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. Local authority 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. There are usually waiting lists to obtain local authority tenancies.