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There are a number of criteria which you need to fit in order to be able to apply for social housing. 

Housing allocation

Due to the shortage of available properties and the high numbers of people on the waiting list we cannot offer a home to most applicants.

It is important to understand how we decide who gets housing before you begin your application so you can be realistic about your chances.

Who will not be considered

We will not accept your application if:

  • Another council has placed you in the borough under homelessness laws
  • You are under immigration control
  • You are from abroad and you fail the habitual residence test (conditions you must meet to be regarded as having good cause to live in the UK)

Unacceptable behaviour

We may refuse your application or give you lower priority if we think you, or someone you want to live with, has behaved unacceptably.

Examples can include:

  • You have lost your home because of substantial rent arrears
  • You have lost your home because of your behaviour (or a member of your household’s behaviour) towards your neighbours
  • You were granted a council or housing association tenancy on the provision of false information

Before we make this decision, we will look at your case very carefully. 

Choosing your preferred location

We have divided the locations into five areas. When you make your application we will ask you to rank the areas in order of preference from 1 to 5. We will try to rehouse you within one of your top three areas but this may not always be possible.

You will also need to tell us if you have specific reasons why you cannot live in a particular area. We will consider this request and let you know if it is possible or not.

Nomination areas

  • Area A - Hanworth, Hounslow, Whitton
  • Area B - Hampton Hill, Hampton North, Hampton
  • Area C - Barnes, Mortlake, Sheen
  • Area D - Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton Wick
  • Area E - Richmond, Kew, Ham, Petersham

Other areas

We have properties available to us in other London boroughs from time to time. These include Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Croydon, Wandsworth and Lambeth.

You can tell us if you wish to be considered for an offer in any of these areas.

Special requests

We will not guarantee to nominate you for a property with a garden unless you have an essential medical need for one.

You will not be allowed to keep a dog in a property unless the property has direct access to its own garden. Even then, some housing associations have their own rules on pets.

How to apply

You must complete your application for social housing and shared ownership via Richmond Housing Online.

This is for new applications and existing applicants who have been asked to re-register their interest in staying on the Richmond housing register. There are separate processes telling us you are at risk of homelessness or that your circumstances have changed.

Information you will need

Before you start the form you will need the following:

  • Information about your immigration status
  • Names and dates of birth for everyone on the application
  • National Insurance numbers for everyone on the application over 16 years old
  • Details of all the places you have lived in the past 5 years:
    • Address, with postcode (find your postcode)
    • Move in date
    • Move out date
    • Type of tenure (e.g. private rented, council property)
  • Details of any homes you have owned or have any interest in
  • Information about any mortgages you have or have previously had
  • Total income and savings of everyone on your application, including:
    • Earnings from employment
    • Welfare benefits received
    • Total savings and investments held

You will not be able to complete some parts of the form without this information.

Fraudulent information

If you give us any false information or withhold information we may consider your application to be fraudulent.

We also check to see if household savings/capital have been deliberately reduced in order to apply for social housing.

If your application is fraudulent we will close your case and refer the details to Legal Services to consider prosecution.

Supplying evidence

Once a housing application is submitted you have ten days to provide the following eligibility documentation, if you have not already done so as part of your application.

If you fail to supply the necessary documentation within the deadline your application will be cancelled.

How to submit

Upload your documents by visiting the ‘View My Saved Council Housing Waiting List’ tile within your housing online account.

If you are returning to your housing online account to submit documents you may find your application in the ‘View My Accepted Council Housing Waiting List Applications’ tile. Please click on ‘actions’ to upload your documents.

Eligibility documents

  • Identification for all applicants and household members over the age of 18:
    • Passport,
    • Birth certificate, or
    • Driving licence
  • Evidence of immigration status:
    • Passport, or
    • Birth certificate
  • Non-UK nationals:
    • Residence permit,
    • Home Office letter, or
    • Screenshots of Home Office account confirming status

Your children's details

If there are children on the application, we will need:

  • Full birth certificates for all children - These should include name of parent(s)
  • Proof of child related benefits - Child benefit letter, screenshots of Universal Credit online journal showing child element or child tax credit letter

Additional documents required

You should also submit the following documents with your application:

  • Evidence of National Insurance number
  • Proof of income and evidence of hours (if 24+ per week) e.g. payslips
  • Proof of savings (if any)
  • Most recent statements from all bank, building society or post office accounts held by the applicant(s)
  • Any medical information and documents you want us to consider as

Apply now 

Make sure you have read all of the information about making your application and supplying documents before beginning your application.

Start application

Assessing your application

When we have received your application and all supporting documents we will write to you with a reference number and our assessment of your application under the scheme. You must keep a note of your reference number.

We will confirm your assessed priority (including the band into which your application has been placed, if applicable), the size of the property you will be considered for and the access queue into which your application has been placed.

Change of circumstances

If you have made a housing or homelessness application and your circumstances have changed since your last contact with us you must tell us straightaway. This information may affect our assessment of your application, the number of points your housing application receives, or the size of the accommodation offered to you.

Getting an offer

Each year we nominate around 350 applicants to our partner housing associations for an offer of accommodation.

We will make one suitable offer only. In most cases, refusing an offer will mean your housing application is cancelled.

If you are unhappy with our decision

You will be told in a decision letter if you have a right to request a review of a decision or offer of accommodation we have made and the deadline for submitting a review request.


We receive a high volume of applications, which we process in date order. Please do not contact us about the progress of your application, as this may cause a delay.

If you need any help or have any questions or comments, please contact Housing Provision.

Housing Provision
Civic Centre
44 York Street

Telephone: 020 8487 5454

Updated: 24 October 2023

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