Applying for social housing

Know your rights

Anyone can be affected by housing issues, so it is important to know your rights and options. Birmingham Advice Aid can provide the right guidance for you.

If you have nowhere to stay

There is support available if you need accommodation now.

Making an application for social housing

Anyone who has the legal right to live in the UK can apply to join the housing register. We manage around 54,000 social housing properties. 5,000 of these are supported housing. To join the housing register you must have a housing need. This means that your current accommodation is not suitable for you or a member of your household.

Once your completed application has been received, an Allocations and Applications Officer will undertake an assessment of your application to determine:

  • whether you are eligible to join the register
  • if you qualify for an allocation of social housing
  • the priority banding awarded to your household
  • how many bedrooms your household is entitled to

You will be accepted onto the housing register:

  • if it is determined that you have a housing need
  • if you qualify and are eligible
  • unless you have rent arrears or because of past anti-social behaviour

The demand to rent social housing is greater than the number of properties we have available. Joining the register may not result in you being housed quickly or in your preferred area or property type.

We must give priority to certain groups of people by law. This is called ‘reasonable preference.’


You are not classed as ‘overcrowded’ if:

  • each adult over 21 has their own bedroom
  • 2 children under 10 share a bedroom
  • 2 people of the same sex under 21 share a bedroom

New Housing Allocation Scheme

Only those with an identified need for housing can join the housing register. We will always prioritise those most in need of social housing.

Find out more about our housing allocation scheme.


To apply for social housing visit Birmingham Choice.

Page last updated: 2 May 2023

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