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Information on Applying for a Council House

This describes how you can apply for social rented housing in West Lothian.

Before completing an application form you should look at all of your housing options using our guide. (opens new window)

Housing Options Toolkit

You can apply for a house by submitting an application to the West Lothian Housing Register.  

The three partners of the West Lothian Housing Register are:

  • Almond Housing Association
  • Link Housing Association
  • West Lothian Council.

You only need to submit one application for the three partners of the Register and there is the option to select which of the partners you wish to be considered by. There is no limit on how many you select.

We can advise you that we currently have approximately 10,500 applications on the register

Changes to Allocation Policy

West Lothian Council agreed changes to the current Housing Allocations Policy on the 17 November 2020. The changes are due to the outcome of consultation undertaken between January and April 2020. As a result, the council's new Housing Allocations Policy will come into effect on 7 March 2021. The  Housing Allocation Policy [310KB]  and  Housing Application Points Procedures [227KB]  documents.

Changes for Mainstream Applicants:

Mainstream applicants mean anyone applying for accommodation who is not homeless. The following changes to the points framework will apply to all mainstream applicants:

  • Threatened with homelessness and insecurity of tenure will be awarded 750 points;
  • Below Tolerable Standards will be awarded 500 points;
  • Medical A will be awarded 500 points;
  • Medical B will be awarded 250 points:
  • Mental Health will be awarded 250 points;
  • Overcrowding will be awarded 250 points per bedroom;
  • Sharing with other household will be awarded 150 points per person;
  • Give or receive support will be awarded 150 points

Changes for Homeless Applicants:

The following changes have been made to the level of points awarded and to area choices:

  • Homeless applicants will be awarded a flat rate of 750 points instead of homeless status, and will not be awarded any other points
  • Homeless applicants will be required to select a minimum of three ward areas
  • The areas of Livingston North and Livingston South have been combined to form one single ward area of Livingston.

Changes to Housing Allocations Categories

The Housing Allocations Policy has been revised to establish 4 categories which applicants will be placed in once their application has been assessed;

  • HWLC = Homeless applicants;
  • GN = General Needs applicants;
  • TL = Transfer applicants; 
  • OW = Applicants from outwith West Lothian.

Changes to how we allocate New Build Council Housing

The Housing Allocations Policy has been revised to allocate 75% of new build council housing in the first instance, to existing council home tenants; the remaining 25% will be offered to those on the mainstream waiting list.

A full copy of the report which was agree by Council Executive on the 17 November 2020 can be found on West Lothian Council Committee Information Pages (opens new window)


New Online Housing Application

West Lothian Council has developed a new online Housing Application Form, which also includes a Property Needs Assessment (PNA). These will be used instead of the paper forms that are currently in use, with a move to eliminating the paper form in the near future.

People applying for a house will now be able to apply online, then after creating an account and password they will have the ability to access and manage their housing application. Applicants will be able to edit the following:

  • Add / remove applicant and occupants;
  • Complete Property Needs Assessment (PNA) - medical form;
  • Change address;
  • Change area selection;
  • Change heating selection;
  • Change floor level selection;
  • Submit evidence when required; and
  • Inform of sharing / overcrowding or under occupation.

When an amendment is made, the housing application will be temporarily suspended until the change is verified by West Lothian Councils Allocations department, this will be done in line with the Allocations Policy and where necessary, Homeless Policy and Procedures.

All current applicants will have access to review and maintain their applications after registering online. To register they will require their application reference number, which can be retrieved from letters received from Allocations, or by contacting us.

You can use our online portal to start a new housing application (opens new window) or amend a current application (opens new window).

Information on applying for a house with West Lothian Council.