Housing register application

We can’t provide the majority of people with a council home, but we can help you to prevent homelessness and help you to find settled housing.


Apply for council or social housing 

There is high demand for social housing in Hackney. There are more people that need social housing than the number of homes available. We cannot offer social housing to the majority of people that apply.

The increasing demand on social housing means only applicants with the most significant housing need can join the housing register in Hackney.

You may not be successful in bidding for social housing if you’re on the housing register. You may have to wait a long time. It is normal to wait years. 

The majority of applicants will not get social housing and would be better off renting privately. 

Our Housing Needs Service can provide advice and assistance to help you secure accommodation in the private sector. You should consider all options before applying to join the housing register. See How do I look for a private rented property? 

Are you at risk of homelessness? 

The housing register and social housing is not a solution if you are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless within the next 8 weeks. 

You need to contact the Housing Needs Service. We will assess whether there is a risk of you becoming homeless. We will create a personalised housing plan with you. As part of the plan, we will work with you to try and prevent your homelessness. Or help you to find new accommodation if your homelessness cannot be prevented. You will not be offered council or social housing even if homeless. You can find out more about homeless prevention by visiting Housing options and advice.

Check you are eligible for the housing register 

You must check if you meet the criteria before you apply to go on the housing register. For a council or housing association home.  You meet the criteria if you:

  • have demonstrated that you have a housing need as defined by the Councils lettings policy
  • have lived in the London Borough of Hackney for three continuous years
  • not have savings or assets of £80,000 and over, or own your own home
  • have an income of less than £80,000 per year, or £100,000 if you need a property with 3 or more bedrooms
  • have not willfully worsened your housing situation to take advantage of the process, such as knowingly moved into accommodation that was too small for your household size, or deliberately damaged your current accommodation 
  • have not been found intentionally homeless by a Council in the last 3 years
  • have not sublet your social home or Temporary Accommodation without permission
  • are entitled to public funds

If you do not qualify to join the housing register we may be able to advise you about other housing options. 

Apply for the housing register

The Council is introducing a new housing register application form and assessment system. This is following the introduction of a new lettings policy introduced on the 1 October 2021.

We are currently piloting the application form with a random sample of residents. The pilot will help us release a better version of the form. After the pilot, the form will be rolled out to anyone that needs to join the housing register.  

In the meantime, anyone who wishes to join the housing register should call 0208 356 2929.

When you call, we will ask for your details including your name, address, phone number, and email address. When the form is available a link will be sent to your email address to apply to join the housing register. 

Band Estimated wait times as of October 2021
Studio/1 2 3 4 5+
B 3 years 12 years 9 years 13 years 39 years
C 6 years 19 years 26 years 26 years 53 years

I’m a current social tenant and want to transfer to another home

You can apply for a housing transfer if you need to move from your current council home to another property in the borough because your current home is unsuitable. You need to meet the qualifying conditions.

Unfortunately, since the cyber attack, we have been unable to process new transfer applications or amend existing applications. However, a new application system is being rolled out. Soon you will be able to apply or amend the status of your transfer application. 

Any social tenant wishing to start a new transfer application should email neighbourhood@hackney.gov.uk. You will be contacted when the system goes live.

With the introduction of a new lettings policy on the 1 October 2021, all residents on the housing register will be written to. This is to make sure you still qualify for a transfer under the new lettings policy. We will explain how you submit new medical evidence or notify us of a change of circumstances for your existing transfer application.

I’m a current social tenant and not eligible for a transfer

If you are not eligible for a housing transfer under the new lettings policy we can still offer you advice.

You may want to consider moving home by applying for a mutual exchange.

This is where you apply to swap your home with other social tenants within the borough. Or with tenants from another council, housing association or other housing provider.

You can be placed on the mutual exchange list, email your details to neighbourhood@hackney.gov.uk.

If you are a tenant of a register social provider or housing association you should contact your landlord. 

If you want to move to another council property within London, you may benefit from the Mayor of London’s Housing Moves scheme.

Following a recent review of the scheme, the Mayor of London has taken the difficult decision to change Housing Moves.

From 1 July 2022, the scheme will be available to victims and survivors of domestic abuse and former rough sleepers. Rather than social tenants more widely.

Housing Moves is now permanently closed to new applications except those from the above groups.

You can find out more by visiting Housing Moves.

You can also find a home to swap with other social tenants anywhere in the country by visiting Home Swapper or House Exchange.

You can find information about all the available housing options by visiting Lettings Policy.

Page updated on: 7 June 2023

Housing register team


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY