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Information about Council housing

Last updated 14 December 2015
Information about council housing, including the housing register, allocation priorities, and how to apply.  

Housing options in Waltham Forest  

If you are a Waltham Forest Council tenant please contact Waltham Forest Housing to find information about repairs and tenants' participation.

If you are worried about becoming homeless, you must seek advice as soon as possible. Find out more.

Demand for social housing in the borough is very high and there is a severe shortage of all sizes of accommodation. We do not have a ‘waiting list’, but have a Housing Register for anyone wanting to apply for a Council or Housing Association home. The Housing Register ranks applicants in order based on their level of housing need which is assessed against the criteria set out in the Housing Allocation Scheme. 

  • The majority of homes are let to applicants that have ‘additional preference’
  • Less than one in ten homes are let to applicants in the 'reasonable preference' band
  • If you have ‘no preference’, you will not be housed or bid for advertised vacancies
  • If you are accepted as a homeless household, then you may be offered a home with a private landlord

Unless your housing need meets the criteria for 'additional preference' we advise that you to consider other housing options. 

Before you apply for council housing, please take some time to read about the other options available to you:

You can also find advice about tenancy succession - who can succeed to a tenancy upon the death of a Council tenant.

Who can apply for council housing?

On the 2nd September 2013, we introduced the following eligibility criteria for anyone wanting to apply to join the Housing Register:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be living at an address in Waltham Forest and have lived in the borough for the last 2 years continuously

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply to join the Housing Register. Once registered, please note that:

  • You will be required to renew your application every 12 months or it will be cancelled
  • Applicants that have ‘no preference’ will not be able to bid for advertised properties, but will receive advice only
  • We will be making offers of homes with a private landlord to some homeless households

Who cannot apply?

There are some people that also cannot apply to join the Housing Register:
  • Households who are subject to immigration control
  • Households whose behaviour as a tenant, or the behaviour or a member of their household, has not been acceptable. For example, if they were evicted from accommodation in the past because of anti-social behaviour or rent arrears
  • Households who have the funds to make their own arrangements

To help you find out how long it may take you to be rehoused, we require you to complete the online self-assessment form. This will give you an indication of your preference band and how long it could potentially take for you to be housed.

Find out more about the preference bands

Once you have completed the self-assessment, and if you feel you have a realistic chance of receiving an offer of accommodation, you can continue to the main online application form. You will need a number of documents in front of you when you do so that you can complete the form correctly. Please allow plenty of time, as the form takes just over one hour to complete.

Apply for Council housing

Waltham Forest Council Allocations Policy 

You can also view the full Council's Allocations Policy and its related appendices

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See also

Contact details

  • Housing Services

    Cedar Wood House 2d Fulbourne Road
    E17 4GG
    Phone: 020 8496 3000