Council housing allocations policy

How We Allocate Properties

With the exception of specialist (such as Extra Care housing or temporary housing for homeless applicants) all properties will be advertised through the Council's website

Applicants will need to bid (express an interest) on properties they wish to be considered for. Advertised properties will have details of who is eligible to bid for the property. If applicants are not eligible their bid will not be considered. By advertising properties and inviting applicants to apply, the Council is enabling them to choose where they want to live.

In order to ensure we make the best use of our housing stock, we will label some properties for transfer applicants only. This will help create vacancies so that we can best meet housing need. These decisions will be recorded at Exceptional Circumstances Panel.

All applicants joining the housing needs register will be given additional information digitally, which explains how bids can be made.



When deciding who to offer a property to we take account of three factors in the following order:

  1. Property Eligibility that is applicants' ages, household size and make up in relation to the size and type of property being allocated.
  2. Banding Priority on the Housing Needs Register (A to E)
  3. Time registered in the band (priority date). Where more than one applicant from the same band has bid and are eligible for the same property, the person who entered that band first will be considered. If more than one applicant shares that date, then the choice will be made on the basis of who has been on the HNR the longest (that is to say, the person who applied first).

The Exceptional Circumstances Panel can make exceptions to this where exceptional circumstances exist.


Property Eligibility

Details of which properties applicants may be eligible for are contained in the tables at the end of this document. We will also make this clear on our property adverts. We expect to make best use of our properties, so for each property type we have set out which household type and need will be given the most priority.

Some households will have special needs, such as a mobility issue. We will set out in the advert for the property if there are special features and which bidders will be given priority.

The Council wishes to make the best use of its housing stock and so in some circumstances a tenant occupying a family sized home, but who wants to move to a smaller property can be considered for properties which are one bed space above their needs. Similarly tenants may be considered for houses, rather than flats or maisonettes. Approval for this needs to be given by the Housing Allocations Manager.


Applicants who require significantly adapted property

Where the council considers (usually on the advice of the council's Independent Medical Advisor) that an applicant has a requirement for a significantly adapted property, the application will be 'flagged' to show this.

When we advertise a property that has had significant adaptations, we will say on the advert if we are giving extra priority to applicants on this basis. We will then prioritise those applicants from the shortlist, who have an appropriate 'flag' within Bands A to C. This means that an applicant with a flag will have a priority above an applicant who does not have a flag, even if that applicant is in a higher band.

If an applicant successfully bids for an adapted property, but on viewing the property it becomes clear that further adaptations will be required to make it suitable, we will make an assessment as to whether or not the property can be offered.


How are purpose built or significantly adapted properties allocated?

Properties that have been purpose built or significantly adapted for people with disabilities will be advertised. However we will give priority to bidders who have a special need for them. Please see Section Applicants who require significantly adapted property above.


How are partially adapted properties allocated?

We will put details of less significant adaptations in the advert, so that people can make an informed choice about whether a property is suitable.

Examples of partial adaptations may be a level access shower, ramps or widened doorways. In the case of a partially adapted property, we will usually give priority to those applicants who need a particular adaptation over an applicant who does not, within the same band. Where this is the case, we will state this in the advert.


Ground floor flats

Priority for ground floor flats will usually be given to bidders in Bands A-C who have a medical problem which means that ground floor accommodation is required. This will be clearly labelled in the property advert, where appropriate.


Local Lettings Policy

The Council may agree a Local Lettings Policy for properties in its own stock or in partnership with Registered Providers. These policies will outline any specific local letting initiatives for the neighbourhood, taking into account supply and demand and other management factors.

The local letting policies are normally short term measures put in place to address specific local issues - such as promoting sustainable communities and creating balanced communities. Measures may include:

  • Increasing the proportion of tenants in employment
  • Reducing child density in an area
  • Reducing anti-social behaviour or incidence of crime in an area

Local lettings policies may override the normal shortlisting rules for specific neighbourhoods, local housing estates or developments for a specific period of time. Policies will be monitored, developed and amended in response to local circumstances or supply. The use of Local Lettings Policies have to be agreed at Exceptional Circumstances Panel.


Sheltered Accommodation

This accommodation is for those with low to medium support needs

Those wishing to move to sheltered accommodation who do not meet the usual age requirement, can be considered for such accommodation if they have medical factors. Approval for this needs to be given by the Housing Allocations Manager.

Properties in neighbourhood and traditional sheltered housing schemes are reserved only for people over 60 or others with support needs. All sheltered housing properties have emergency call equipment connecting them to the Council's 24-hour control centre.

Neighbourhood schemes have no communal facilities attached. Traditional schemes will have communal facilities available, although these may vary they generally include a communal hall / lounge, communal gardens and laundry facilities.

All sheltered housing properties are charged the Communal Facilities charge which is applied to all tenancies irrespective of whether the services of the Independent Living Officer and use of the facilities are utilised.

Priority for two bed sheltered accommodation will be given to those with a need for it due to the size of their household, identified medical reasons or those downsizing from larger accommodation.

Properties on neighbourhood schemes may be situated amongst homes that are not reserved for elderly people or people with support needs.  Some of these properties may be considered for decommissioning in the future.  Decommissioned properties are subject to a Local Lettings Policy which will be labelled in the advert and will only be offered to bidders who meet the set criteria until every property in that particular block has been decommissioned.


Households with specific property needs

We will consider applicants' specific property needs and we will try to meet these where possible and appropriate.

If you bid for something that you are eligible to bid for, but it is apparent to us that the property is not suitable for your specific needs, we will overlook your bid and explain the reasons for this.


Registered Provider Nominations

All RP properties for which we have nomination rights will be advertised in the same way as our own properties. We nominate applicants to local registered landlords in accordance with the same priorities we use in allocating Council-owned dwellings. Some RPs sometimes use extra rules, however. An example would be the size of household that may occupy a property. If this is the case, this will be clearly stated in the advert.