. Our waiting list is not a queue system, and unfortunately some applicants will never receive an offer. We will always offer you other advice or sign-post you to other organisations who might be able to help, if we can.

Mutual Exchanges

A mutual exchange is also known as a home swap or a tenancy swap.  Most council tenancies and housing association tenancies are eligible for exchanges, but not all. Please check with your landlord, who will be able to advise if you are able to consider a swap depending on the type of tenancy you have with them. Tenants at WHS are eligible, and we maintain a list of our residents who have told us they might like to swap, and what they are looking for, so that we can introduce possible matching tenants to each other. Swaps are a way for social tenants to have more choices about where to live, and the kind of home they have.

On a much wider scale, our tenants can also exchange with other eligible tenants living elsewhere (not just on the WHS estate), and websites such as Homeswapper.co.uk are popular ways for you to find somebody to swap with, or you may just find somebody through your own family and friends. You must have the permission of both the landlords before you can move house; please contact us if you would like more information so we can start the legal process of making checks, and guide you through what needs to be done.

The difference between housing and RBC flats

Most of the WHS homes are 2 or 3 bedroomed houses, for households of 5 or fewer people.  We do not allocate new tenancies to these houses for people who would be living on their own.  However, we also own a small number of one-bedroomed flats for older people at Ronald Bowker Court, Winchester, and these are available for older single people or couples.

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