How to Get a Council House

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Council houses are a form of social housing in the United Kingdom. According to 2001 census data from the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom, almost 3 million people in England and Wales rent their homes from local councils. Housing is usually allocated according to need; HousingNet states that those in greatest need are the homeless, people living in substandard conditions and people with a medical or welfare need for a council house. People who have an urgent need to move to a new locality because of potential hardships are also considered in greatest need. Council housing is awarded on a points basis, so moving into the council home of your dreams means that you are in a competitive battle to prove to the council that you have more points than your opponent.

Call or write to your local council and ask for a publication that explains how they allocate their points. The council is required by law to give you this information. Some councils offer information online. For example, Tendring District Council states that they award extra points for limited financial resources and overcrowding.

Fill out an application for your local council. Or, if you have a medical or welfare reason for living elsewhere, fill the application out for the council district you want to move to. Using the information gleaned in Step 1 as a guide, write down every possible reason you can think of to gain points. For example, if you have recently lost income, make sure you write that you are having financial difficulties.

Pay your rent or mortgage on time and establish a good relationship with your landlord or mortgage company. If deciding between two applications, some councils will give preference to a person with a reliable history of payment and no tenancy problems.

Keep a record of every transaction, including notices to vacate. Points are awarded by some councils if you are in danger of losing your home.


  • If you do obtain housing, make sure you do not engage in antisocial behavior. Some councils, like Charnwood Borough Council, may use antisocial behavior as a reason to evict you in the first year of tenancy.
  • If your circumstances change, for example if you get pregnant, fill out a new application and ask for a reassessment.


About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.

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