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Social housing relief

Find out about the mandatory discount that applies to most social housing properties

What is social housing relief?

Social housing relief applies to most:

  • social rent
  • affordable rent
  • intermediate rent
  • shared ownership dwellings

Subject to meeting specific conditions, social housing relief can also apply to discounted rental properties provided by bodies, which are neither a local authority nor a private registered provider.

In order to qualify for relief, dwellings must be:

  • let by a registered provider, local housing authority or non-registered provider of social/affordable housing
  • occupied in accordance with shared ownership arrangements

To qualify for social housing relief, you must:

  • own a material interest in the relevant land (the area granted planning permission); and
  • have assumed liability to pay the levy for the whole chargeable development; and
  • if not all housing has been secured through a Planning Legal Agreement, provide evidence to show eligibility for Mandatory Relief 

How to claim

Social housing relief is not applied automatically.

Instead, you must submit a claim for relief. Please use our relief claim form before commencement of the chargeable development.

To claim for social housing relief, you must have:

  • assumed liability to pay CIL
  • be an owner of the relevant land

And you must:

  • supply a map that clearly identifies the location of the dwellings to which social housing relief will apply
  • provide information that shows the gross internal area of the social housing dwellings, and a calculation of the amount of social housing relief being claimed for
  • provide written evidence to support your application, which may include details of Grants secured, to provide this type of development

Apply for social housing relief

You can email the form and evidence to us, or send it in the post (our contact details are at the bottom of the page).

If the information you provide is not sufficient, we may issue an Information Notice. This is a formal request for more information. There may be consequences if you fail to comply with our Information Notice.

Further information can be found on the Planning Portal.

Disqualifying events

To qualify for social housing relief, you must provide evidence that your development qualifies for the relief.

In some cases, a disqualifying event may occur where the conditions for granting relief no longer apply (for example, if you change use from social housing to market housing). If this change happens within seven years then CIL will be due immediately (known as being 'clawed back').

If a disqualifying event occurs please notify us in writing within 14 days. If you don't you may have to pay a surcharge, in addition to the full CIL amount. Your notification must include the area of the floorspace and a map showing its location in the chargeable development.

Please note, If a disqualifying event occurs before commencement, the relief is cancelled and full payment of CIL will be due immediately.

Where a disqualifying event occurs, we'll issue a revised liability notice showing what is payable. And a demand notice will be served to collect the CIL amount due.

Should a disqualifying event occur, it's the responsibility of the person(s) who received the relief to pay the CIL amount. The current occupants of a dwelling should therefore never pay the clawback. Instead, the liability falls on the person who owned the land immediately prior to the dwelling being made available for occupation.


You have the right to appeal against a grant of relief.

If you have any questions, or disagree with any aspect of the CIL, please contact the CIL Officer on 01553 616443 before making an appeal.

Appeals should be made to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Important note

It's important that you don't begin work until you submit your application for relief, and you receive notice from us with a decision.

If you start any work, including digging foundations, your application for relief will be refused.

If, after having being granted relief, we receive a withdrawal of assumption of liability, or a transfer of assumed liability form, before the development is commenced, then your relief will be withdrawn. However, the new person/group to assume liability can apply for relief.

If you start work before submitting the commencement notice, we'll issue a penalty surcharge. This notice must be submitted and received by us at least one day before starting any work.

If the development is sold then you must notify us.