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Applying for council housing

We cannot offer housing to most people who apply. The pressures and demands on council housing supply are increasing in Barking and Dagenham and all other London councils.

There are over 7,000 households on our waiting list (housing register) and only around 600 council homes become vacant each year. Even those in the most need may have a very long wait.  It is unlikely that you will be allocated any type of council housing and you will better off renting privately. If you are on a low income you can get help with rent payments by claiming Universal Credit

People on the housing register have told us that if they knew how unlikely it was that they would be housed by the council they would have considered other options like moving into private rented accommodation in cheaper areas.

There is a shortage of social (council) housing in London, but other areas across the UK have more availability. Homefinder UK helps those already on the council waiting list or who are homeless, find permanent social housing.

The Mayor of London has produced a map showing average rents for all London postcodes, and you can check to see where you can afford to rent within your budget. 

If you have received an eviction notice or think you might become homeless soon, go to our homelessness prevention page.     

Find out about renting privately 

There are some exceptions to the requirement to currently live in this borough, or having continuously lived here for the last 3 years. They are listed in Section 4 of the housing allocation policy.

Housing allocation policy (PDF, 355 KB)

If you believe you may qualify as an exceptional case, you can email us at housingadviceservice@lbbd.gov.uk explaining why and we will let you know if you are eligible to apply. We will usually get  back to you within 4 weeks, as long as you have provided all of the information we need.   

Check if you are eligible to join the housing register

Have you already applied to us for housing?


If things have changed since you applied you can tell us about it by reporting a change of circumstances. For example you may have had another child or moved address. If you applied less than 6 weeks ago, we probably haven’t made a decision yet. You should hear from us soon.

Are you 18 years or older?


You cannot apply to go on the housing register. You may be able to get private accommodation.

Do you currently live in Barking and Dagenham or are a former member of the armed forces, or due to leave in the next six months?


You cannot apply to go on the housing register. You may be able to get private accommodation.

Have you continuously lived in Barking and Dagenham for the last 3 years or are a former member of the armed forces or due to leave in the next six months? (We will need evidence of this)


You cannot apply to go on the housing register. You may be able to get private accommodation.

Do you (or your partner if you have one) own or part own any residential property?


You cannot apply to go on the housing register. You may be able to get private accommodation.

Are you subject to any immigration restrictions?


Council housing is a public resource. If your immigration status does not allow you access to public resources you will not be able to apply to the housing register. You may be able to get private accommodation.

You can apply to become a British citizen.


You can apply to join the housing register, although you should read the information at the top of this page before you do, as you are likely to wait a very long time and may be better off finding private accommodation.

Download our housing application form which you can print and complete yourself at any location with print and wifi services including our libraries (there is a small charge). 

Once we've assessed your application, we will write to you to tell you whether you have been accepted. If we do accept you, we will give you a registration number which you should keep in a safe place as you will need it in the future.