Finding a private sector home

Social housing

Social housing means council or housing association housing.  It can be permanent or let for a fixed term, depending on the landlord.

Something for you to think about…

You need to be aware that social housing is not available in Ealing, for most homeless families.

But if you really want social housing, there are still ways to make that happen.

Several families from Ealing have changed their lives by moving to other areas, where social housing homes are available. One way they have managed to do this is by registering on a scheme called Homefinder. 


This scheme lets social housing landlords from all around Britain advertise their empty homes.  Priority is given to homeless people, especially if they are in temporary accommodation.

It is very worthwhile having a look at this opportunity. Find information on Homefinder.

Many properties are in the midlands and north, but some London homes do come up.

Why can’t I get social housing in Ealing?

This is because most accepted homeless households are awarded band C, if they join the housing register. ‘Accepted’ means that the council has considered your application and has given you a decision letter saying that we owe you a full housing duty.

Being in band C means you are able to bid for social housing properties which are advertised on our choice based lettings system Locata

But it does not give you a high priority.  Here are some examples of how long people in Band C have been waiting, by the time they bid successfully.

  • For two bedroomed accommodation - six years
  • For three bedroomed accommodation - eight years
  • For four bedroomed accommodation - seven years

That doesn’t tell the whole story though.  Lots of people in Band C have been waiting a lot longer than the times stated above.  But they are bidding for very popular areas or properties- and they will never be successful because people in higher bands will always take priority.

Some people may be given a higher band for very special reasons, like serious illness or disability.  But that is the exception, not the norm.

Sheltered housing in Ealing

One kind of social housing which is more available in Ealing is sheltered housing. 

Sheltered housing is a home (usually a flat) designed for independent, able people over 60.  It is only for single people or couples, not for bigger households.

Sheltered housing does not come with a resident warden, but there are visiting officers. 

It should not be confused with a care home or high-support housing.  It is very much for people who manage their own lives.

For more information please read our sheltered housing to rent page.

You have to be eligible to join the housing register (and join it) to bid for sheltered housing. You can bid via Locata.