New Statutory Housing Guidance

New Statutory Housing Guidance

The Government has given councils more flexibility in how they manage their
waiting lists.  New statutory housing guidance makes clear that those in
greatest housing need must be given priority.  But it also gives councils more
freedom to allocate their homes according to needs specific to their local
area.

Councils have said they will use this extra flexibility to prioritise
families with local connections, those seeking local employment and to tackle
overcrowding and under-occupation in their communities.

This includes:

  • Manchester City Council, who are planning to prioritise those who are
    working, volunteering or taking up training and educational opportunities;

  • The London Borough of Newham, who plan to use revised allocation policies to
    tackle overcrowding;

  • Bournemouth Borough Council, who plan to use the flexibilities to reduce the
    number of under-occupied homes; and

  • Test Valley Borough Council, who are looking at the possibility of setting a
    quota for a proportion of their housing stock to be available to those with a
    connection to the local area.

Issuing the new guidance, Housing Minister John Healey said:

“People must be given confidence that council homes in their area are
allocated fairly.  Councils must make sure people can see more clearly how homes
are being allocated in their area.

“I’m giving councils greater leeway to do this.  While priority will still be
given to those in greatest housing need, they will now also be able to allocate
according to needs specific to their local area. 

“And with these greater freedoms, I expect councils to take greater
responsibility in consulting with their communities, and explaining their
allocation policies, to combat the myths and misunderstandings that often
develop around council housing.”