How to apply for council and housing association housing

Find out more about who is eligible for council housing, how to apply for council housing and how the council decides who to house first.

exclamation  If you need housing immediately – for example, if you are about to be evicted or have to leave in an emergency – the council may have a duty to house you straight away. Use our emergency housing rights checker to find out what you're entitled to. 

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply for a council house you have to be on the waiting list first. But your council will only accept you on their list if you're eligible for housing.

How to apply

Find out what information you should include when applying for council housing and what happens once you have applied to your council's housing department.

Who gets priority?

When deciding who gets priority for council housing, councils take different factors into account

Choice-based lettings

Choice-based lettings (CBL) are designed to introduce an element of choice for people who apply for council housing and housing association homes.

Getting an offer of council housing

Find out how offers are made by a council's housing department and what you can do if you think the council accommodation being offered is unsuitable.

Challenging a council decision

If you are unhappy with a decision about your application for council housing or a housing association home you may be able to challenge it.

Social housing rent increases

If you live in social housing the council sets the rent you have to pay. See what you can do if you disagree with a rent increase or have problems paying.