Applying for Housing

Anyone can apply for housing with Lochaber Housing Association provided that they are aged 16 or over, and either live in Lochaber, or have a reason to move to Lochaber. If you have rent arrears from a former tenancy or have had legal action taken against you for breaking the terms of a tenancy agreement, this may mean that we will not be able to offer you a property. The rules about this are quite complex, so if you think this may apply to you, please contact our office or an advice agency for further advice.

What type of properties does the Association have for rent and where are they?

The Association has many different types of properties for rent throughout Lochaber. They include flats, semi-detached and detached houses, and some of our properties are wheelchair accessible.

Please contact our office for further details of our housing stock.

How do I apply to the Association for a rented property?

Anyone looking for social rented housing in the Highlands only has to fill in one application form for the Highland Housing Register (HHR). The HHR is a Common Housing Register with the main housing associations in the Highlands: Lochaber Housing Association, Albyn Housing Society, Cairn Housing Association, Caledonia Housing Association, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, and The Highland Council . All applications are then assessed, and awarded points, based on the Highland Housing Register Allocations Policy.

More information and to fill out the Highland Housing Register can be found at the bottom of the page under 'HHR Documents'.

How does the allocations process work?

If you previously had an application with the Highland Council, you will notice that your application with the HHR does not reflect waiting time. This is because the HHR Allocations Policy is purely housing needs based. This means that the applicant with the highest assessed housing need when a property is available for let, will be offered the property. While this may seem unfair, it is equally unfair to raise applicant’s hopes by having them believe that time spent on a housing list will award sufficient points to allow an allocation, when the reality in most areas of the Highlands is that applicants with higher housing need will always show above those with waiting time points and virtually no housing need.

When one of our properties becomes vacant, we check the Highland Housing Register to ascertain who on the list has the most points for that type of property in that area. We then offer the property to the applicant with the most points – i.e. in the most housing need.

We would like to offer a home to everyone who wants one, but this is not possible. There are far more people who want somewhere to live than there are places available. Please follow this link which gives more detail on the demand and supply of properties. You should also use this when considering your housing options.

What if I am homeless?

If you are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, you should contact The Highland Council straight away. They can give you advice and may be able to prevent you from becoming homeless.

You can also get free, impartial and confidential advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, or from Shelterline. Please also visit Who we work with for details of other agencies we work with.

Highland Housing Register

Anyone looking for social rented housing in the Highlands only has to fill in one application form for the Highland Housing Register (HHR). The HHR is a Common Housing Register for the Highland Council and other housing associations in the Highlands. All applications are then assessed, and awarded points, based on the Highland Housing Register Allocations Policy.

The HHR allocation policy was reviewed in 2020 and focused on changes required to ensure recent changes in the law were taken into account and to ensure homes are allocated to applicants in the greatest housing need. The review looked at:

  • Ensuring that the needs of victims of domestic abuse are being addressed in line with best practice and the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill 2021 ;
  • Ensuring that our accessible housing process meets the needs of people who require specialist accommodation; and
  • Reviewing the points allocated for different housing needs.

Following this review, all applicants on the HHR will receive a letter notifying them of their updated awarded points. 

70 Points
Homeless or threatened with homelessness - unintentional and meets local connection criteria
Poor housing conditions - high
Accessible housing need - high
Allocation of a through care after care young person
Assessed to need to move to independent living from residential health and social care setting, parental home or supported accommodation
Kinship care arrangement is making housing worse
Approved for adoption or permanent fostering but lack bedrooms
40 Points
Accessible housing need - medium

30 Points
Tenants in properties leased by any of the HHR landlords with less than 6 months left on lease
Two households combined - where both houses can be relet through HHR
Valid Notice to Leave (for private sector, tied, and Armed Forces accommodation)
20 Points
Under occupation
Overcrowding (per bedroom up to max 60) ( including access to children and a carer)
Sharing facilities
Poor housing conditions - medium
Need to reside (residency and employment)
Insecure accommodation (e.g. C/O parental home/friends/family/lodgings)
Accessible housing need - low
10 Points
Providing care to or receive care from family or friends

Poor housing conditions (10 points if accommodation has two or more low defects)
5 Points
Poor housing conditions (5 points if accommodation has one low defect)
2 Points
Homeless waiting points (2 points every month starting from the date of your positive homeless decision)