Accessing a home with Gentoo

To enable you to find a good quality affordable home which fulfils your housing requirements based upon need, we will:

  • Provide you with support, advice and guidance to help you find a new home that suits your needs
  • Provide you with information specific to your new home

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced a number of measures and procedures to our housing allocations service.

Read more about this here.

HomeHunt is a national website that allows you to search and apply for social and affordable housing in your area. To find a home you will need to register with HomeHunt and complete a Gentoo application form. This simple process will take approximately 20 minutes.

As a charitable community benefit society, we need to ensure we prioritise those who have a housing need and disabled and chronically sick people who need rehousing. Following the assessment of your housing application, you will be placed into one of four priority bands depending on your level of need.

Gentoo, along with other landlords, advertise properties using HomeHunt. The advertising cycle runs from 2pm on a Wednesday, to 12 noon the following Wednesday. You can make a maximum of five bids per week.

Click here to read more.

Our Mutual Exchange service allows customers to swap homes with other Gentoo customers. The service allows you to advertise your property, as well as showing you what other properties are available.

Register and complete an online application form (your completed application will be then forwarded to your local Gentoo housing office for verification).

You will then be sent a unique reference number and pin (date of birth) which will allow you to view the full details of all advertised properties.

To start the search for your perfect home, or for more information visit

Nominations are a method in which the council can refer applicants from their housing register to social housing providers like Gentoo for rehousing. This process is referred to as nominating.

Nomination agreements help the council in discharging their homeless duties and to rehouse priority customers from their housing register.

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless or wish to register with Sunderland City Council check out their website for further information or call 0191 520 5550.

Our Affordable Rent Tenancies allow a more diverse offer for the range of people accessing Social Housing. Affordable rented homes will be made available to tenants at up to a maximum of 80% of market rent and are allocated in the same way as social housing is at present.

Here is a brief summary of what Affordable Rented tenancies mean:

  • Our Affordable Rented Tenancies are fixed for a lifetime to offer security and stability they are subject to the 12-month probationary ‘starter’ period.
  • They include all of the same rights and responsibilities as our current Assured Tenancies. 

As with our Social Rented Tenancies, you may be eligible to claim housing benefit. Contact us for further information.

Suspensions are when we defer an applicant(s) or application so they are unable to express interest in or be offered a Gentoo tenancy.

The length of the suspension will vary depending on the reason why the applicant(s) did not meet the criteria. 

We can suspend any of the following;

  • Gentoo tenants
  • Other social housing tenants
  • Private rented tenants
  • Owner occupiers
  • Applicants who live in with any of the above
  • Applicants of no fixed abode

If an applicant(s)/application is suspended, the application will still appear on the register, but it will be made inactive until the deferred period or issue is resolved.

To view our Policy Summary please click here

We have a range of apartments available for rent. The rents are based on the size, location, and the market place comparison.

These properties are allocated on a `first come, first served’ basis. If allocated a market rent property you will be required to pay a bond equivalent of one month rent up front. You will be assigned an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for 6 or 12 months which will be reviewed at the end of each term before renewal.

We currently let a number of properties on a `Rent to Buy’ basis. These are let at rents which are above those of our social tenancies, but below market rents. These are granted on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. Properties are let on a `first come, first served’ basis. This option is a route to home ownership, giving you the ability to save for a deposit and buy the home after 5 years. If allocated a Rent to Buy property you will be required to pay a bond equivalent of one month rent up front.