People from Brighton and Hove should have a better chance of being able to stay living in the area if new rules are approved.
Brighton and Hove City Council is likely to have revised priorities for its housing waiting list after a meeting next month.
One of the key changes is that people should have to show that they have a local connection going back at least two years.
At the moment the local connection need only be for six months.
The revised priorities will also mean that half of the social housing that becomes available – council and housing association houses and flats – will go to people in work.
The intention is that these should be families with at least one person in low-paid work.
There is likely to be a £35,000 income cap and tenants will have to live at the property for a number of years before having a right to buy.
Councillor Maria Caulfield, the council’s cabinet member for housing, will decide whether to approve the new waiting list priorities at a meeting in the new year.
She said: “We’re trying to help people who can’t afford to rent privately or buy a home and who aren’t on housing benefit.
“We have to prioritise. We also know residents feel the local connection should be stronger.
“At the moment if you go on the housing register, you have to have had a local connection for six months.
“We’ve got such a shortage of housing that we want to raise that to two years.”
According to Shelter, the housing charity and campaign group, some 9,546 households were on the waiting list for a council house or flat in Brighton and Hove in 2009.
In 2008-09 there were 1,100 lettings to new social tenants, including those placed with housing associations.
At this rate of lettings, Shelter’s Local Housing Watch website calculates, it would take more than eight years to clear the waiting list.
Shelter also said that 368 households were accepted as homeless in Brighton and Hove in 2009-10 and at the end of June this year 413 households were in temporary accommodation.