Who can apply for a council house

Any UK resident aged 16 or over may apply to join the register. People will not be accepted if they are subject to certain types of immigration control.

Applicants aged 16 and 17 (and Care Leavers) will be only be accepted if they have support to enable them to sustain a tenancy and a trustee who can hold a tenancy on their behalf until they reach the age of 18.

Who may not qualify

Certain applicants may not qualify to join the register including those in the following circumstances:

  • a history of anti-social behaviour issues
  • rent arrears
  • no local connection to the partnership area (certain exceptions for HM Forces, National Witness Protection scheme)
  • home owners
  • possessing an income and savings threshold of £60k and above
  • deliberately worsening circumstances
  • providing false information or deliberately withholding information
  • refusing a suitable property

How we prioritise applications

Applicants are placed in 1 of 4 bands according to their circumstances. These are:

Emergency band

This band is intended to meet the needs of applicants in extreme circumstances only. It will only contain a small number of applicants at any one time and is subject to a time limit. It includes those unable to:

  • return to their home from hospital because their current home is permanently unsuitable
  • access key facilities in their home without major adaptation works

Only applicants with a local connection to the partnership area will be considered for the emergency band.

Gold band

This band includes:

  • care leavers, with an agreed support package
  • applicants who need to move on from an approved accommodation-based supported housing scheme
  • under-occupiers of a local authority or housing association property in the partnership area who want to move to a property with at least 2 fewer bedrooms
  • applicants who are classed as 'statutory homeless' or at risk of homelessness and in priority need (this would need to be fully assessed by the Housing Options Team)
  • applicants who are overcrowded and require 2 or more bedrooms
  • applicants with a serious and enduring illness whose health and/or wellbeing is significantly compromised by their home or environment (a full assessment of health issues and circumstances will need to be undertaken prior to any health award being made)
  • applicants who need to move to relieve a proven hardship (a full assessment of hardship circumstances will need to be undertaken prior to any award being given on these grounds)

Silver band

This band includes:

  • applicants who have a health or well-being issue, which will be removed or improved by moving (a full assessment of health issues and circumstances will need to be undertaken prior to any health award being made)
  • applicants who are classed as 'statutory homeless' or at risk of homelessness but with no priority need, or are intentionally homeless (this would need to be fully assessed by the Housing Options Team)
  • applicants who are overcrowded and require 1 more bedroom
  • applicants whose home lacks basic amenities or who have to share facilities with other households
  • under-occupiers of a local authority or housing association property in the partnership area who want to move to a property with 1 less bedroom
  • applications from approved foster carers who require an additional bedroom to place a child

Bronze band

This band is for all other applicants.

Applicants who are classified as a 'good tenant' will be banded 1 band above their current assessed band, up to a maximum of gold band.

How we decide who is successful

At the end of the advertising period, a shortlist of eligible applicants who have bid (expressed an interest) for a property will be produced.

If we receive more than one bid for a property then we will sort them using 4 'tie-breakers' in the following order:

  • housing need
  • assessed bedroom need
  • debt
  • time

The tie-breakers are only used as necessary.

For example, if only 2 applicants bid for a property, one in 'gold' and the other in 'silver', then the offer goes to the (higher) 'gold' applicant. If both applicants are in 'gold' then the process moves to the next tie-breaker and so on.

Banding (housing need)

Bids will be placed in band order. Applicants in the Emergency band will be ranked first, followed by those in Gold, Silver and Bronze bands.

Assessed bedroom need

Applicants can bid for properties according to their assessed need.

Debt

The applicant with no housing-related debt will be successful.

Time

If there is still more than one applicant in a tie after band, assessed bedroom need and debt have been considered, then the offer will be made to the applicant with the longest time in their band.

Further information

Full details of how we shortlist can be found in the current Housing Allocations Policy, which came into effect on 26 September 2013.

Also see

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