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What you need to know in St Helens

1. How do I become an Under One Roof member?

You become a member of Under One Roof by registering and completing an online application though this website.

We no longer accept paper applications. If you need help to complete your online application click here.


2. Can anybody join Under One Roof?

Anyone who is over 18 can apply to join Under One Roof as long as they meet the eligibility criteria that can be found St Helens Council’s Allocations Policy.

If you are aged 16/17 there are some exceptional circumstances when we may consider your application.

Further details can be found here.


If you are not a British citizen or you are returning from a period abroad you may not be eligible for an allocation of a social housing property or other housing assistance.

We may require further information prior to registering your application or when considering an offer or allocation of a property.



3. How will my housing need be assessed?


There are now six bands, A* to D. We work out which band you are in based on the information you tell us about your circumstances and housing need. 

Bands A* and B* can only be  awarded following an assessment by Housing Options as they relate to priority given under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018.  They are alos responsible for awarding other bands in relation to homelessness eg Band A , B 

If you are in Band B, C or D and your application is made active automatically you will be asked to provide proof of circumstances you have provided  to place you in a high band when you make a successful bid. 

If you cant provide proof of the circumstances you have declared then your banding will be altered to a band which reflects the circumstances you can provide proof of.  in most cases this will be Band D.

If you have completed a medical assessment your application will be placed under review whilst we assess if a medical priority can be awarded  


4. What checks will I have to go through?

If you are placed in a high band we will check that the information you have given to us is correct and that you can provide evidence to support your situation and the housing banding you have been given. 

When you make a successful bid we will contact you to check the details you have provided on your application.  You will be given 48 hours to provide any supporting information that we require.  If you are unable to provide the information requested this may affect your banding.

You may also need to provide information from support agencies or other professionals that you are involved with. 


5. How many people are on the waiting list in St Helens


Our services remain in extremely high demand at the current time -  01 April 2024 we currently have a total of  8056  applicants looking for rehousing  and receive an average of 80 applications each week  The breakdown is as follows :


Band Bedroom Need            
  1 2 3 4 5 6 Grand Total
Band A 114 94 52 3 1   264
Band A* 9 7 13 3     32
Band B 707 488 228 72 1   1496
Band B* 14 51 24 6     95
Band C 1039 592 335 112 1   2079
Band D 2281 1191 531 85 1 1 4090
Grand Total 4164 2423 1183 281 4 1 8056



6. How will I know what homes are available to rent in St Helens?


We advertise properties as requested by our partner landlords on every week.  Landlords will only send through certain properties and may not advertise all their vacancies with us.  Torus as the largest landlord has an agreement to advertise 75% of the properties with Under One Roof

Every Thursday morning at 00.01am our available homes go live. You then have until 11.59pm the following Monday to bid online. You can bid at any time during the bidding cycle and for up three homes every week.  It is not a first come first served system

You can view all properties that we are advertising when the bidding  cycle is open.

When you log in to your account you will only see the properties that you meet the eligibility criteria for and are able to  bid on.

Further details on eligibility can be found in the Allocations Policy


7. What are Anytime Adverts ?

From time to time we will advertise properties available on the ‘Anytime’ adverts page of this website.

These may be placed on the website at anytime and if you are interested in any of these properties you will need to bid, however bids placed on Anytime adverts are in addition to any bids placed in the main advert cycles

Your bid will still be considered in order of housing band and registration date.


8. What is bidding and how do I do it?


Bidding is expressing your interest in a home that is advertised.

In order to bid on a property you will need to log in to your account online or on your mobile phone.  When you log on you will see the properties that you are eligible to bid on.

Here is a quick bidding checklist:

  •  See a home you like
  •  Check it is in an area you want to live in
  •  Check it is the type of home you are able to bid for
  •  Submit your bid

Remember, you can have up to three bids every week but cannot bid for the same home more than once.

Please note: You should only bid on properties you are genuinely interested in - you do not need to use all three bids.


9. Why does my position on the list change when i bid?

Bids can be placed at any time during the bidding cycle.  It is not a first come first served system.  As applicants place their  bid on a property they are listed in order of band and effective date based on the criteria given for the property.  If some one in a higher banding than you places a bid on the same property they will be placed higher on the list.  If a person in the same band with an earlier date bids on the same property they will also be placed above you on the list.  If an applicant with a lower band or later date then you bids they will be placed lower than you .  During the bidding you will only see your number on the list and not the total number of bids.  This is why you could be position 3 for example one day and move to position 22 by the the end of bidding.  There may have been 60 bids in total.


10. What is Autobidding ?


Some applicants are unable to access their account online for various reasons.  They can ask to be placed on autobidding. 

The applicant will need to tell us the areas that they are interested in. 

As the bidding is about to close the system will look at properties in the areas the applicant has chosen and look at the properties that the applicant has the best chance on ie will be placed highest on the list.  It will then place bids on those properties.

Note : If an applicant has already placed a bid for whatever reason the system could overwrite these bids if the properties it finds will give a better result. 


11. How will homes be allocated ?

When the closing date for the bidding cycle  has passed a shortlist will be produced for each property that has been advertised. The shortlists will be different as they will reflect the applicants who have bid on that property and the band they are in. We will start to look at the people who have bid for each property from the top of the list.

The successful person is usually the one who meets the property criteria, is in the highest housing band and who has been on the Under One Roof waiting list in that band for the longest amount of time.

There are some occasions where properties are allocated differently and this will be outlined in the advert.  This can relate to parloured properties, adapted properties or properties where there is a local lettings policy in place amongst others. The additionla criteria will always be provided in the advert so please check carefully before you place your bids.

The successful bidder will be contacted by their online messages, email or phone so we can check their details, the banding awarded to them and to request relevant proofs.

We will require:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income or benefits you receive
  • Landlords references
  • Supporting information from agencies you may be involved with, Social Services, National Probation Service etc


Applicants  will be given 48hours to provide the required information.  Failure to provide the information may result in a change to the  banding and missing out on being considered for the property.


12. How do you allocate parloured properties and why have i been skipped?

Parloured properties are those properties that have two living rooms and so are larger than other properties. 

The Allocations policy states that  Preference will be given to larger families for parloured houses. Similarly, preference will be given to larger families for 4 bedroom properties except in homelessness cases where families have been awarded Band A or when A* has been granted “ . So larger families are given preference apart from where there are Band As on the list and then they are priority. So the list may show us larger families first say of 6 people but if there is a family of 5 in Band A further down the list then they are considered first before the family of  6.   

If you have been skipped on a parloured property then this will be because there is someone who meets priority need criteria as per the policy 


13. How long will it take for me to get a home?


We can't confirm exactly how long a person may wait to be re-housed as this will depend on individual circumstances and a number of contributing factors, such as:

  • Type and size of property that you need
  • Demand for similar properties from other applicants
  • Availability of properties in your area of choice

We advise applicants to look at the recent lettings  results that are available on our website. 

They can be found under Recent Lets - CBL allocations scheme.

The recent lettings results provides details of all the properties that have been let and the band of the successful bidder. This can help people when considering the areas in which to place their bids.

If you are able to consider properties in a wide range of areas then this may improve your chances of getting a home more quickly.

Under One Roof are currently receiving a reduced number of proeprties to advertise and so its taking considerably longer for people to be rehoused 


14. What happens when a home has been allocated to me?

Once we have checked your application details and ou have provided the relevant information we request,  we will send your information over to the relevant landlord, this is called a nomination. 

The landlord will then contact you directly and carry out their own checks which may include an affordability check. If you meet their criteria you will be made an offer and invited to view the property before making a decision if you want to accept the property or not. 


15. What happens if I refuse the home I’m offered?


In most cases if, after you have seen the property, you decide it is not the home you want, you should let the landlord know as soon as possible. This will allow the next person on the list to be considered.

If you have a Band A* or Band A  priority, refusing a property may lead to a review of your priority status. There are some consequences to refusing a number of offers, details of which can be found in the Allocations Policy.


16. What happens if my circumstances change?

You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances straight away.

You can do this by logging into your online account and amending the details on your application form. 

Your new details will then be re-assessed. If you fail to tell us about any changes it may affect your application and may result in future offers being withdrawn. 


17. What happens if I’m over 55?

If you are over 55 and looking for accommodation for older people or with more support you can be considered for our specialist accommodation or Extra Care housing. 


18. Where can I find out more about St Helens Council’s Allocations Scheme ?

You can read St Helens Council’s full Allocations Scheme  here.


19. What help and support is available to me?

The Under One Roof team can offer help and advice in completing the online application form, accessing adverts, placing bids and answering any other queries. 

You can contact the team by using the message option on your application or if you are not yet registered you can use the Contact us page.

You can also contact us by emailing


20. How do I complain?

We hope that your experience with Under One Roof is positive, however if you think we haven't done something right we want you to tell us.  

NOTE :  This does not include if you are not happy with your banding as this is dealt with as a band review request under the Allocations Policy. 

You can do this by using the Contact us page on this website or alternatively email

We want to resolve your issue as quickly as possible and where appropriate we will work with you to provide a response or to put it right.  

If we are unable to resolve you issue informally, it will go into the following formal two-stage procedure:

  • Stage One – We will look to investigate and resolve your issue within 10 working days or less.
  • Stage Two – If you are not happy with how we have managed your complaint in stage one, you can request an appeal .  Your complaint will be escalated for review we will work towards resolving your issue within the next 20 working days or less. 


If you’re still not happy

If you’ve gone through our complaints process and are still unhappy you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.  The Housing Ombudsman Service can be contacted at:

Housing Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE
Tel: 0300 111 3000 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9:15 to 17:15)
Fax: 020 7831 1942