Housing allocation

We implemented our new Allocation Policy (PDF 330KB) from 28 November 2019.

This policy is intended to make it easier to understand how your application has been prioritised by introducing a simple band system that each case will be assessed against:

  • Band 1 – Emergency Priority
  • Band 2 – Urgent priority
  • Band 3 – Priority
  • Band 4 – Reduced priority

Applicants in the same band will be prioritised according to whether they have a ‘community contribution’ and then their waiting time.

There are also some changes to the way applications are assessed to make best use of the limited supply of social housing.


Key changes

The key changes to be aware of:

  • Pre-qualification residency criteria has increased from 2 to 5 years
  • Reasonable preference has been replaced with banding preference
  • Criteria for community contribution
  • The way we assess overcrowding

Assessment of overcrowding

To make sure that accommodation is prioritised for those most in need:

  • We will calculate how many bedrooms an applicant currently has and how many bedrooms they need to assess for overcrowding
  • Studios, bedrooms in a shared house and living rooms that could be used as a bedroom will count as one bedroom when deciding how many bedrooms the applicant currently has use of

Online application

The online application form is also changing to make it easier to understand and complete but will be accessed in the same way. 

The bidding site will not change, you will still be able to bid for properties in the same way using your same login details.


<td">Income and resourcesHow applied


Previous policy

New policy

Qualification criteria

Residence - general

Two-year residence

Five-year residence

Qualification criteria

Exceptions to residence – stat RP

Statutory RP groups not allowed to register without meeting residence criteria

Stat RP groups can register even without residence criteria, placed in band 4

Who can be included on application

Anyone normally resident with applicant

- Dependent children under 19

- Dependent adult’s relatives

- Full time carers

- Others added at discretion

NB this will mean we need to distinguish between occupants and members of the application.

Prioritising applicants

Banding scheme

Cumulative reasonable preferences/ Additional preferences

Banding scheme;


2- Urgent

3- Priority

4 – reduced priority

Priority groups

New Prevention/ Private Rented Sector Offer (PRSO) after implementation date

RP for Prevention and PRSO

No RP for either Prevention or PRSO

Priority groups

Prevention/ Private Rented Sector Offer (PRSO) after implementation date

RP for Prevention and PRSO

No RP for either new Prevention or PRSO cases. Existing cases will retain priority.

Priority groups

Pre-existing Prevention/ PRSO cases

Retain RP

Retain RP

Reduced priority

refusal of offers

No penalty for non-homeless home-seekers

Non-homeless home-seekers Placed in band 4 for 12 months if 1 reasonable offer refused

Community Contribution

How applied

Taken in to account after level of preference, local connection and waiting time

For Bands 2&3 only; taken in to account to decide between applicants with the same band

Community Contribution


- Armed forces

- Foster carer

- Work 35 per week

- Approved foster carer

- Redbridge adoptive parent

- Carer for 35 hours per week

Reduced priority at short-listing


Direct offers (DO)

Identified for DO then offered in order of date

Band 1 - offer made if not moved in 3 months

Band 2- offer made if not moved in 12 months

Adapted/ sheltered and other circumstances – in exceptional circumstances

Homeless cases – not successful with bidding after long period

Size of accommodation can bid for


Tenants requiring 4 or more bedrooms can apply for one bedroom less than needed

All applicants who require 3 or more bedrooms can apply for one bedroom less unless stat overcrowding

Assessing overcrowding

Calculating rooms available

Studios and room in shared house counts as 0 bedrooms when assessing for overcrowding priority

Studios and room in shared house counts as 1 bedroom when assessing for overcrowding priority

Assessing overcrowding

Calculating rooms available

2nd living room will be included in assessment

Any room that could be used as a bedroom will be included

Qualification criteria

Residence – leaving the area

Applicants leaving Borough can remain on Register

Applicants leaving Borough removed from Register unless exemption applies


Existing applicants

When the policy has been introduced, all cases will automatically be re-assessed in accordance with the new policy and awarded a provisional band based on their current circumstances. However, on the anniversary of their original application, applicants will be asked to provide further information so that a final assessment can be made. Any offer of accommodation made to an applicant prior to this final assessment will require a re-assessment before the offer can be formally made.

Certain changes to policy will not be applied to existing applicants. These include the change from 2 to 5 years residence criteria period to join the register and the exclusion of adults household’s members that do not have an essential need to live with the applicant.


New applicants

We have also introduced a new, simpler and more intelligent online application form for new applicants when applying to join the register. New applicants will also not usually need to bring in document to support their application, unless they have been made a provisional offer of accommodation.



You can contact us if you have any questions or are concerned about how the changes affect you.

Telephone: 0208 7084 002

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