The housing register
About the housing register
The housing register is the list of people who qualify for council housing and are waiting to be offered a property. There are currently around 3,000 people waiting for housing in Hammersmith & Fulham. Due to a shortage in housing, it can up to 10 years to be offered a place!
We can't offer a home to everybody who applies for housing so only applicants with high levels of identified housing need will be accepted onto the housing register.
Who can apply to join the housing register?
To be accepted onto the housing register, you must meet all of the following conditions. You must:
- be ‘eligible’ for assistance (i.e. you must be someone with the right to make an application for ‘recourse to public funds’ in the UK)
- have lived in the borough for a continuous period of five out of the last seven years
- meet a defined income and resource criteria.
And you must also meet at least one of the conditions below:
- your accommodation is overcrowded and one bedroom short of your defined housing need
- you suffer from a medical condition or other disability that is severely affected by your current living conditions
- you are homeless and we’ve accepted a statutory duty to secure accommodation for you.
For detailed information on eligibility and qualifying criteria please read the housing allocation scheme.
How to apply to be on the housing register
You can apply online through My Account.
Supplying false information
It is a criminal offence to lie on your application or knowingly supply false information to obtain public housing. In such cases we will actively seek a prosecution which may result in a prison sentence or significant fine.
If your behaviour makes you unsuitable to be a tenant, you will not qualify for the housing register.
Such behaviour includes:
- persistent failure to pay rent, service charges or both
- anti social behaviour which has caused a nuisance by the applicant or a member of his or her household
- illegal or immoral behaviour
- threats of and/or actual violence
- racial harassment
- obtaining a tenancy by deception, an attempt at tenancy fraud or both
- transfer applicants who have breached the terms of their tenancy by not looking after their home and have caused damage.
Frequently asked questions about the housing register
- How long will I have to wait?
It’s difficult to estimate when you will receive an offer of housing – it depends on the number of properties available to let, the level of priority you are based on your application and the length of time you have been on the register. This can be up to 10 years!
We know how distressing it can be if you’re waiting for social housing. We really appreciate that delays are likely to make a bad situation worse for many people and we’ll always do everything we can to help.
We try hard to keep waiting times to a minimum, but there are always more people than places. And the pressure to find homes for people who badly need them has increased over recent years, especially in London.
To help you manage in these difficult circumstances, we try to let everyone know how long they are likely to have to wait, but these are only our best guess, because circumstances change all the time. Here are our current best estimates of likely waiting times.
- Studio and 1 bed properties - 11 to 13 months
- 2 bed properties - 12 to 16 months
- 3 bed properties - 12 to 25 months
- 4 or more bedroom properties - 36 to 70 months
- Shelted properties - 12 to 14 months
- Studio and 1 bed properties - 11 to 15 months
- 2 bed properties - 18 to 44 months
- 3 bed properties - 22 to 60 months
- 4 or more bedroom properties - 32 to 70 months
- Shelted properties - 11 to 32 months
- Studio and 1 bed properties - 11 to 16 months
- 2 bed properties - 38 to 50 months
- 3 bed properties - 50 to 67 months
- 4 or more bedroom properties - 50 to 70 months
- Shelted properties - 15 to 26 months
Factors affecting waiting times
The best way you can help keep your waiting time as short as possible is by remaining open and flexible about the rehousing opportunities you’re offered.
Here are the other main factors affecting how long you may have to wait:
- the priority band awarded to your application
- the time you’ve already spent waiting
- the number of households on the housing register
- the number of properties that become available for letting
- essential requirements such as a property on the ground floor due to restricted mobility
- your preferences - such as to live in a certain part of the borough.
- What should I do if my address or circumstances change while I’m waiting for housing?
You must let us know about any changes which might affect your application. For example:
- a change of address
- a change in your health, which is affected by your housing
- someone in the household becoming pregnant
- a member of your family leaving or joining the household.
Please email your change of address or circumstances to email@example.com
Please include your housing register application number and any relevant documents needed to verify the change. If you don't include the documents with your email, we will ask for them and your application will be put on hold until we receive this information. We’ll reassess your application and will tell you if there has been a change to your level of priority to be housed.
Change of medical condition
Please see question below - Can I get priority due to my medical condition?
- What do I need to prepare while I wait for an offer?
You must provide independent documentary proof of:
- your relationship to all those named on the application
- your immigration status
- the property you currently live in
- five years continuous local residence in Hammersmith & Fulham
If we make you an offer of housing, we must see at least two of the following proofs of identity and proof of where they currently live for every person named on your application:
- full birth certificate
- medical card
- marriage certificate
- driving licence
- national insurance card
- benefit book or wages slip
- How can I appeal against a decision about my housing application?
If you have been refused a place on the housing register, are unhappy with your bands priority or have been suspended from the waiting list, you can ask us to review the decision.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can I get priority due to my medical condition?
If you or a member of your household have an illness, medical condition or disability making your home unsuitable, you may be awarded increased priority.
Medical priority is awarded if the current home where you live has a negative effect on the health of the member of the household. As a result, this creates a need for them to move.
Medical priority will not be awarded on the following grounds:
- Pregnancy – unless the current home is negatively affecting the health of the pregnant woman and or the unborn child.
- Minor illnesses, for example colds, flu, sprained ankle.
- Poor conditions in your home, for example damp
- Any temporary disability for example limb fractures.
- People who are already suitably housed. One example would be a wheelchair user living in ground floor single level access home If the adaptations have already been carried out to meet their existing needs and, their current medical condition has not changed, they would already be suitably housed.
If you or someone in your household have a long-term illness, medical condition or disability making your current home unsuitable, please print out and complete the Application for medical priority form (pdf 410KB)
Please attach suitable evidence as explained in the form.
- Do I need to get a letter from my doctor?
We won’t ask you to show us a letter from your doctor when we carry out a medical assessment. Usually we can make an accurate assessment using the information you provide on your assessment form. Sometimes we will write to your doctor or specialist if we need more in-depth information.
- How does the assessment process work?
When reviewing your assessment form, we will consider:
- how severe your medical condition is
- how your current housing situation is affecting your illness
- how a move to alternative accommodation will affect your illness.
Our medical adviser, who is a registered GP, will look at the information you provide and will make recommendations about your housing needs.
The officer assessing your application will consider all the information available, including the medical adviser’s recommendations and will decide whether we can give you additional priority due to your medical condition. We’ll write to you to explain the outcome of your medical assessment.
- I claim disability-related benefits, but I don’t have any extra priority. Why?
We understand that many of our applicants suffer from uncomfortable and debilitating illnesses. However, if your current accommodation is having a minimal effect or no negative effect on your illness, we won’t award you extra priority. We award priority based on housing need, not based on your medical condition alone.
- The damp and mould in my housing is affecting my health
Because of the short supply of housing, when we assess applicants for priority on medical grounds, we look to see what else can be done to help you. It is the legal responsibility of your landlord to make sure that your home remains in a good condition. If your landlord won’t fix the problem, or you would like further advice and assistance, you can contact our private housing services. Call 020 8753 1221, or email email@example.com.
- How can the council's medical adviser (CMA) make a recommendation if they haven’t met me in person?
There are two main reasons why the CMA does not personally examine our applicants. The first reason is that we have very limited resources so it isn’t practical to carry out individual examinations. We rely on your consultations with your own GP to provide us with the information we need. Secondly, based on the information that you submit, the CMA can determine the type and severity of your illness. This is why we ask you to provide us with as much detail as possible, especially the type of medication you’ve been prescribed.