Getting a council home
You can apply for a home through your local council.
They might also call it ‘social housing’.
If your application is accepted, you’ll go on to a waiting list of people who need a council home.
Your council will then prioritise applications based on who needs a home most urgently.
The council’s allocations scheme will give details of who gets priority for homes in the area.
Even if you get on the waiting list there’s no guarantee you’ll get a home.
You could be offered a home owned by your local council or housing association.
You might have to apply to some housing associations directly instead of through the council - ask your council if there are any near you.
If your council has a long waiting list, they might ask if you want to apply for homes in other areas as well.
You can be on several waiting lists at the same time and this might increase your chances of getting a home.
Your council might have a legal duty to help you find accommodation. Find out more about homeless help.
Your local council will have its own rules on who can apply and who has priority for homes - this is called an ‘allocation scheme’.
Check your council’s website on GOV.UK to find out how it works in your area.
You’ll probably need to:
Not all councils need you to have a local connection. If you’re thinking about moving to a different area,
it’s worth checking the council’s website to see if you can apply.
Also , might be able to apply if you’ve lived in an area before.
You’re more likely to get a council home if you’ve been given priority by your council's allocation scheme.
This could be if you’re:
It’s likely to take you a long time to get an offer -
even if you get priority in your area. In areas with long waiting lists, you might not be offered a home at all.
It might be best to look for a home yourself or stay where you are - if you’re struggling with money,
If you think you haven’t been given enough priority, you can ask your council to review their decision.
Check your council's allocation scheme to see who's given priority in your area.
You’ll probably need to apply online - check which council you need to apply to on GOV.UK.
If the council accepts your application, it doesn’t mean you’ll get a home straight away. You’ll go on a waiting list and it could still take a long time.
If you’re applying directly to a housing association the rules might be different - check their process on their website.
Give as much detail as you can in your application. You might be asked to give extra evidence to support your application - like medical notes if you have a health condition.
Your council will use the information you give them to decide if you’re eligible to join the waiting list. If your application’s accepted, they’ll then use it to decide if you get priority and what size home you should get.
You might need to give details of:
You’ll need to answer a lot of questions in the application form and it could take more than an hour to complete.
Talk to your local council if you need help.
You might be able to get a family member or carer to help with your application too.
If your application is accepted, your council will put you in a group or ‘band’ that reflects your level of priority.
If they think you need a home urgently, you’ll usually be given a high priority.
You could still have a long wait for a home even if you have high priority.
Furthermore Ask your local council to find out how long the wait is in your area.
Your council decides your level of priority using the criteria in their allocations scheme.
If you don’t think they’ve given you the right level of priority under their scheme, you can ask them to review it.
Check your council’s allocation scheme before you ask for a review.
If your situation changes, tell your council as soon as possible - it might change your position on the waiting list.
This could mean you’ll get a home more quickly, but it also could move you down the list.
Furthermore If you don't tell the council about changes that affect your level of priority, you could be accused of lying on your application. This could mean you'd be evicted from any home you get.
You should let your council know if you:
Ask your council if you have to bid for homes or if they’ll pick one for you.
If they choose one for you, they could offer it by phone.
Consequently They'll follow it up with a letter.
Your local council might have an online system where you can look for Getting a council home.
If you like a home and it’s suitable for you, you can let the council know you’re interested by applying for it online - this is called ‘bidding’.
Your council will tell you how their bidding system works.
The homes will all have a closing date, so make sure you bid before then.
If you’ve bid for a home, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it.
Your council will tell you how often you can bid for homes. They might also set a limit on how many homes you can bid for.
Once the bidding period has closed, your council will look at your level of priority and usually how long you’ve been waiting.
The council will usually offer the home to the person who has the highest level of priority in their scheme.
You might be able to refuse a council home if you don't think it's suitable for your needs, but it’s important to check - some councils might remove you from their waiting list.
Find out more about refusing an unsuitable home.
Your council will tell you how long you have to accept or reject an offer
you’ll usually only have a short time before your council offers it to someone else.
Also you decide to accept a home, your council will arrange a time for you to sign the contract.
A long-term tenancy offered
Also a fixed-term contract for a year or more.
Furthermore Your council will tell you when you can move in to
your council home and when you have to pay rent.
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