State-financed housing for rent, provided in the UK through local authorities. This has for many years been the second largest category of housing in the UK, below owner-occupation but above private rented housing. Council housing is allocated on the basis of need, with priority for factors including number of children, and the quality and degree of overcrowding of present accommodation, with top priority for the homeless. Rents are generally held below a market-clearing level; a large proportion of council tenants in fact receive concessional rents and/or housing benefit to assist with payment. There are usually waiting lists to obtain council tenancies.
|Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.|