Social housing is housing that is let at low rents and on a secure basis to people in housing need. It is generally provided by councils and not-for-profit organisations such as housing associations.

If you rent from a council or housing association, you are generally referred to as a 'social housing' tenant. Rents are generally lower than if you rent privately, but this gap is narrowing.

Social housing tends to offer long-term, secure tenancies and in the majority of cases, you can't be asked to leave unless you have broken one of the terms of your tenancy agreement. This could be because you haven't paid your rent or if you have been a bad neighbour.

A social housing landlord will normally have written standards for the services they provide and their tenants are encouraged to get involved in setting those standards. Bodies such as the Homes and Communities Agency and the Housing Ombudsman Service are there to make sure tenants get a good service. 

Unfortunately, the demands for social housing is very high, with more demand than supply in most areas. Social housing tends to be let to people in the highest housing need so it can be difficult to access for some people.

To apply for council housing in your area follow this link.

To contact housing associations in your area and find out how to apply direct, follow this link.

Further information on applying for Council Housing can be found at these links:

For information on Social Housing Tenancy agreements follow the folling links:

Detailed guides to all aspects of Social Housing can be found at GOV.UK.

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