Apply to join the housing register

Estimated time to successfully bid for a property

Joining the housing register lets you bid for social housing. Social housing is housing rented from a Housing Association or from the council. It also includes Older Persons’ Housing for residents aged 55 or older.

The housing register is not a waiting list. Most people on the housing register are never offered a social home even if they’re on the housing register for a long time.

Most social homes in Hackney are flats that are not on the ground floor and do not have a garden.

When you join the Housing Register we place your application into a band. The time it takes to successfully bid for a property depends on the band. Only those placed in bands B and C can bid.

The current estimated times to successfully bid for a property:


Property size Band B Band C
One bedroom flat or studio flat 3 years 6 years
Two bedroom property 12 years 19 years
Three bedroom property 9 years 26 years
Four bedroom property 13 years 26 years
Five bedroom property 39 years 53 years


Finding a privately rented home is a quicker option to find somewhere suitable to live.

Evidence you need to apply

Apply to join the housing register

Access to the housing register is limited and not everyone can join. 

To join the housing register you must meet strict criteria that includes having:

You cannot join if you:

  • have made your housing situation worse in order to apply such as by moving into accommodation that is too small for your household or damaging your current property
  • have been found intentionally homeless in the last three years
  • have sublet your accommodation without permission
  • have savings or assets or £80,000 or more
  • own your own home
  • have a household income over £80,000 a year (£100,000 if you need a property with three or more bedrooms)

Apply to join the housing register by calling 0208 356 2929.

When you call we:

  • ask for your details including your name, address, phone number and email address 
  • email you an online application form

You need to complete the application form we email you and return it to us.

Assessing your application

Tell us if your situation changes

If you’re on our housing register then you must ensure your application is kept up to date by notifying us of certain changes.

This is important as some changes impact the size or type of property that you can bid for or the band you’re assigned.

If your application isn’t kept up to date then you may be removed from the housing register and any bids that you make for a property might be overlooked.

Tell us about any changes by calling 0208 356 2929. If we require more information then we will email you to let you know.

Page updated on: 7 May 2024

Housing register team


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY