Apply for social housing

1. What to consider before you apply

Finding a home in Westminster is difficult, so many people turn to the council for help even if they are not homeless. Anyone can apply to Westminster City Council for housing, but due to the shortage of available homes we cannot offer a home to most applicants and even when someone qualifies for housing, they can wait many years before they get a property.

The Housing Solutions Service can help you to find alternative solutions to your housing problem. If you are worried that you are about to become homeless, you should seek assistance as soon as possible. For homelessness advice and assistance please visit our Homelessness Prevention Service page as soon as possible. Numbers currently waiting as of September 2018 are:

  • over 2,200 homeless households
  • over 1,300 tenants waiting for a transfer
  • over 350 in other priority groups
  • over 3900 households in total

Supply of permanent accommodation

Between April 2017 and March 2018, we let 630 properties in total. This means we re-housed approximately one fifth of the households on the housing register. Most people face a wait of several years for their new home and many applicants have told us that if they had realised how long the wait for housing would be, they would have been more willing to consider other options when they first applied.

Current average waiting time for re-housing
Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed+
2.5 Years 1 Year 10 Years 16 Years 34 Years

Please note that waiting times can vary depending on a number of factors, such as location, property type and priority group. 

Young people

Finding somewhere to live in Westminster is very hard, given the high cost and lack of available places. It can be particularly difficult if you are trying to find a place for the first time and you may not get priority for social housing so you may want to consider other options. For further advice and information visit:

Finding a place to live

Young people and homelessness

The Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 came into effect on 1 April 2015 and aims to improve an individual’s wellbeing and independence by giving greater control and influence to those in need of support. If you do not want to move from your home but would like a little extra help visit the People First website for further advice, or for more information on the Care Act.

2. Making an application

New to social housing

If you would like to apply for social housing and are not homeless you will need to complete a Housing Register Application Form (PDF, 312KB). If you are applying for a move on medical grounds you will also need to complete a Medical Assessment Form (MAF) (PDF, 203KB) - please complete one MAF for each person within your household that has a medical condition.

Move home (Westminster Council tenants)

If you are a Westminster City Council tenant and need to move home (eg, because you are overcrowded or have a medical reason to move), you will need to complete an Application For a Transfer Form (PDF, 278KB). If you are applying for a move on medical grounds you will also need to complete a Medical Assessment Form (MAF) (PDF, 203KB) - please complete one MAF for each person within your household that has a medical condition. 

Please send your completed forms to:

Housing Solutions Service
PO Box 73741
London NW1 1LG

The Housing Solutions Service will consider all the information they receive and advise you if you are eligible to register under one of our priority need groups. You will be notified of the decision in writing. 

3. Other housing options

Homeswapper

Homeswapper is the UK’s largest national home swap service helping social housing tenants to move. The service is free to register for Westminster Council tenants. There are some restrictions on swapping but importantly, you must get permission from your landlord before going ahead with a swap; if you don't, you could lose your home. For more information or for help registering with Homeswapper you can contact your local estate office or you can register directly at Homeswapper.

Housing Moves

Housing Moves is the Mayor of London’s housing mobility scheme that allows social housing tenants of London boroughs to move outside their existing borough to a different part of London. It is run by the Greater London Authority and most London boroughs and Registered Providers participate. For further information you can contact your local estate office or to register directly at Housing Moves.

Homefinder UK

Homefinder UK is delivered by Home Connections Lettings Ltd. Immediately available properties across London and the UK are offered at Homefinder and Westminster tenants and households in temporary accommodation can bid for them. The scheme aims to help people find a home that better matches their household size and personal and financial circumstances.

House Exchange

House Exchange is part of the Circle Housing Group. Social housing tenants registered with HomeFinder UK (above) will also be able to see all of the mutual exchange opportunities available across London and the UK through House Exchange.

Seaside and Country Homes Scheme (SSCHS)

SSCHS is run by central government and available to tenants that are 60 years old or over and wish to move to a home outside of London. There are 1 and 2 bedroom properties across the country from Lincolnshire in the east all the way around the coast to Devon and Cornwall in the South West. SSCHS can also help households to find properties in rural areas inland. For further information you can contact your local estate office or register directly at Housing Moves (follow the link to Seaside and Country Homes).

Other Affordable Housing Options

The council's planning policies dictate that there should be a mixture of social housing and intermediate affordable housing opportunities provided in the City. Therefore, a proportion of new affordable housing will be priced above social housing but below market level (known as intermediate housing) and includes such products as sub-market rented housing and low cost home ownership. For more information please visit Home Ownership Westminster.


Last updated: 1 February 2019
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