Apply for Council housing
On this page:
- We have changed the way that you can apply for Council housing
- The previous paper form has been replaced by an online version
- You can now only apply for social housing using this new online form
Before you decide to register for housing, we will let you know about all the other options available to you in the borough. We will also take you through a self-assessment to give you an idea of how many points you will get and what priority you could receive.
Before you start the process of completing the application for housing, it is vital that you complete the online self-assessment which will give you an indication of what your priority is likely to be, and whether or not you are ever likely to be housed.
If you need help, please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 or visit the WFD shop and someone will be able to give you advice about how to complete the form.
There is a severe shortage of all sizes of affordable homes in Waltham Forest. Our Housing Register is based on ‘housing need’ and not ‘waiting times’. This means we can only house you if you are in housing need as defined by our Allocations Policy.
You can find information below about each preference band.
Housing Preference Bands
If you qualify you will be placed into one of four priority levels.
This is for people that are assessed as wanting to move, but do not need to. You will not be housed if you fall into this group and you are advised to find your own home.
Reasonable preference: Residents in Waltham Forest
You will have reasonable preference if you are in one or more of the following groups. If you are, you will be awarded some points. If you are in more than one group, the points from each group will be added together:
- Homelessness (one point)
- If you have accepted housing through the Council’s Rent Deposit Scheme or were offered a qualifying assured short hold tenancy under s193(7B) of the Housing Act 1996. (three points)
- Health or social need as agreed by a Council panel (three points for each time you qualify)
- A need for sheltered housing agreed by the Council’s Sheltered Housing Panel. (three points)
- Your home is overcrowded. (three points for each extra bedroom you need)
- The Council’s Social Need Panel has decided that you live in unsanitary or unsatisfactory housing conditions that pose a significant threat to your health or well being. (three points)
- You have a strong need to move to a particular part of Waltham Forest, agreed by a Council panel. (one point)
Waltham Forest tenants in properties outside the borough are treated as Waltham Forest residents.
Reasonable preference: People from outside Waltham Forest
If you do not live in Waltham Forest you will only be given one point for each of the reasons for reasonable preference that applies to you. If additional priority is requested, to give or receive support, you will need to demonstrate a need to be in this specific borough for that support to be given or received before the matter is assessed.
- Agreed homeless households who share facilities with other people
- Homeless households in leased housing where the lease has expired or the landlord wants to sell the property
- Urgent medical, social and welfare cases agreed by a Council Panel (including sheltered or extra care housing)
- Single people nominated under the Move-On scheme
- The Foster Care scheme
- Young people leaving local authority care
- Retiring Council caretakers (old age or ill health) currently living in tied accommodation
- The Council urgently needs to empty the applicant’s property (such as the need to redevelop, repair or demolish a property)
- People occupying Council or housing association accommodation that is too big for them or is adapted for wheelchair use and no member of the applicant’s household needs that type of housing any more
- People who, in the opinion of the Head of Housing, have an urgent need to be rehoused
- People who were long-term carers for a Council tenant who has now died or moved to supported accommodation and the carer has no legal right to succeed to the tenancy
Additional preference is usually time-limited (three or 12 months) and a request may need to be submitted to justify why this should be extended.
Additional preference plus
Additional preference awarded on more than one ground (see all categories under Additional preference above).
If you do not meet the criteria for additional preference priority, we would suggest that you consider the other housing options available to you.
Once your application has been registered, you will be able to follow the link to begin the process of completing your housing application online. You will need the following information in order to complete the form correctly, so please ensure you have this before you begin. This information is required for all applicants and household members. Please note that the priority given in the self-assessment may not be the same once we have reviewed your individual case.
- Full names and dates of birth
- National Insurance numbers
- Details of immigration status
- Full address history for the last 5 years
- Details of anyone who requires support from, or gives support to, the household
- Details of health or disability
- Details of any support worker and/or someone you wish to deal with your application on your behalf
- Details of any household member who is related to an employee or councillor of Waltham Forest Council
- Details of any household member who has had action taken against them due to anti-social behaviour, or been evicted for rent arrears
Please note the form will take approximately one hour to complete.
Help with completing the form
If you have any difficulties completing the form, please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and they will give you guidance and advice.
If you are unable to access a computer and there is no-one who is able to help you complete the form, you can contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 or visit the WFD shop. Don't forget you will need the information above in order to complete the form successfully.
If you have a disability and are unable to access the Internet, or visit the Waltham Forest Direct shops, we can arrange for the Disability Advisor to contact you to see what help we can provide. Please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 to arrange this.
How do I apply?
You can complete the form online by following the link below. You must complete the self-assessment first. You will be asked if you would like to continue to complete the main housing registration form. If you are assessed as being in the ‘no preference’ band, you are strongly advised not to continue with the full application as you will not be re-housed.
If you need to save your form before you complete it, you can click on 'Finish Later'. You must take a note of the temporary reference number you are given in order to return to the form to complete it. If you do not complete your application within 5 days, the details will be removed and you will have to start again.
What do I do next?Once you have completed the form online, please wait 48 hours for your application to be processed. After this time you will be able to access your housing reference/bidding number and confirmation of the number of points you have been given using the temporary reference number you were given at the end of the form (this was shown at the bottom of the page and begins with HC).
Once you have accessed your application, please make a note of your housing reference/bidding number as you will need this to access your details again. This is also the number you will need when contacting the Council about your application and to bid for properties through our Choice Based Lettings system.
Change of circumstances
If any of your personal circumstances change, you can log back into your form and amend them. Click on the link below:
What to do if you have a disability or health problem
If you are already on the housing register, but would like to let us know of a health problem or disability, please print and complete the Disability and Health Questionnaire.
How to apply for sheltered housing
If you are already on the housing register, but would now like to apply for sheltered housing in the borough, please print and complete the Sheltered Housing application form .
How do I bid for properties?
Once you have your bidding number you can start using the Choice Based Lettings System. Empty properties are advertised in a weekly magazine called Choice Homes. You can express an interest by putting in a ‘bid’ for up to two properties each week.
Bidding means saying you are interested in a property, and does not involve bidding with money. Sometimes the Council makes a direct offer of a property to an applicant, rather than publishing the property for bidding. For example if a property has particular features to meet specific needs such as wheelchair access.
You can place bids for two properties of the appropriate size every week by phone, text or through the East London Lettings Company website at www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk. You can find out how to bid in the magazine.
Where can I get a copy of Choice Homes Magazine?
The code next to each address shows what facilities are available at the individual sites:
- M = ELLC Choice Homes Magazine available for collection
- I = Access to ELLC Choice Homes website available through the Internet
- K = Access to ELLC Choice Homes website available through touch-screen computer kiosk
Cedar Wood House
2d Fulbourne Road
|Friday Hill TMO
56 Friday Hill West
|M and K|
43 Sansom Road
|Lea Bridge Library
Lea Bridge Road
|M and I|
|M and I|
|Higham Hill Library
North Countess Road
|M and I|
|M and I|
|Hale End Library
|M and I|
|North Chingford Library
|M and I|
|Wood Street Library
|M and I|
|Walthamstow Customer Service Centre
137 Hoe Street
|M and I|
869 Forest Road
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- How many people are already on the housing register?
- How many properties do you let each year?
- Can I be nominated to a Housing Association instead?
- Will I get a secure tenancy with the Council?
- Can I take my pets into a Council or Housing Association property?
- If I get a Council or Housing Association property, can I buy it?
- Can anyone succeed to my tenancy and how many times can a tenancy be succeeded to?
- Can I succeed to a tenancy if the tenant moves out?
- What other conditions apply if I am applying to succeed to a tenancy when the tenant has died?
- What is bidding?
- What are the Accessible Housing Register and the Accessible Property Categories?
- Where can I see a list of the properties I can be considered for?
- Can I bid for properties in other boroughs?
- Can I bid any day of the week?
- Should I bid early on Friday to give myself a better chance of success?
- Can I refuse a property if I bid for it and change my mind later?
- What size property can I bid for?
- How do I bid?
- How many properties can I bid for each week?
- Can I get help with bidding?
- The bidding system is telling me there is an error that is stopping me from bidding. What should I do?
- English is not my first language. How can I bid?
- What chance have I got of being rehoused through bidding?
- When I bid, I was in position one when the bidding closed. When do I view the property?
- How many points can I get and how are they awarded?
- What priority levels are there?
- I have additional preference, why don’t I get points?
- How can I get high priority?
- What constitutes high social need priority?
- What constitutes high health/disability need priority?
- How do we prioritise application for sheltered housing and extra care?
- What other high priority groups do you allocate to?
- What is the Reasonable Preference Band?
- What is the No Preference Band?
- What are the Council's Panels that award additional preference or points?
- Who are the members of the Social Need Panel?
- Who are the members of the Disability Panel?
- Who are the members of the Sheltered Housing Panel?
- How long do the Panels take to make a decision?
- Can I be sent a housing application form, disability questionnaire and/or sheltered housing form?
- I think I'm going to be made homeless by my landlord/ partner. What do I do?
- Can I apply to other Councils as well?
- Will the online form take long to complete?
- What other documents/details will I need to have with me to fully complete the housing application form?
- Will I ever need to show the Council documents to prove that I live where I say I do?
- Can I get a quick idea of the chances of a property?
- I am already registered and want to tell you about some changes.
- Can I include children on my application if they live with an ex-partner?