Apply to join the housing waiting list

You will need to join the housing register (waiting list) to apply for a council house.

Find out about social housing

Social housing (which includes council houses) is:

  • rented out by a local council or housing association to people who meet certain conditions – this means the council or housing association is the tenant’s landlord
  • cheaper to rent than a private rental property
  • usually rented out on a longer-term fixed assured shorthold tenancy
  • in very high demand – many people want social housing

Check how long you could wait for a council house in Redbridge

Most people on the waiting list will not get a council house. 

We cannot tell you:

  • how long you will have to wait
  • if you will get a council house
  • if you will get social housing

You should look at other options such as renting privately.

You could also look at social housing outside of Redbridge.

There are more people on the waiting list than homes available.

In March 2024, there were:

  • approximately 4000 social housing properties in Redbridge
  • more than 7800 households waiting for social housing

In 2023 to 2024:

  • approximately 260 social housing properties have been offered
  • this includes only 9 properties with 4+ bedrooms

In 2023 to 2024, people who were offered social housing in Redbridge waited on average:

Type of property Average waiting time if offered social housing Number of homes offered
Studio and 1 bedroom
  • 6 years and 3 months for a studio
  • 6 years and 1 month for a 1 bedroom home
112 homes offered
2 bedroom

10 years and 4 months

112 homes offered
3 bedroom 15 years and 7 months 32 homes offered

Check how long households waited on average for Redbridge social housing in past years in the following table.

These waiting times are for people who were offered social housing:

Type of property 2022 to 2023 average waiting times  2021 to 2022 average waiting times 2020 to 2021 average waiting times 2019 to 2020 average waiting times


9 years

5 years and 4 months

2 years

3 years and 6 months

1 bedroom

5 years and 5 months

5 years and 8 months

3 years and 2 months

5 years and 3 months

2 bedroom

9 years and 9 months

8 years and 1 month

7 years and 6 months

8 years and 1 month

3 bedroom

16 years and 4 months

14 years and 6 months

11 years

11 years and 8 months

4 bedroom

19 years

19 years

19 years and 4 months

18 years and 3 months

In past years, the number of homes offered in Redbridge were:

Type of property

2022 to 2023

2021 to 2022

2020 to 2021

Studio and 1 bedroom

95 homes offered

131 homes offered

88 homes offered

2 bedroom

46 homes offered

69 homes offered

92 homes offered

3 bedroom

26 homes offered

29 homes offered

48 homes offered

4 bedroom

2 homes offered

6 homes offered

6 homes offered

Redbridge Council  uses a choice based lettings scheme. This means you will need to look for and bid on properties if you are eligible to apply for social housing.

When you apply for social housing, the following steps happen:

  1. You join the waiting list – also known as the housing register
  2. We will let you know how to bid (apply) for a social housing property if you are successful in joining the waiting list
  3. We will let you know your priority banding on the waiting list. Find out how your priority for housing is decided.
  4. You check and bid for properties
  5. We will let you know if you have been successful with your bid

You should check you are eligible to join the housing register (waiting list).

If you are eligible, you will need to complete an online application form on the Choice Homes UK website so you will need internet access.

You can get free computer access at Redbridge libraries. Find your nearest library.

You can  book a computer, free WiFi and computer training at a Redbridge library.

Before you apply

Before you apply, read the notes on how to complete the online application form. The notes include things you will need to fill in the form such as:

  • National Insurance numbers for everyone in your household who is over 16
  • where you have lived for the past 5 years

You should also use the notes while you are completing your application form.

Apply to join the waiting list (link opens in a new tab)

You must provide documents to confirm your circumstances within 7 days of completing the form.

  1. View the list of documents (PDF 35KB)
  2. Scan or take a photo of your documents
  3. Email your documents with your reference number and name in the subject of the email to the Housing Register team​

What happens if you can join the waiting list

We will send you a letter if you are eligible to join the waiting list within 28 days to:

If you are not eligible to join the waiting list

We will send you a letter within 28 days to let you know:

  • why you are not eligible to join the waiting list
  • how you can ask us to review our decision if you think you should be on the waiting list