How to apply for council housing

You apply for a council or housing association home by joining a waiting list or housing register.

Most councils have one housing register for all council and housing association homes in the area. Some housing registers cover more than one area.

You need to:

  • check if you can join the list

  • fill in an application form

  • wait for the council's response

Your priority on the list will be based on your circumstances.

You usually have to express an interest in properties you're interested in to have a chance of being offered a tenancy. Some councils make direct offers once you're on the waiting list.

There's a shortage of council and housing association homes so check your council's website for other housing options.

Find your council's application form

Most councils have online application forms. Sometimes, a housing association or another organisation manages the waiting list. Your council website will have their details.

You can also contact your council directly for an application form. 

Some housing associations have their own waiting lists. Your council should have details.

Find your council's website on GOV.UK and search for 'housing'

Last updated: 9 September 2021

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