How to apply for council housing

What is the housing register?

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

Most councils have one 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 is based on your circumstances.

Apply to get on the housing register

Council housing register postcode lookup

What is your location?

Most councils have online application forms.

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

Sometimes, a housing association or another organisation manages the waiting list. Some housing associations have their own waiting lists.

You usually have to express an interest in properties for a chance of being offered a tenancy.

What to say on the form

Your council uses the information you give to decide if you can join the housing register and where to put you on the waiting list.

Make sure you explain problems like:

  • overcrowding

  • poor conditions or repairs

  • no adaptations for medical problems or disability

  • violence or harassment

If you are disabled, have mobility issues or any medical or welfare needs make sure you include details. Get letters from your doctor or health professional to support your application.

Choose more than one area to live

The application form may ask you where you want to live in the local area.

If you only choose one area it may be harder to get a home. Choosing more areas gives you a better chance.

ID and references

Councils often ask for ID and a reference. They may ask you to bring these documents to a council office after you have sent in your application.

Last updated: 26 June 2023

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