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How to apply for council housing

You apply for a council or housing association home by joining a housing register. This is sometimes called a waiting list.

There is often one list for all council and housing association homes in the area.

Some waiting lists cover more than one area.

Apply to get on the housing register

Our tool helps you find the waiting lists for your area.

Council housing register postcode lookup

What is your location?

Most councils have online application forms.

You can also ask your council for a paper application form. 

What to say on the application form

Make sure you say if you have problems where you live now, for example:

  • repair issues

  • overcrowding

  • violence or harassment

  • you need a home adapted for disability or health issues

For example, you might need a home to be adapted include things like a wet room, handrails and lower kitchen work surfaces.

Include extra information in your application about:

  • disabilities

  • mobility issues

  • health problems or welfare needs

Get letters from your doctor or a health professional to support your application.

For example, a support worker or occupational therapist could give details of how your housing situation affects your health or wellbeing.

Choose more than one area to live

The application form might ask you what area you want to live in.

Choosing more areas gives you a better chance of getting a home more quickly.

ID and references

Councils might ask for ID and a reference. They might ask you to bring documents to a council office.

Contact the council if you do not hear back

The council should write to you when they finish looking at your application.

There's no set time for them to get back to you. Some areas deal with a lot of applications so it could take a long time.

Contact the council if you've not heard back after a month.

Last updated: 8 April 2024

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