Applying for social housing

Waiting list for council housing

There is a waiting list for council housing and how long you wait will depend on your circumstances. You can be on the housing register from the age of 16, although you may not be granted a tenancy until you are aged 18.

Changes in your circumstances

While you are on the register, you will need to inform the housing department if your circumstances change, for example:

  • change of address or contact details,
  • you become pregnant,
  • medical conditions or other special circumstances,
  • you are being asked to leave by the people you live with,
  • you are being harassed where you live.

Council housing is usually self-contained and unfurnished (although you may be able to get financial help for furniture from the Social Fund. Get further details on the Social Fund from Jobcentre Plus).

Your tenancy

Council tenants are usually given an introductory tenancy, which is like a trial tenancy that runs for a year. During this trial year, introductory tenants can be evicted if they do not keep to the conditions of their tenancy agreement.

After the first year, providing the tenancy has been maintained with no problems, you will be offered a flexible fixed term tenancy. The duration of a flexible fixed term tenancy can be between 2 and 5 years.