Applying for social housing

Social or housing association homes

Apply to the Housing Register

Watford Borough Council does not own any housing so there is no council housing in Watford. Social housing in Watford is owned and managed by housing associations. Their rents are usually lower than rents for local private rented homes. Watford Community Housing is the biggest housing association in Watford and the council works with a number of others too.

Demand for social housing in Watford is extremely high. Only one in four people who apply for social housing will be successful in obtaining this type of home. People have to apply for social housing by joining the council's Housing Register first.

Not everyone can qualify to join the Housing Register. The main criteria for whether you can apply for social housing in Watford are the following:

  • you should be aged 16 or over
  • you must be living in Watford at the time you apply to the Housing Register and have lived in the borough for five out of the last six years 
  • you must not be subject to immigration control or be an applicant from abroad unless you are an ‘eligible person’ as described by law
  • you must have a housing need, for example, you are homeless or living in overcrowded conditions
  • if you or a member of your household has been involved in anti-social behaviour, you may not be allowed to join the Housing Register.

There are exceptions to the requirement to have lived in the borough for the last 5 of the last 6 years which are set out in Section 12.13 of the Housing Nominations Policy.

As social housing is in such short supply, we ask people to look at other housing options, such as private renting or low cost home ownership options. The council's Housing Solutions Team can also provide advice and information. You can apply to the Housing Register online.

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Guide to updating your application

For additional guidance on how to update your application, please check out these helpful guidance documents.

View and download guidance documents
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