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)
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) .
If you feel your current home does not meet your needs we might be able to help you. You can apply for a Property Needs Assessment through the online application service, detailed in the above section. We aim to assist applicants;
- Where an applicant's medical condition or disability is affected by their house type.
- Where it is demonstrated that an applicant requires i.e. an adaptation which will meet their needs and allow them to remain in their current accommodation.
Please note, to be eligible to apply for a Property Needs Assessment due to physical or mental health impairment, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- An applicant must be in the current case load of a mental health professional (Psychiatrist/ Psychologist/Community Psychiatric Nurse/Social Worker in Mental Health Team) or meeting with their General Practitioner who is offering psychological therapies to address mental illness. There must be confirmation from the practitioner that in their professional opinion a significant improvement in their mental health is likely as a result of re-housing, and that the mental health is not expected to resolve using other treatments alone.
- Chronic conditions whereby the housing environment exacerbates the condition will be looked at on an individual basis. Further information may be sought.
Please provide a written statement from yourself, detailing how your current home is having an adverse effect on your Mental Health/Well-being and explain in your own words how re-housing would improve your mental health. If you have not provided any additional information we will be unable to award Medical Mental Health points to your application.
Please note that no medical priority will be given for any of the following:
|Nervous debility or breakdown||Temporary orthopaedic problems such as broken bones or sprains||Obesity or being overweight|
|Growing pains||Glandular fever||Hiatus hernia|
|Glue ear, grommets, middle ear infection||Hernia or rupture Epilepsy controlled by medication||Sexually transmitted diseases (excluding HIV)|
|Skin problems or disease||Bedwetting or enuresis||Any temporary illness including Varicose veins|
|Bronchitis or chesty cough||Duodenal or gastric ulcers|
|Central heating priority||Where or not you have a garden||Marital or relationship problems|
|Overcrowding||Homelessness||Problems with the structure of your home - no bath,type of windows or heating|
|Pregnancy||Being a single parent||Dampness|
|Under occupancy||Living with relatives||Illness of relatives|
|Problems with neighbours||Harassment|
Please note, the West Lothian Housing Register aims to assist applicants:
- Where it is demonstrated that an applicant requires an adaptation which will meet their needs and allow them to remain in their current accommodation.
Through this process the West Lothian Housing Register aims to assist applicants that have a need to either move to a property that is better suited to their needs or to ensure that their existing property meets their needs as a result of the installation of adaptations or provisions.
When applying for a council home it is important to understand what you can afford. The UK Government has introduced changes to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. For more information, please see the benefits pages.
And see the preparing for your new home [107KB] information leaflet.