Scottish Borders Council

Council and social housing

Applying for housing in the Scottish Borders

empty property in Innerleithen

We no longer have any 'council houses'. In March 2003, we transferred all council housing and landlord functions to Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA).

Housing associations are now the main providers of new and affordable social housing for people in the Scottish Borders. See details of all housing providers in the Scottish Borders in our directory of registered landlords and housing associations.

What is a housing association?

Housing associations are generally non-profit making organisations that provide affordable homes (for rent or to purchase) to people that qualify.  Housing associations get grants from the Government to subsidise the costs of building homes for rent or shared ownership. Housing associations can also be known as registered social landlords.

The four largest local housing associations in the Borders are:

There are also a number of national housing associations which have housing available in the Borders and provide both general and specialist housing.

How do I apply for a house? 

In order to apply for a social house you should contact your preferred housing provider for information and advice about their application process. For housing association contact details please see our directory of registered landlords and housing associations.

You can also apply to several housing associations at once through: 

  • Border Choice Homes - Homehunt™ who let you apply for a house with Berwickshire Housing Association, Eildon Housing Association, Waverley Housing and Cairn Housing Association.
  • Scottish Housing Options (SHOP) who lets you apply for a house with Bield Housing Association Ltd, Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association Ltd and Trust Housing Association Ltd.

Mid-market rent

Mid-market rent is aimed at helping households in employment, on modest incomes, to rent accommodation at an affordable level.  As well as lower rents than the private rental market, mid-market rent offers tenants assurance that they will be getting a good quality home with a landlord who offers high standards of service. We are working with Scottish Futures Trust to provide good quality, energy efficient new homes for mid-market rental.

Mid-market rental properties are currently available in Ayton.

Can you help if I am homeless?

Our Homeless Services team provide advice and support for people who are homeless. To find out more, see the section on housing advice for homeless people or contact the Homeless Team on 01896 661385.  

Can I swap my property with another tenant?

As a housing association tenant, you are able to make a mutual swap with other tenants. House Exchange is one organisation which coordinates house exchanges all over the country. You can also contact your landlord for more information. 

Your right to buy

If you are a secure housing association tenant, you may be able to purchase your home at a discount. You should contact your landlord to find out if you meet the criteria and to find out more about the procedure to follow. Further information about Right to Buy can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Find out more

For more information, please contact the Housing Strategy team.


Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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