Council housing is run by the local authority (Leeds City Council) and provides homes across Leeds that aims to be affordable to rent for people on low incomes. Be aware, there are lots of people waiting for council housing and there is no guarantee you will be successful if you apply.

Who can apply

Not all migrants arriving in Leeds are allowed to apply for council housing. The rules are complicated and can change, so it is best to check with a trained adviser from Leeds City Council or Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau. See below for details. However here is a current summary:

If you are from an EU country:

  • If you are working and have been living in the UK for five years you can usually apply
  • If you are newer to the UK you may be asked to do a ‘Habitual Residence Test’ to find out if you can apply

If you are from outside the EU:

  • If you have permanent residence or ‘indefinite leave to remain’ you can apply
  • If you have refugee status you can also apply

How to apply

  • You need to be a member of the Leeds Homes Register before you can apply for council housing. To register, go to and click on ‘How to register’ for a form. If you need help filling the form out or a translation, you can get help from your local Community Hub.
  • If you apply you will be assessed by the Council and put on a waiting list.
  • The Council will look at your circumstances to decide how high your need is. People with the highest need will be given a Band A priority and they are given first priority for housing.
  • Every week the council shares a list of housing available, and you can bid for the ones you like. If more than one person wants the same house, it will be given to the person who has been waiting the longest and who has the highest priority banding.

Be aware, you can wait a long time for council housing. Even people with Band A often wait over a year to be rehoused and this can take longer depending on where they want to live and their household size. You can use this link to get an estimate on how long it would take but it is not a guarantee.

Single people over 18 who are not assessed as being “in priority need” are likely to face longer wait times depending on what type of properties they bid on.

Find out more

You can find out more about council housing on the Leeds City Council website:

Applying for a Council House

Help with your application

Your local Community Hub or Housing Office can help you apply.

Find your local housing office here:

Find Your Local Housing Office

Find your local Community Hub here:

Leeds Community Hubs

You can also contact the Leeds City Council Housing Team for general enquiries:

0800 188 4000 (9am to 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; Wednesday 10am to 5pm)
[email protected]

For advice if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness – you can use:

Leeds Housing Options self-help facility

Last Updated: 15 April 2024