Join the housing register

Housing priority and waiting times

When you apply to join the Housing Register, we look at your application and work out your priority for housing, using our housing allocation rules.

We look at things like:

  • your current housing situation
  • the needs and welfare of your household

If anyone in your household is ill or disabled and this is being made worse by your current housing situation, the council medical advisor will help us decide your priority.

If you’re an existing tenant, we’ll look at what kind of property you want to move from and to.

We put all households into one of five bands from 1 to 5 based on their priority for housing.

Who counts in your household?

  • anyone who has lived with you for at least a year
  • new babies
  • children who don’t always live with you, if they stay with you more than half a week on average
  • a carer, if you have a medical condition that means you need a live-in carer seven nights of the week.

If you and your family have been forced to live separately because of housing, we normally count you as one household.


We can’t take into account the needs of pets to house you, unless you have a guide dog or hearing dog. You won’t be able to keep a cat or a dog (or other uncaged pet) if you rent a council property unless it has a private garden.  Similar rules on pets apply to housing association properties.

Most of the council and housing association properties in the borough are flats or maisonettes without gardens. In some cases, if you’re homeless, we may be able to offer emergency kennelling for your pet until they can be re-homed.

Priority bands

Band 1 is for emergencies only and will only be used to avert an immediate risk of injury or threat to life. Band 2 will be households with the highest priority for housing.

The Band the council places you into will depend on your household's individual circumstances.

Find out your priority band

Take our self assessment questionnaire (Should I apply for housing?) to find out your chances of getting housing. It takes a couple of minutes. You also get an indication of your priority band and what your next step should be.

Waiting Times

The demand for social housing far exceeds the supply. 

There is no set-time you will wait for an offer of accommodation through the Housing Register. With a Register open to new applicants, only approximately 250 lettings every year, and over 3000 current applications, it is more than likely the majority of applicants won’t be successful in securing an offer from the Register.

We are unable to predict vacancies and can’t therefore confirm the length of wait your application might be subject to but if you have specific preferences or need for location, size and type of property any wait will only likely increase given availability. Most properties we let are flats without access to a garden.

The reality is we can only offer a home to those in the highest Bands with the highest priority. Many households in lower bands realistically may never be offered a home.

The number of permanent social housing lettings we offer have reduced over the years meaning that opportunity to secure a Council or Registered Provider (Housing  Association) home are limited. We are increasingly looking toward private landlords to help address the need for accommodation and to look outside of the local area to find homes for households.