How to Apply for Council Housing

Council house key

Residential Requirements

Applications can be made via our online portal, housing online (see below) but we recommend you read this and the other allocations information pages first.

Please note that if you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or need emergency housing advice, please contact our housing options team on 01543 462 621 BEFORE applying for housing with us. They will advise you on help they can give or, if appropriate, to proceed with applying online for us. You may also wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or a similar agency. 

To be eligible for inclusion on the Housing Register (unless you are applying for one of our independent living homes or you are in one of the categories below) you must currently live and have lived within the Cannock Chase Council boundary for the 2 years prior to the date of your application.

Anyone who applies who does not fulfil this requirement will have their application placed in band 4 until they have lived with the Cannock Chase Council boundary for 2 years.

Exceptions apply to:

  • Applicants applying for independent living accommodation (sometimes known as 'Sheltered Housing' (see note below))
  • Applicants who submitted a fully complete housing application prior to 1st July 2024 (where a 12 month restriction applies, as detailed in the former allocations policy)
  • Existing social housing tenants who hold a tenancy within the Cannock Chase District area
  • Social housing tenants moving into the district under the 'right to move' guidance set out by the UK Government
  • Applicants who are homeless within the meaning of part 7 of the Housing Act 1986 and other applicants who are in the reasonable preference categories set out in section 5.7 of the allocations policy.  

NOTE: If you are applying for Sheltered Housing you must have a close relative who currently lives and has lived within the Cannock Chase Council boundary for the previous 2 years from whom you will receive support.

NOTE:  If you are currently living in Specialist Supported Accommodation or in Prison and immediately prior to moving to your current accommodation you were a resident within the Cannock Chase Council boundary for 2 years or longer, you should make these facts known to the Allocations Team who will assess your individual residential qualification.

Some applicants are not eligible for council housing because of serious unacceptable behaviour or misconduct in a previous tenancy. Please see the details below relating to 'ineligibility for rehousing'. 

If you are applying to join the register, please take a moment to consider if you are ready to be a tenant and can you afford to pay the rent and bills.  It is important to remember when applying for housing that you must be able to afford the rent and associated costs.  

Moving home can be daunting, but Cannock Council are here to make sure that things go smoothly and that you are able to get settled into your new home as quickly as possible. The 'Average Cost of Running a Home' booklet at the bottom of this page gives you some helpful hints about the cost of running your home, what help is available to you and some handy money saving tips, but remember that the cost of living and inflation may have increased the costs referred to. 

We will ask you to provide some documents / information when applying. If you are successful and being considered for a council property, you will be contacted by a member of the Allocations Team where you may be required to upload further documents relating to your housing application on your Housing Online account, before an offer of a council tenancy can be confirmed. 

You may also be required to attend a Pre-Tenancy meeting with a member of the Allocations Team. This will cover how you plan to pay your rent, your right and responsibilities as a tenant, welfare changes and any help you may require to get you 'tenant ready' before you move into your new home. We will also make reference to the Tenancy Agreement. Click here to view a sample of a introductory tenancy agreement and a secure tenancy agreement. 

If you need any further information please contact a member of our allocations team on 01543 462621 or email us direct

​How will I pay my rent?

All our tenancies start on a Monday and your rent is payable weekly and in advance, even if you receive or will be applying for housing benefit or universal credit. 

Therefore your first week’s rent will be due on the day your tenancy starts, and you will need to pay a week’s rent in advance every Monday.

If you would prefer to pay fortnightly or monthly etc that is fine, but remember that you will need to pay that much more in advance - i.e. a fortnight or a month's rent up front.

If you would like to discuss your rent payments before your tenancy starts, please contact the Income Management Team on 01543 462621

You must have an active email address to register with Housing Online.

Housing online logo

Register Online

To register your interest for housing you will need to complete an online Registration Form, available on the Cannock Chase Housing website, click below.

Housing online logo



If you require any advice or assistance please contact the Allocations Team on 01543 462621.


You will not be able to express an interest in any properties until your application has been fully assessed.

If you attempt to gain priority by withholding or giving false information, your application will be deferred and if you obtain a property by such means legal action may be taken against you.

Step by step guide to registering on line

Having trouble registering? Follow our step by step guide.

Step 1 - Create your account

  1. On the Housing Online 'login' page, scroll down and click on the appropriate button for you.  If you're a tenant or housing applicant but haven't used Housing Online before, you will need to select 'Existing Applicants and Tenants - Register'.  If you're a new customer, you will need to select 'New Customers - Register'.
  2. You will then be directed to the registration page.  Here, you will need to type in your email address, create a password and press 'next'.  If you don’t have an email address there are many free providers to choose from including Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.
  3. You will then be prompted to check your email inbox for a verification email. You should do this straight away

Step 2 - Email verification

  1. Please be sure to check your junk and spam folders just in case. In the verification email, you will find a 'complete registration' link. Either click on the link or the 'verify me' button. Please note that the link will expire after one hour.
  2. After clicking on the link, you will be directed back to Housing Online to verify your details.

Step 3 - Register your details

New customers

  1. On the 'Register Details' page complete the person details, contact details and address details pages. 
  2. Check all the information is correct on the My Summary page.
  3. Tick the box to accept the terms and conditions.
  4. Click Submit.

Tenants and housing applicants

  1. On the 'register details' page please select and supply either your rent reference (begins with 400) if you are a tenant, or your application reference (begins with 300) if you are a housing applicant.
  2. Enter your personal details.
  3. Create a memorable answer and date.
  4. Tick the box to accept the terms and conditions.
  5. Click Finish.                                                                                   

Step 4 - Success

Congratulations! You have successfully registered for Housing Online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choice Based Lettings

What is the Choice Based Lettings scheme

In general most allocations of social housing properties in the Cannock Chase District are managed through Cannock Housing Register (hyperlink) choice based lettings scheme. Once applicants are registered and placed in their band in accordance with their current circumstances and the allocations policy, they may place bids (register expressions of interest) on properties in Cannock Chase area.

Who Can Apply for Council Accommodation?

You can apply for a Council property by placing your name on the Housing Register if:

◾You are aged 16 or over and live in the Cannock Chase area: or

◾You are not in a category of persons excluded from the Housing Register.

◾You live outside of the Cannock Chase area and wish to move to sheltered accommodation.

Can I apply if I have current rent arrears or former tenancy arrears?

Normally, you will need to clear your arrears or contact the Income Team on: 01543 462621.

Housing Online

What is Housing Online?

Housing Online lets you access your information through a secure web service from a smart phone, tablet or a computer.

Housing Online lets you manage your tenancy online, which means you do not have to call us to do things like check your rent balance. You can access it yourself with the minimum of fuss.

Once registered, you'll be able to express interest in properties if you're on the Housing Register.

How do I create a Housing Online account?

You'll need an email address to be able to create an account as this will be your username when signing in. Help to create an email account is on the housing Online/ website pages.

Why do I need a Housing Online account?

All applicants need a Housing Online account. Without this, you won’t be able to see the advert or place bids on properties and upload document to assist us in assessing your housing need.

If you become a Cannock Chase Council tenant, you'll also be able to log into this account to:

  • Check your rent 24 hours a day,
  • Make rent payments,
  • Set up direct debit
  • Find information on standing order
  • Find benefits assessments tools
  • Inform us of tenancy or neighbourhood problems
  • Update your contact details
  • Upload documents to the Tenancy Services team and, in the future, book repairs, contact your Officer and download documents

Application Questions

How do I apply for housing?

To apply for social housing within Cannock Chase, please go to the website and complete an application form. Your application will be assessed and you will be placed in a band in accordance with your current circumstances. Please see Prioritising Applications for more information regarding assessing housing need by Cannock chase council.

You will receive a letter or email confirming your band and what type/size of property you are eligible to bid for or expression an interest in..

Is your housing need urgent?

If you have recently been served with a notice of seeking possession or a notice to quit and are likely to be homeless please get in touch using the contact details on this page to make an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer.

I can't remember my application number

You'll find your application number on any letters or emails that you've received about your application. If you can't find this, please use your Housing-on-line  log in detail to find your application number    You'll need your email address and password

I've submitted an application - what happens next?

Once your application is submitted, it'll be assessed in date order to see if you qualify to join the Housing Register and what priority you're given. Due to the number of applications we receive, this may take a number of weeks. We will confirm the decision to you in an email or writing once it's been assessed.

When I have submitted my application do I need to contact you again?

Once you have submitted your application you will be contacted to advise you what documentation is required to fully assess your application.  Once your application is fully assessed we will advise you of your band and login details. At this point you can begin to express an interest in properties.  Please see our leaflet below 'How to Express an Interest in a Property' for further information.

All applicants, including Council tenants will have to re-register each year on the anniversary of their application. You will receive a letter requesting you contact the Housing Office to re-register.  If you do not do so, your name will be removed from the Housing Register.

Where am I on the Housing Register?

Unfortunately we can't give you a position as each time a property is advertised, we don't know who will apply for it. Please continue to bid and we will let you know if you're successful.

Where do I send my Identification and proof of Identification and information?

You can upload photos / scanned proof of ID into your Housing-on-line account by going into My Documents and see the documents you have uploaded in your saved documents.  Alternatively, you can email them to: or by send them by post to:

Allocation Team, Tenancy Services, Cannock Chase Council PO BOX 28, Beecroft Road, Cannock WS11IBG. Please only send copies, and not originals.

Why has my application been closed?

It has been closed because you haven’t re-registered or you haven’t supplied some of the necessary documents.

What is my banding?

Once your application has been assessed we will contact you to tell you your banding.

Why am I in that band, can you reassess my application?

We will reassess your application if you circumstances have changed.  You can check how the banding works to see if you are in the right band.

What if I don't agree with a decision you make about my application?

All key decisions taken by the allocations team (including priority banding, property eligibility, exclusion and offer suitability) are subject to a right to request a review of the decision made, within 28 days of the decision notification. We will explain this right and how to apply for a review in decision letters or applicant request. 

If you think you have been put in the incorrect priority band, please check the allocations policy as this gives you a guide as to how these decisions are made. 

Can I live on a particular estate?

Applicants may express an interest in vacant properties in the areas they wish to move into and for which they are eligible.

What If I am unable to live in my present accommodation because of an illness or disability?

If your illness or disability means that your present home is not suitable for your needs, additional priority may be given to your application. If you wish to apply for medical priority you should complete a 'Medical Needs Assessment Form'. This is available from the Allocations Team at email: or by ringing 01543 462621 and ask for the Housing Allocations Team.  When this has been returned, arrangements will be made for the application to be considered by the Council's Medical Panel. We will notify you of the outcome.

How do I move on Social Need?

You'll need to complete a social need application.  A social Needs priority is award to applicants who are having difficulties with your current home because of environment or external factors.  The form is assessed by Team Leaders and  you will be required to provide evidence to support your application. If you wish to apply for social needs priority you should complete a 'Social Needs Assessment Form'. This is available from the Allocations Team at email: or by ringing 01543 462621 and ask for the Housing Allocations Team.

Expressing (Bids) queries

I've placed a bid for a home. What's my position on the shortlist?

We're unable to let people know where they came on the bidding shortlist. If you've been successful, we'll be in touch to let you know and to talk to you about what happens next.

I keep placing bids, but I haven't been offered anything, why is that?

Demand for housing in Cannock is very high and we unfortunately have many applicants bidding for the same homes. Unfortunately that means it can take time before we can make you an offer. We work in accordance with our Allocations Policy. Also, you may be expressing an interest in properties that you are not suitable for you and your family.

When can I expression an interest in a property?

The advert goes live on a Wednesday at 12:00am and closes the following Tuesday at 11.59pm.   We would advise you express you interest immediately and not to leave it until the last hour.  Properties are allocated by priority and time on the Housing Register - not on a 'first come, first served' basis.

I'm unable to place bids myself, can I get help?

If you do not have internet access, a smart phone, or a family member / support worker that can help you with your bids, please contact us by ring 01543 462621, and we'll do our best to help.

How long will it take for me to be to be offered a property.

This is depended on you if you are bidding on properties that you are eligible for and that are suitable for the size of your family.  It is also dependent on the number of properties that are available while you have been Council’s housing register and  how we have assessed your housing needs.  Please contact us by ring 01543 462621, and we'll do our best to help.

I've been offered a home but haven't heard anything – what's happening?

Once you've been offered a home, your viewing and sign up will be handled by our Neighbourhood Allocation and Lettings Officers. They will contact you when the home is available to view.

Will I need to re-register and what if my circumstances change

You will have to re-register your application each year.  You must also notify the Council if your circumstances change.

Ineligibility for Housing

The Council has a legal duty to check whether an applicant is eligible to be allocated accommodation, or whether he or she is excluded under section 160(a), (1) (3) or (5) of the 1996 Housing Act.  The Council can also decide to treat an applicant as ineligible for an allocation of accommodation due to serious unacceptable behaviour under section 160(a)(7) of the 1996 Housing Act.

The Homelessness Act 2002 allows the Council to determine whether an applicant is ineligible for an allocation of a tenancy due to serious unacceptable behaviour.

Any of the following may result in your application being investigated further:

  • People who have previously been evicted by this council or another local authority or social housing provider, for reasons of anti-social behaviour or for causing damage to the landlords property.
  • People who have had an injunction under Part V of the Housing Act 1996 obtained against them by the Council.
  • People who have been convicted of an offence relating to the supplying of drugs and who have received a custodial sentence of at least two and half years, or have received a shorter sentence that is not yet spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Any person where this Council, or any other local authority or Registered Social Landlord has a current injunction, or has obtained an injunction within the past three years, against them due to their behaviour towards housing staff.
  • Any person convicted of a violent or threatening offence towards a Council member, a member of staff of this Council, or any other local authority or another Registered Social Landlord within the past five years.
  • If you or a member of your household, are considered to have committed acts of unacceptable behaviour, you may be requested to provide additional information or attend an interview.  If the Council then decide you are ineligible you will receive a written decision giving reasons why you have been been determined as ineligible for allocation.

In these cases, your application will not be placed in a band and the application excluded.

Where the behaviour of an applicant or a member of his/her family affects their suitability to be a tenant but is not so severe as to exclude them from the Housing Register (e.g. low level nuisance) the applicant will receive reduced preference and be placed in Band 4.

How to express interest in a property

See form below:

Express interest in a property (PDF 760.67 KB)


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