How to apply for council housing

Options while on the housing waiting list

Council housing waiting times can be very long. You might need to consider other options.

Rent privately

Renting from a private landlord or a letting agent is the quickest way to move. Read our advice on how to find a landlord who accepts people claiming benefits.

You may be able to get help with a deposit or rent in advance.

Apply to other councils

You can apply for council housing in multiple areas at the same time and you can join more than one waiting list.

Some areas can offer housing quicker. Most councils give priority to people who already have a connection to the area, for example if you have close family living there.

Apply to housing associations

Some housing associations have their own waiting list separate from the council’s. Search online for housing associations in your area and check how to apply on their website.

Apply as homeless

You can apply to the council for help if you're homeless or threatened with homelessness. They must look into your situation and help you find somewhere to live.

If you're not happy with the council's service

If you’re unhappy with the way the council has treated you, you can make a complaint.

You can make a complaint about:

  • long delays

  • rudeness of staff

  • poor communication

  • failure to carry out legal obligations

Find out more about how to make a complaint and what outcomes you could get.

Last updated: 20 June 2023

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