Local Authority Housing

Local authority housing – or council housing – is available from most councils across Scotland.

Council housing is not available in:

  • Argyle & Bute
  • Borders
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Eilean Siar
  • Glasgow City
  • Inverclyde

But you may be able to access affordable housing in these areas through a housing association or housing co-operative.

What kind of rent will I pay?

Rent will usually be cheaper than with a private landlord and you won’t have to pay a deposit in advance.

What kind of housing is offered?

Council housing may be:

  • A house or flat
  • Supported accommodation
  • Sheltered accommodation

Can I apply for council housing?

Anyone over 16 can apply for council housing anywhere in Scotland.

How can I apply for council housing?

To apply for council housing, you need to fill in an application form, which you can get from your local council’s housing department.

When you make your application, ask if there is a common housing register for your area. This is a joint waiting list for your housing from the council and also from housing associations and cooperatives.

Council houses are let – or allocated – based on rules that are agreed by council. Some rules are based on the law, and others are up to the individual council. Your local council should provide you with information about how they let their homes.

What kind of tenancy agreement will I get?

If you rent from a council, you will get a Scottish Secure Tenancy or a Short Scottish Secure tenancy, which offers you certain rights.

For more help and information, contact your local council or visit the Shelter Scotland website page on council housing.

Homeless or threatened with homelessness?

If you are having problems with your current home or you think you might be at risk of homelessness, you should contact your local council as soon as possible or seek advice from an independent organisation such as Shelter Scotland.