Housing Allocations Scheme 2023

Closed 30 Nov 2023

Opened 7 Sep 2023


Summary and purpose

We are reviewing Havering’s Housing Allocations Scheme and need your help. Social housing is provided by social landlords – generally, local authorities or housing associations.

Demand for social housing in Havering significantly exceeds the number of properties available. In the financial year 2022/23, only two in every 10 households on the housing register had a realistic prospect of securing social housing.

The Allocations Scheme sets out how the Council will prioritise access to the available housing in line with legislation and for the benefit of Havering residents.

The Council Housing Demand service has recently published our Prevention of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025  and are proud of our bold ambitious objective to end long term rough sleeping by 2022.  We recognise that street begging is a challenge in the community but not insurmountable as we look to safeguard those individuals who are being financially exploited and have no choice but to beg on our streets. Havering are committed to advising and helping those who approach us in times of difficulty when they are at risk of homelessness or are already homeless.

The Housing Allocations Scheme follows on from the one we published in August 2022 and takes the approach that we have a duty to support those most in need.  We are not afraid to say that the current policy does not go far enough in this effort and want to use this opportunity to consult our residents and stakeholders.

The Housing Allocations Scheme applies to all new applicants, including homeless households, and to existing tenants transferring from one property to another. The purpose of this scheme is to clearly explain how Havering Council decides how available social housing is allocated and how we assess applications to the Housing Register.

It sets out the Council’s eligibility, qualifying, and housing need criteria to ensure priority is fairly assigned and allocated to households in the greatest need. It also sets out how the Council will enable access to other forms of affordable housing such as shared ownership and intermediate rented housing.

We value your knowledge and input, as residents, tenants, partners and staff of Havering; you know better than anyone how important it is that the Council’s Housing Allocations scheme is fair and transparent. 

We therefore welcome your comments and feedback. This consultation will be your opportunity to tell us your opinion on our proposed changes.

Please ensure feedback is provided by completing this consultation questionnaire before 30 November 2023

Amendments proposed to the previous Allocations Scheme

The aims of the revised Allocations Scheme are to:

  • ensure that we make the best possible use of the social housing stock;
  • support the most in need;
  • to remove the element of community contribution so it is no longer a condition that a household is in employment;
  • provide housing that is suitable to the specific needs and requirements of households;
  • help build sustainable communities and neighbourhoods, and
  • ensure social and affordable housing is allocated in a clear, fair and transparent manner.

The key changes we are proposing to make are as follows:

Qualification Criteria

  • 3 out of 6 years residency:
    In a change to the previous policy of 6 years continuous residency, in order to fulfil the Council’s qualification criteria to join the Housing Register, an applicant will be required to demonstrate a 3 out of 6 years in the borough of Havering.
  • Income threshold:
    To be removed whereas in the previous policy, the gross income threshold for applicants was raised from £36,000 to £50,000 with a savings cap of £30,000, based on the fact that people should be able to save up for a deposit for purchase without being penalised.

Banding Changes to a Points based system

  • We previously had a band system and propose a points based system this will provide the following benefits:
    • greater transparency of your position in the waiting list
    • the ability to self-assess for an indicative idea of where you stand and not have to wait for the council to assess you
    • understand how many points it took to secure a property on the choice based lettings system that may have been on your watch list
    • we will provide weekly reports of the successful applicants points totals for each property advertised

Why your views matter

Why are we consulting?

We are consulting because seeking views on what you think of our proposed changes, or receiving information about how the proposals might affect you or someone you know, is really important in making sure that we have taken important evidence on board before making a final decision.

Consultation instructions

Please place a mark beside your selected answers as appropriate and include any additional comments, if you have any, in the available space.


  • Tenants
  • Landlords
  • Managing agents
  • Solicitors
  • Estate agents
  • Letting agents
  • Residents
  • Businesses
  • Communities


  • Tenants
  • Housing