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Allocations Policy

housing__policy

Contents

1: Introduction
2: Allocations delivery model
3: Nationwide rules on eligibility
4: Registration for the Gateshead housing register
5: Assessment of an application
6: Advertising and lettings 
7: Decisions, complaints and reviews
Appendix 1: Lettings outside of the Allocations Policy 
Appendix 2: Current resettlement schemes 
Appendix 3: Definition of overcrowding
Appendix 4 Property age restrictions
Appendix 5: Percentage of advertised properties
Appendix 6: Local lettings plans

1 - Introduction

1.1 Allocations and lettings in Gateshead

We operate a housing register also known as a waiting list for applicants who require social housing. In order to allocate properties fairly in accordance with priority need and also giving people already housed the opportunity to move, the housing register awards priority and acknowledges waiting time.

The council has properties of its own and works with a number of other housing providers who own and manage stock of their own.

1.2 The legal framework

The Allocations Policy is a requirement of Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996. It has been framed in accordance with the council's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, Housing Strategy (PDF) [815KB] , and Tenancy Strategy and embraces the principles of the council's Thrive Agenda.

We have complied with and fully considered the following housing legislation, regulations, and statutory guidance:

  • The Housing Act 1996, Part 6 as amended by Localism Act 2011 (England)
  • The Housing Act 1996, Part 7 as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • Allocation of Accommodation: Guidance for Local housing Authorities in England (2012, DCLG) "the Code"
  • Providing social housing for local people: Statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England (DCLG, December 2013) "Supplementary Code"
  • Allocation of Housing (Procedure) Regulations 1997, SI 1997/483 Allocation of Housing (England) Regulations 2002, SI 2002/3264
  • Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1294 and all subsequent amendments
  • Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/1869
  • Housing Act 1996 (Additional Preference for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/2989
  • The Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Right to Move) (England) Regulations 2015
  • 'The Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/861)'
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Data Protection Act 2018 and contained within the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR)
  • Care Act 2014
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Domestic Abuse Act 2021
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017

1.3 Allocation of a tenancy

The allocation of housing by a housing authority is defined in s.159 of the 1996 Housing Act as:

a) Selecting a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of housing accommodation held by them

b) Nominating a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of housing accommodation held by another housing authority

c) Nominating a person to be an assured tenant of housing accommodation held by a registered provider

Social housing may only be allocated to 'qualifying persons.' Through the Localism Act 2011, the council has the power to determine who qualifies for housing. Lettings outside of the Allocations Policy are summarised in appendix 1.

1.4 Right to move

We reserve the right to give preference to the residents of Gateshead when accepting applicants onto the Housing Register. However, in accordance with the Right to Move statutory guidance on housing allocations for local housing authorities in England (Department for Communities and Local Government, March 2015), consideration will be given to applicants who need to move to the borough for employment and the council is satisfied that the employment meets the scheme rules. Further details can be found on the Gov.uk website (opens new window).

1.5 Statement of choice

We aim to give all applicants who are eligible to join the housing register choice in where they live. Applicants have the opportunity to express preference by being able to bid for areas and housing that are deemed suitable for their housing need. However, this must be balanced with the need for the council to meet its legal duties as a local authority in relation to addressing local housing need and ensuring the efficient management of its properties.

1.6 Data protection

We will ensure personal information of all applicants (new, existing and deleted) is:

a) stored lawfully

b) processed in a fair and transparent manner

c) collected for a specific, explicit and legitimate purpose

d) kept up to date and held until it is no longer required

e) shared only with other organisations for legitimate processing, the prevention of fraud or with the person's explicit consent.

View our Housing Privacy Notice.

1.7 Equalities, access and monitoring

We are committed to ensuring this policy is non-discriminatory and that all applicants can access the service, especially taking account of any vulnerability or other specific needs, and also the needs of different groups protected by the Equality Act 2010; the Human Rights Act 1998; and for Children, Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. To identify the needs of our applicants the application contains specific questions relating to vulnerability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability and other relevant criteria. The information obtained will be used to monitor the impact of the policy on minority and specific needs groups and to evidence the need for amendments, as may be required.

Under the Equality Act 2010 and in particular section 149 of the Public Sector Equality Duty, we are required to give due regard to eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, when exercising a public function such as an Allocations Policy. The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. This policy complies with the council's Equal Opportunities Policy (PDF) [678KB] (opens new window)  which sets out our commitments to ensuring equality in service delivery.

This policy was subjected to an Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) before being adopted. The impact will continue to be monitored throughout the administration of the policy.

1.8 Force Majeure

We will not be liable for any delay in performing our obligations under this policy if the delay is caused by a Force Majeure (chance occurrence or unavoidable accident for example), provided that reasonable action and notification to customers is taken by the council. More fully, this means circumstances beyond reasonable control of that party, including without limitation, strikes, lock outs, acts of God, the act or omission of any governmental or other competent authority, war or national emergency.

1.9 Changes to the Allocations Policy

We reserve the right to expand, change or alter any element of this policy, as and when required, to meet changes in housing need, capacity, resources and legislation. Where a change is considered, an impact assessment will be undertaken. If the change is considered to be minor with no significant impact to individuals or communities, then it may be approved by senior management within the council. Major changes will require approval by Cabinet, with statutory consultation prior to the main decision with all known stakeholders.

Where we need to regularly review information on an annual basis and set targets, we will attach the information as an appendix. This is demonstrated within the current appendices.

Part 2: Allocations delivery model

This policy is delivered in collaboration with key departments within the council and all social landlords in the borough. The delivery is through the Gateshead Home Choice scheme.

Applicants are held on a housing register in priority need and time waited order within a banded system. The housing register is hosted by the council.

Most lettings are through a choice-based lettings system. This allows applicants to bid for properties. A shortlist is created from the bids, and the property is allocated to an applicant once a series of offer checks are undertaken.

Registered providers in the borough use the choice-based lettings system to advertise and let their properties in accordance with a nominations agreement with the council.

We may, in some circumstances, make a direct offer to an applicant. This is undertaken in line with our direct let protocol in section 6.2.

We continue to develop the delivery model with social landlords and key sections of the council to improve the way we house people. This section of the policy will be amended to reflect future improvements.

Part 3: Nationwide rules on eligibility

3.1 Eligibility

Gateshead ensures that that only those who are eligible for housing or homelessness and meet the qualification rules will be placed on the housing register. The government set this out in Regulations 3 and 4 of the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1294 and all the subsequent amendments.

3.1.1 Special arrangements for 16 - 18-year-olds

a) Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to join the housing register if their current address is their only home, or sole residence, and they are not already registered through someone else's housing application.

b) Applicants under 18 cannot legally hold a tenancy. If they are under the jurisdiction of children services and owed a duty under the Children Act, children services will act as a guarantor for those within six months of their 18th birthday under an existing protocol. This is subject to their ability to live independently and manage their tenancy. Children services will need to provide a support package to prevent the risk of losing the tenancy. The tenancy will be held in trust until they reach 18.

c) Those not owed a duty of care under the Children Act, may still be granted a tenancy provided they can nominate a suitable person to act as a guarantor such as a parent, legal guardian or relative and also show a willingness to engage with the levels of support identified to help them sustain the tenancy. The guarantor will accept responsibility for the tenancy and for the support where necessary, whilst the tenancy is held in trust until the applicant reaches 18.

3.1.2 Persons from abroad

Some persons from abroad may not be eligible to join the housing register and we will capture this on our application form, and you will be asked to provide evidence for the following:

a) Under sections 160ZA (1), (2) and (4) of the Housing Act 1996 we cannot allocate a tenancy, or nominate a person for housing, if their immigration status makes them ineligible for public sector housing.

b) They do not have the right to rent.

c) Someone who does not live habitually in the Common Travel Area (UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland).

d) Someone who does not have the right to live in the UK.

e) Someone who does not have the right to reside in the UK as laid out in EU law unless they meet one of the exemptions such as provision of care to someone residing in the UK or Channel Islands or they have a temporary visa.

f) Someone who is a Hong Kong National (oversees) status holder.

g) Other categories of people who the Government may in the future, decide are not eligible for housing assistance.

3.2 Refugees and asylum seekers

We will comply with any government directives in relation to resettlement schemes for refugees or asylum seekers. We review these annually to ensure that we are compliant. The current resettlement schemes are shown in appendix 2.

3.3 Gypsies and travellers

Assessment of applications from gypsies or travellers for a council pitch on a recognised travellers site is covered under a separate policy but will be in accordance with Gypsy and Traveller Site Management Good Practice Guide (Published by Communities and Local Government July 2009) and will include consideration of the balance and mix in the community, therefore prioritising the long-term cohesion of the site.

3.4 The Armed Forces Covenant

Gateshead Council is signed up to the North East of England Armed Forces Charter and the Armed Forces Covenant. It is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and the local armed forces community.

We have created a Covenant Pledge to demonstrate our support, as an employer of choice, to the armed forces community. We believe that those who served in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who were honourably or dishonourably discharged, those who have served in the past, their families and anyone living as part of their household in ministry of defence accommodation, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved, and the appropriate medical priority will be awarded. We will disregard a local connection and accept them under a duty to refer. All relevant reasonable and additional preference will be awarded. To give former armed forces the ability to accrue waiting time, their enlistment date will be used as their registration date for anyone who has been discharged from the Armed Forces within five years prior to application.

A new covenant duty is due at the end of 2022 which will require the council to give due regard to the following:

  • The unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces
  • The principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages for service people arising from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces
  • The principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effect of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces

Part 4: Registration for the Gateshead housing register

4.1 Help and assistance

Advice and assistance are available to all applicants who apply for housing. You can get help to complete your application form and/or get support to bid for properties. Information will be made available in a format to suit you.

4.2 Qualification rules

We operate a hybrid housing register. This means that in most cases we will accept you onto the list in line with the rules set out in Part 4 of the Allocation Policy. However, in some circumstances you may be excluded (section 4.3) from joining the register or demoted under reduced preference (section 4.4).

Housing is available to all applicants including existing social landlord tenants who have held their tenancy for a period of one year. If you have held your tenancy for less than a year but your housing need has changed since the start of your tenancy, you may be considered depending on your circumstances.

  • You must be 18 or over. If you are under 18, see section 3.1.1
  • You can register alone, or jointly with one or more other people. In most cases where the application is joint, the tenancy will also be joint. The property criteria may also dictate the named tenant, for example a couple who has been allocated to an age restricted property will be in the name of the partner who meets the age criteria
  • Applicants without a fixed address can request for correspondence about their application to be sent to the care of another address. If no other address is available, the council will hold the correspondence and take reasonable steps to contact the applicant to inform them that correspondence needs to be sent to them and to agree a way of sharing the correspondence

4.2.1 Out of borough applicants

We will only accept application from out of borough applicants who have a qualifying local connection to Gateshead, with the following exceptions: 

  • applicants who need to move to the borough for employment, in accordance with the Right to Move statutory guidance (section 1.4)
  • applicants who have served in the Armed Forces, in accordance with the Armed Forces Covenant (section 3.4)
  • where we have accepted an application to assist in relation to homelessness 
  • in accordance with an Government directives in relation to resettlement schemes for refugees or asylum seekers (section 3.2)

Out of borough applicants will usually be placed in band 4 general priority. Additional preference will be considered where the applicants can demonstrate a clear need to be housed in Gateshead. This is likely to be restricted to anyone making an application under the homeless legislation or where there is a clear medical need which can not be satisfied by the applicant's current local authority. 

4.2.2 Local connection

A local connection is defined as one or more of the following:

  • have lived in Gateshead for six of the previous 12 months
  • have lived in Gateshead for three of the previous five years
  • have a current contract of employment in Gateshead
  • likely to be in education in Gateshead for six months or more
  • have close family residing in the borough for at least five years
    • close family means parents, adult siblings, or adult children
    • other family connections may be considered if the relationship is particularly close - for example if you have been brought up by another relative and were in close contact 
  • been placed out of borough by Gateshead Council
  • been living in supported housing in Gateshead or be living in accommodation provided by one of the agencies that the council works with for at least six months
  • be either giving support or receiving it from someone living in the borough and it is only possible if they live in Gateshead and have evidence to support this
  • have one of the above prior to incarceration or institutionalisation
  • you have been discharged from the armed forces

4.3 Non-qualification rules (exclusions)

We will only exclude applicants where all other viable options are unavailable. Each case is assessed to ensure that they are not the victims of behaviour that was outside of their control. Applicants with very high level of housing related debt, serious anti-social behaviour or criminal behaviour will be considered for exclusion where:

  • the debt is serious enough to meet the threshold applied by courts to grant a possession order. Currently this would be £3000 for a single person or couple without children and £5500 for a household with children
  • the anti-social behaviour is such that you, or a household member, have been evicted from a previous tenancy 
  • the applicant refuses to engage with the council and therefore we cannot consider them for demotion under reduced preferences - see section 4.4
  • the decision to exclude will be taken at a senior or panel level
  • where the case may be managed instead, we will consider suspension of the application first, whilst we implement a plan to reduce any risks
  • we will consider all other measures before excluding an applicant who would qualify for a critical or urgent priority award

View additional information on how we make decisions on successions and tenancy changes.

4.3.1 Financial exclusion

With the exception of those showing a demonstrable hardship, vulnerability or where you may qualify for specialist accommodation, we may ask you to find your own housing solution if your savings, income, investments or equity levels exceed the thresholds in the table below. The thresholds are reviewed annually and in line with average earnings and average property prices including those sold on the open market and through the Right to Buy scheme to existing tenants. The thresholds do not apply to former members of the armed forces.

TypeFinancial threshold
SavingsApplicants (both single persons and couples) who have total savings of £25,000 or more.
IncomeApplicants whose total gross household income from all sources exceeds an annual income of £50,000 or more 
InvestmentsApplicants (both single persons and couples) who have total investments including property in the UK and abroad of £50,000 or more.
EquityApplicants who have equity £50,000 or more to the property.

Where you exceed the thresholds, we may consider you for low-cost home ownership schemes, such as rent to buy, shared ownership, discounted market sale and starter homes.

4.4 Applicants demoted under reduced preference

If you have been demoted, but wish to apply for reassessment, and the reasons for the disqualification are due to housing related debt, criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour, we may consider your application under reduced preference as covered by the Localism Act 2011. In Gateshead we do this where we deem your behaviour is unacceptable in a current or former property, or if you have not been a tenant but should you have been one and your behaviour would have allowed us to evict you should we have taken you to court. In accordance with s166A(5) of the Housing Act 1996 you will be considered to be guilty of unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make you unsuitable to be a tenant of a social landlord.

a. Anti-social behaviour: where you or someone in your household perpetuates anti-social behaviour, thereby breaching the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement and where you show an unwillingness to address this behaviour.

b. Criminal behaviour: where you or someone in your household perpetuates criminal behaviour, thereby breaching the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement.

c. Housing related debt in excess of £500: where you are in arrears or persistent arrears of rent or mortgage rechargeable repairs, court costs, housing and Council Tax benefit overpayments, and any other debt related to a current or former home. Debts which are no longer legally recoverable including debt included in a Debt Relief Order or Bankruptcy order will still be taken into consideration when assessing an applicant's suitability to be a social landlord tenant.

We will assess your priority award, but where your behaviour is deemed unacceptable, we will demote your application and you will be placed at the bottom of your qualifying band. We will not demote applicants who have been assessed under a critical or urgent priority; or where they are vulnerable and need to move to accommodation that will significantly alleviate their housing circumstances. However, we are reviewing how we work with tenants who have breached their tenancy conditions and are seeking to introduce a range of measures over the next 12 months. Consequently we may review our policy on demotions for applicants in the critical or urgent band.

If you are willing to enter into an arrangement to address your behaviour, the demotion may be of short duration. This will be monitored, and we may consider removing your demotion and allowing you to sit in your normal position within your qualifying band where you have met the conditions of the arrangement. The shortest arrangements are likely to be for a period of six months and these are likely to increase in duration depending on the severity of the behaviour. The arrangement will be made with your own landlord, and we will obtain reports or rent statements where relevant to verify your adherence to the arrangement.

4.5 Exceptional circumstances

Each application will be assessed individually, and either accepted onto the housing register or demoted as an application under reduced preference. Your application will be assessed under this policy and only in the rarest of circumstances will it be deemed exceptional and then only after the policy has been exhausted.

This part of the policy is used to address an unforeseen need or urgent situation that cannot be resolved reasonably through the normal application of the allocations policy. Circumstances would only be considered to be exceptional where the effect of applying the allocations policy to a housing application would lead to a significant risk of harm or detriment to the household or a household member.  

4.6 Making an application

You must complete a housing register application and, if you wish to be considered under medical grounds, a medical assessment form. When we register your application, we will provide you with a housing register application number and provide you with a list of evidence we need to verify your application. Please see the Gateshead Home Choice page for guidance on how to make an application.

4.7 Verification checks and references

When you register an application, we will undertake checks on all adult members of the household before you are made an offer of a new home.

  • if you meet the eligibility rules set out in Part 3 of the Allocations Policy
  • if any of you have held a tenancy in the last two years, we will ask the landlord to provide us with a reference on how you conducted your tenancy and six months' rent statement - if this is likely to cause problems, we will discuss alternative ways that we can check the information we need
  • we will ask to see documents that confirm your identity
  • we will carry out Police vetting checks under the Safer Estates Agreement where you have disclosed criminal convictions, or there are significant gaps in your housing history, or you have a history of anti-social behaviour or criminal activity
  • we may visit you in your current home
  • existing tenants will receive a pre-termination visit at the point of an offer - this is to ensure that the property has been maintained and there are no tenancy breaches
  • demoted applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can manage their tenancy in accordance with the terms of their tenancy agreement, with support and advice provided where it is needed

We may verify your information again if we need to and originals of all documentation will need to be provided on request.

a) At the point of making your application.

b) At the point of a review to confirm the assessment.

c) At the point of a change of circumstances to make a reassessment.

d) At the point of offer of accommodation if either the last review was over six months or confirmation of new circumstances comes to light. If these are not supplied within the time requested, you may be bypassed for an offer.

If you fail to provide the information we have requested, your application may be suspended to allow you to produce it within a specific timescale. If you still do not provide it your application will be cancelled. If you have extenuating circumstances, we may assess your application without the information and each case will be considered individually.

4.8 Household splits

Where children are split between two households, the main carer will be considered to be the one in receipt of child benefit. A family home will only be considered for the main carer, or the household where the children are deemed to be part of the permanent household when we consider the allocation of a home. We will consider all evidence in relation to children including any residence orders, habitual residence, school records and the time spent with each carer. Where there are medical issues, we will consider the circumstances under our medical priority criteria. Only one family home will be provided per split household. 

4.9 False information

The application form states that under s171 Housing Act 1996, it is a criminal offence for anyone to knowingly give false information or to withhold relevant information if reasonably required to give it, on any matter regarding the allocation of housing. In addition, applicants will be advised that should an applicant be successful in obtaining a tenancy by knowingly or recklessly making a false statement then the landlord would seek possession of the property and may result in prosecution leading to a fine and/or imprisonment as laid out in s2 Fraud Act 2006.

4.10 Change in circumstances

It is your responsibility to notify the council of all changes in circumstance and provide the necessary evidence and contact details. We rely on contact details to make an offer of accommodation. If we do not have up to date information, we may not be able to make an offer, or take any further housing need into consideration. Once we have received your updated information, we will reassess your application.

4.11 Cancellation of applications

Your application will be cancelled if:

a) you request it

b) your circumstances change, and you are no longer eligible to join the housing register

c) you fail to respond when we review your application

d) you are found to have made a false or deliberately misleading statement, or to have withheld information

e) you fail to provide the information needed for the verification checks despite a period of suspension and repeated attempts to contact you

f) you are rehoused or are assigned a social tenancy

g) you purchase a home

It is your responsibility to keep us informed of any change of circumstance, including any forwarding addresses. If you do not, then we may cancel your application. It will not be reinstated, and if you still wish to be housed you will need to submit a new application and it will not benefit from any waiting time accrued from the previous application.

4.12 Deliberate or worsening circumstances

Where there is evidence that an applicant has knowingly and deliberately made their housing situation worse to gain a higher priority on the register, the assessment of their priority need will be based on the circumstances before their situation changed.

Some examples are:

a) applicants who have allowed family members or others to move into their property, who previously had suitable accommodation or the financial means to secure their own accommodation, and this has resulted in the property being overcrowded

b) applicants who have moved from previously suitable or more suitable accommodation which it was reasonable for them to continue to occupy, into a less suitable property

c) homeowners who have intentionally transferred their property to another family member in order to join the housing register

d) applicants who have given up affordable and suitable private rented accommodation which they are able to maintain, to move in with other relatives or friends, creating a situation of overcrowding and/or sharing of bathroom/kitchen and/or a split household

e) requesting or colluding with a landlord or family member to issue them with a Notice to Quit

f) homeowners who have transferred the title to their property to a trust; remain the beneficiaries of that trust

4.13 Elected Members and employees (including close relatives)

It is Gateshead Council's policy to carry out procedural checks on applications of people who may be related to council employees or influential partners of the council. This is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.

High risk - assessed by a director who is unrelated to the applicant

  • Gateshead Council employees and immediate family linked to housing
  • former ALMO/Housing Services Employees
  • Gateshead Councillors and MP's and their immediate relatives

Medium risk - assessed by the head of service

  • distant relatives to Gateshead Council employees linked to housing
  • employees of Gateshead partner agencies linked to housing
  • other Relatives of Gateshead Councillors
  • immediate family of former ALMO/Housing Services Employees

Low risk - assessed by the lettings manager

  • Gateshead Council employees not working in Housing
  • relatives of Gateshead Council employees not working in Housing
  • relatives of employees of partner agencies linked to housing

Part 5: Assessment of an application

5.1 Allocation by household type and property size

We allocate property using the following criteria:

  • the size of the property must be suitable for the household need
  • landlords must make best use of their stock
  • the property must be affordable for the applicant it is allocated to
  • the tenancy should be sustainable
  • the household's circumstances must be fully considered
  • the property is allocated in accordance with this policy
  • the existence of a local lettings plan for the property
  • the existence of an age restriction for the property

5.1.1 Size allowance

The types of properties that you are eligible to bid for and be rehoused into are set out in the following rules and in the table shown in section 5.1.2. 

  • a couple will be awarded a double bedroom (two bedspaces)
  • an adult over the age of 18, who is not in a couple and unrelated to other members of the household will be awarded a separate bedroom
  • same sex children can share at any age provided they have their own bedspace
  • opposite sex children under the age of ten can share provided they have a bedspace each
  • an unborn child will only be considered for a bedspace on production of a MATB1
  • where there is a household split, we will only consider the household size for the application of the main carer - see section 4.8
  • if a child is the main carer for an adult with medical priority, they will be allocated their own bedroom.
  • for people living away from home, they will be considered as part of the household provided it is their main and permanent home.

Bungalows are mostly subject to a local lettings plan, see section 6.11a or age restrictions, see appendix 4.

5.1.2 Property allocation table

The table below shows the type of property an applicant will qualify for. The 'x'' indicates a direct match. 

 Studio flat/bedsit1 bed flat1 bed sheltered1 bed bungalow1 bed house2 bed flat2 bed sheltered2 bed maisonette 2 bed bungalow2 bed house3 bed flat or maisonette3 bed bungalow3 bed house4 bed house, flat or maisonette5 bed house
Single person under 60XX  XX X       
Single person over 60XXXXXXXXX      
Single person with overnight access to 1 or more childrenXX  XX X  X    
Couple under 60XX  XX X XXX   
Couple under 60 with overnight access to one or more childrenXX  XX X XXX   
Couple where oldest applicant is over 60XXXXXXXXXXXX   
Couple where oldest applicant is over 60 with access to 1 or more childrenXX XXX XXXXX   
2 adults (non-couple) under 60     X X XXX   
2 adults (non-couple) where oldest applicant is over 60     XXXXXXX   
Household with 1 child* over 16 years of age     X X XXX   
Household with 1 child*     X X XXX   
Household with 2 children* over 16 years of age     X X XXX   
Household with 2 children*      X X XXXX  
Household with 3 children*               
Household with 4 children*               
Household with 5 children*                

*Children who are full time resident in the household rather than access arrangements 

5.2 Assessment of housing need

All applicants who are eligible and qualify to join the Housing Register will be assessed for housing need. The law requires that reasonable preference for an allocation must be made in the following cases:

a) people who are homeless within the meaning of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act

b) people who are owed a duty by a housing authority under relevant housing and homelessness legislation

c) people occupying unsanitary (unhealthy) or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions except for of out of borough applicants

d) people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, including grounds relating to a disability

e) people who need to move to a particular locality in the district of the authority, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship (to themselves or others)

f) we reserve the right to prioritise local housing for local people and will give additional preference to local connection specifically in relation to:

  • Properties built under a s106 agreement

  • Local lettings plans

  • Rural lettings schemes

g) applicants will be assessed for reasonable and additional preference

5.3 Housing need categories

5.3.1 Homelessness

Where the council has a Statutory Homeless Duty under the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017), we will award housing need based on that duty. If you are homeless but do not habitually reside in Gateshead, you will be asked to present as homeless to your own council, unless we owe you a homeless prevention duty.

Members of the armed forces who are due for discharge within 56 days will be assessed under a prevention duty. If you have already been discharged, we will assess you under both a main (full) and relief duty.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need emergency housing or a refuge placement, or the perpetrator needs to be rehoused urgently to allow you or your children to remain in your home, we will direct your application for a homeless assessment. Find out more about homeless assessments.

Critical housing need

You will be placed in this category if you have been awarded a main (full) homelessness duty under s193 of the legislation or a relief homelessness duty under s198. You will be placed in this category if, under our duties, we have provided you with emergency homelessness accommodation, that is, Statutory Temporary Accommodation. We will continue to monitor this priority award and, where your circumstances change, we may reassess you and this may result in a lesser priority.

Urgent housing need

You will be placed in this category if you have been awarded a prevention duty under the legislation which means you are threatened with homelessness within at least the next 56 days.

Substantial housing need

You may be placed in this category if you have been assessed as having made yourself homeless intentionally under the Housing Act 1996, which means you are homeless as because of your own actions (that is, eviction). We will only consider this at a main duty stage. You may also be placed in this category if you are deemed non-priority homeless at a main duty stage. We will always take your presenting circumstances into consideration. The council is committed through the Allocations Policy to assisting tenants to modify their behaviour, thereby enabling all tenants to live peacefully in their homes whilst meeting the conditions of their tenancy agreement.

Safe surrender agreements

Where a tenancy is failing but has not yet met the threshold for eviction, we may consider a safe surrender agreement if rehousing is the only way to assist you and we have exhausted all other ways to keep you safely in your home. The agreement is between the landlord, the homeless service and the tenant who surrenders their tenancy on a voluntarily basis and on the proviso that they are willing to accept support. Surrenders under this type of agreement allow the council to assess your application under a homeless prevention duty rather than an intentional homeless. You must first speak to your landlord before surrendering your tenancy.

Homeless offers

You will be expected to bid for a property, and we may make bids on your behalf or make you a direct offer of suitable accommodation. Refusal may result in the council discharging duty.

5.3.2 Witness protection

Where a customer has been referred as part of the witness protection scheme, a critical priority will be awarded.

5.3.3 Public protection

Where an allocation is required to ensure protection of the public, for example, following a panel decision made by Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) or to fulfil agreements made with offender management services, a critical priority will be awarded where the risk identified is critical. They will be managed through assisted bidding.

5.3.4 Property condition

Priority is awarded where the condition of the property is deemed to be in disrepair or lacking in amenities. A surveyor's report will be required to verify the level of disrepair.

AwardProperty condition criteria
CriticalWhere the condition of the property is such that it may cause a threat to life it will be deemed critical. An emergency prohibition order, if applied for, is usually given where the property is regarded as unsafe.
UrgentWhere the condition is serious but there is no immediate risk of harm, an urgent priority will be given.
SubstantialWhere there is disrepair but there is no requirement for immediate intervention, a substantial award will be given.

Lack of amenities will be considered depending on whether they are deemed essential for the type of household and any underlying health conditions. The presence of children or older people be factored into the household type.

5.3.5 Medical priority

The council will make an assessment of housing need in conjunction with health professionals and may include a home visit. The assessment will be based upon the criteria specified below. To qualify for rehousing on medical grounds, you must be asking for a home that will eliminate or substantially minimise the risks associated with your present home. Your assessment for priority will be made upon a long-term basis and not in response to a temporary condition.

If you are applying to move from outside the borough, a medical award will only be considered where only a move to Gateshead will alleviate the condition and this cannot be met by your own authority.

Support moves: you will need to demonstrate that you have no support where you currently live, and that the provision of that support will make a considerable improvement to your ability to manage in your own home. You will receive a double assessment, involving both the applicant and the person providing the support. Distance to support and the means of travel will also be a deciding factor in any award given.

AwardMedical criteria
Critical

You will qualify for critical priority if you are currently in hospital and the hospital's occupational therapy service consider you unable to return to your present home, as your life would be at risk, or you may be unable to access essential amenities.

This also includes where you may have been moved from a hospital bed to respite care, intermediate care or other short-term solution as a temporary measure. It also covers where "step up" arrangements have been made to provide additional support to prevent admission. This level of priority is only intended to address situations where you have been assessed, as having a critical risk to your life were you to move back into your existing home.

Mental Health: A mental health or medical professional currently supporting you has confirmed that you are at imminent risk of hospitalisation as a direct result of the impact your current home has on your mental health, and that moving to another property will alleviate that need for hospitalisation. This award can also be used to resolve bed blocking where it has been confirmed that discharge cannot be made to your present home.

Urgent

This priority applies where you have a degenerative illness or have an impairment, which may be physical, mental, learning or sensory, which has progressed to a stage where you are no longer able to cope in your present home. You are unable to gain access to basic facilities within your home. An urgent award can be given to move closer to support or for a carer to move closer to provide support. The carer must be the main carer and be able to demonstrate this by being eligible for a carer's allowance. This award will only be given where it is evident that if the care is not provided the applicant will be in danger of being admitted to hospital.

Mental Health: A mental health or medical professional has confirmed (and provided their clinical reasoning) that you are at imminent risk of significant harm to yourself or others as a direct result of your current home, and that risk will be considerably alleviated by a move to another property. The risk assessment will consider a diagnosis and is unlikely to be awarded on environmental factors that can be resolved either through time such as a normal grieving period or by other actions, such as the resolution to ASB through the police and council.

Substantial

You will qualify for a substantial priority if have a degenerative illness or have an impairment, either physical, mental, learning or sensory, which could be eased or improved by rehousing, but the severity is not enough to merit an urgent priority. It would apply where you have some difficulty gaining access to basic facilities within your home.

Mental health: A mental health or medical professional has confirmed that your present home is having a negative impact on your mental health and that a move to another property will significantly improve this. As in the urgent assessment, outside actions to resolve and time factors will be considered.

Specific consideration when allocating a property to someone with a medical priority:

a) The award you are given will specify what property type and size you are eligible for; it may also specify the type of adaptations that you require. If you were to be assessed as needing a level access shower, you will not be able to use your award for a property that does not have this. If you have a need for multiple adaptations and it is unlikely that we will be able to meet that need fully from a vacant property, we will assess on an individual basis if the property that you have applied for will be suitable; it should have at least two of the recommended adaptations. We reserve the right to withdraw an offer of property if we deem it to be unsuitable - this will take into account the cost and time to assess and fit new or alternative adaptations. If you have been assessed with a specific medical need that can only be addressed by a specific property type, we also reserve the right to withdraw offers of unsuitable properties that have been won by using other housing priorities or waiting time.

b) Some properties have an age requirement. This can be waived on medical grounds if there is medical evidence to show that you would not be able to manage in any other property.

c) The tenancy of an adapted property will be in the name of the person requiring the adaptations. If that person is under 18, a flexible tenancy may be used to ensure that the person requiring the adaptations can remain in that property on a long-term basis.

d) If you are already living in a property that has been adapted by the council and request to move to an alternative property that is not adapted to meet your needs, the council may refuse to fund additional adaptations. You must give due consideration to your needs and how you will manage in your new home if it is not adapted. Upon applying for rehousing you must declare the fact that you are in an adapted property to ensure that your ongoing needs are considered and that you receive advice regarding your rights and responsibilities regarding provisions within your new home.

e) Adapted properties are let firstly to those with a medical priority need. Where there is no demand, it will be let to those requiring the adaptations but have no priority need. In this way we are able to house those who are suitably housed but need the adaptations.

5.3.6 People with carers

Full-time carers

People with full-time, live-in care provided by family or friends are required to include the carer on their application. The carer will be subject to registration checks and will be counted in terms of eligibility for property size and type. A carer will not be added to the application if the individual's details are not provided.

Where a social care 'Assessment of Need' has identified a need for overnight care, which is to be provided by a support provider and does not include "sleepover" (that is, the carer is working and required to stay awake), the carer will be looked upon as conducting a nightshift. As they would not be expected to sleep during this time, additional bedroom requirements would not be recognised.

Where a social care 'Assessment of Need' has identified a need for regular, long term or permanent overnight care, which is to be provided by a support provider and includes "sleepover" duties, the eligibility for property size and type will be amended accordingly.

Part-time carers

Carers who provide casual or occasional assistance when required will not be recognised as a household member and additional bedroom requirements will not generally be recognised.

Priority award

The award looks at the bedroom requirement because of the need for a carer if there is a health priority and/or the locality of both households and their need to be in a particular area. They can:

a. Live together and be assessed for an additional bedroom.

b. Live in their own homes but relocate to be closer together. If one lives in Gateshead and the other lives in another borough, they may consider a home in each other's areas to see who is successful first. Or it may be that one area is better for you both because it is near a particular doctor, or hospital, or other support.

Verification

To verify the need for a full-time or part-time carer, we will use a variety of sources. This may include any of the following: confirmation of carer allowance, medical advice, recognition by a professional body or confirmation by social care.

5.3.7 Anti-social behaviour

We assess ASB in terms of priority need as follows:

AwardASB description
CriticalWhere someone has experienced or been threatened with violence which poses a threat to life.
UrgentWhere the ASB has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the victim, and this is supported by a medical or health professional.
SubstantialWhere the ASB is ongoing and unresolved.

We will look at the circumstances of each case and consider whether housing the perpetrator, victim and/or any witnesses should be taken into consideration. The severity, the threat to life and the quality of life are all considered when making an assessment. We will investigate the nature of the case and may rely on third party reports to provide us with the evidence needed to assess the application.

5.3.8 Decants

Where a social landlord identifies a property for demolition, sale, regeneration or major repairs, and the tenant needs to be rehoused either permanently or temporarily, alternative accommodation will first be sought within the landlord's own stock. If this is not possible, the tenant will be asked to complete an application to find them alternative accommodation of a size suitable to their household size. The move will be identified as permanent or temporary. If you need to move within six months, you will be placed in the critical band and if you have more time than six months you will be placed in the urgent band. We rely on landlord reports to evidence the level of priority.

To prioritise between bids from applicants within this category, consideration will be given to the date that the priority was awarded. In circumstances where more than one applicant with the same award date bids for the same property, the applicant with the longest tenancy at their current home will be considered first. In the unlikely situation where the length of tenancy is equal, the length of registration on the housing register will be used as the deciding factor.

5.3.9 Overcrowding

You will only be deemed overcrowded if you exceed the allocation rules set out in section 5.1.

Generally, we would consider that bedrooms large enough to hold a standard double bed and wardrobe will be counted as 2 bed spaces (or a double bedroom). Rooms smaller than this, but large enough to hold a standard single bed and wardrobe would count as a 1 bed space (or a single room). 

A parlour (dining room or other reception room) will be considered as a bedroom provided it is a separate room and the only access route does not involve passing through another room. 

If a bedroom is shown to be under the sizes set out in the space standard (appendix 3) we will assess overcrowding and qualification for an overcrowding priority award in accordance with the occupation criteria set out in legislation. Best use of spaces (as detailed in section 5.1.1 and below) will also be taken into consideration.

AwardOvercrowding criteria
CriticalIf you require three or more bedspaces and/or you meet the definition of statutory overcrowding as defined in the Housing Act 1985.
UrgentIf you require two bedspaces, or a child (under 18) is sharing a bedroom with a parent/guardian due to a lack of bedspace.
SubstantialIf you require one additional bedspace.

We will apply the following rules when making an overcrowding award:

  • Members of a household will be included in overcrowding assessments once they have been living there on a permanent basis for six months. The exceptions to this rule are babies born into the household, people leaving institutional settings and people who have deliberately worsened their circumstances
  • If a member of the household has given up suitable housing, they will not be included when an assessment of overcrowding is made for six months
  • An assessment would be carried out, taking into account how many bed spaces are available to you, compared to how many bed spaces you need
  • Best use of space would be taken into consideration; therefore where an adult can sleep in a single room to free up a double room for two children this would be an expectation of the household and would be taken into account
  • Where larger homes are advertised, the council reserve the right to allocate to the largest families first
  • For families wanting to be housed together but who have to currently live apart due to lack of space, an overcrowding assessment will be completed as though all persons were living in the largest home
  • Anyone living outside of Gateshead will not be eligible for an overcrowding assessment. These applicants will need to speak to their own landlord for confirmation of the arrangements in their area
  • Where a household contains adult children who are requesting their own accommodation, all members within the household will be taken into account for the overcrowding assessment. If that same household has an application for everyone to move to a larger property, only those without their own applications will be considered as part of the assessment, as they will have a long-term intention to remain in that household
  • We will not award an overcrowding priority where the household splits following a relationship breakdown

5.3.10 Foster carers and safeguarding children

A priority award will be given where a recommendation is made within the council in the following circumstances:

a) fostering arrangements have been confirmed but the home of the foster carer, connected carer who live as part of the permanent household or adoptive parent is too small - urgent

b) children in households with domestic abuse will be routinely referred to children services and their recommendation will be factored into priority awarded

c) to prevent a child going into care - critical

d) to safeguard a child covered under the legislation - critical

e) placement of a child by the council where the guardian, parent, connected carer who live as part of the permanent household or adoptive parent does not have a suitable property - urgent

5.3.11 Young people and care leavers (age 16 + extended to age 24 if in further education)

Young people in local authority care will be assessed for housing into permanent accommodation when children services have agreed the young person is ready. An urgent priority will be awarded once we have been notified that the young person is ready to move, and an application has been submitted.

Young people referred via our supported pathway will be considered under urgent priority.

5.3.12 Financial hardship

If you are experiencing financial hardship which is directly affected by the cost of your housing and a move to a property with a lower rent would alleviate or eliminate this problem, we will a consider awarding an urgent priority. You will need to demonstrate that you have been in receipt of debt advice and provide us with an income and expenditure form which demonstrates that moving you is the only option and there are no other expenses that can be eliminated.

5.3.13 Under occupation

If you are an existing social housing tenant and are currently underoccupying your home and wish to surrender it for a smaller property suitable to your housing need, you may be considered for an urgent priority award.

The following criteria will be used to assess your suitability but may be disregarded (in part) if your home is needed urgently for another household: 

  • you have no breaches of tenancy, including investigations for anti-social behaviour and no pending investigations (affordability issues will be taken into consideration if rent arrears have occurred as a result of the property being too large)
  • your property is in a reasonable condition
  • your current home is not scheduled for sale or demolition
  • you have at least one more bedroom than you need
  • you are requesting a move to a property type that is frequently available

5.3.14 Releasing or needing a specialist (adapted) property

We will award an urgent priority in order to release adapted or supported housing which is in short supply in order to allocate it to someone who needs it and is currently on the housing register.

The following circumstances apply:

  • if you live in an adapted property and have no further need of the adaptations and would like to be rehoused
  • if you need an adapted property, it will be reviewed alongside your medical assessment - where no medical award is given, you will not be prioritised for an adapted property
  • if you live in supported accommodation and have no further need of this type and wish to be rehoused
  • you are releasing a high demand property

5.3.15 Service accommodation

Council officers who have accommodation as part of their employment are said to be in tied accommodation. They may join the housing register in one of the following situations:

a) they are retiring, resigning or being redeployed

b) they have been dismissed

c) they have died and their partner or family member who has lived with them as a permanent member of the household for at least two years needs to be rehoused

d) the property has been identified for redevelopment, demolition or sale

Officers or their families needing rehousing will be placed in a priority band that reflects the urgency of their need to move and their employment date will be their resignation date. If it is possible to allocate them to the property they are in, and it meets their need, this will be their permanent offer of accommodation. The property will become part of the general housing stock. Where they are moving to another property, they will pay a use and occupation charge in their current property following the end of their employment until they vacate. Officers who have been dismissed will receive an offer of accommodation within 4 weeks of their dismissal date. If they refuse, the council may take legal action to gain possession of the property.

5.3.16 Succession

There are two scenarios where a new tenancy may need to be granted to an existing tenant around succession and both will fall into the urgent priority band.

a. an occupant is not entitled to succeed, but where they have applied for a discretionary succession where we may offer them a tenancy in the same or a different property

b. an occupant is entitled to succeed, but the property is under occupied or reserved for older people or those needing adaptations - in these circumstances we can offer alternative accommodation and, if they refuse to move, we can issue possession proceedings

5.3.17 Children in blocks

Children under the age of five in multi-storey blocks, and children under the age of five who live in blocks on or above the third floor with no lift, will be awarded a substantial priority. We will not allocate properties of this kind to households with children under the age of 16.

5.3.18 Move on agencies and key worker schemes

The council provides permanent housing to people in specialist short-term housing who have completed a period of support to allow them to live independently. We also work with external agencies to rehouse applicants who are referred directly to us. Where they are ready to move, we will award an urgent priority, and where they are not yet ready to move, we will award a substantial priority. This may include applicants with mental health needs, young people or people with complex and multiple needs or people coming from supported accommodation.

Key workers are defined as those people who provide essential services necessary for continued economic growth or to sustain the quality of life within the borough. They too will be awarded a substantial priority award in recognition of the difficulty in recruiting and retaining key workers. Where there is a skill shortage involving groups of people, a strategic decision will be made at director level. We do not have schemes of this nature at present.

5.4 Housing priority bands

Each application is assessed in accordance with their housing need as outlined in the previous section. Once they have been assessed they are placed into one of the four priority need bands.

Critical priority - households in emergency need with an immediate threatUrgent priority - urgent need but no immediate threat to the householdSubstantial priority - housing need with no requirement for urgent interventionGeneral priority - No priority housing need

s193 main homeless duty

homeless prevention dutyintentional homeless duty (at main duty stage)all other applicants
s189 relief homeless dutyunder occupationnon-priority homeless duty (at main duty stage)out of borough applicants
witness protectionfostering/social care placementschildren - blocks with a lift 
public protectionsuccession  

property condition - serious risk of harm

Property condition - serious disrepair or lacking essential amenitiesproperty condition - disrepair or lacking amenities 

critical medical priority - discharge from/avoid being taken into hospital or respite care

urgent medical priority - serious and/or debilitating illnesssubstantial medical priority 

threatened with being taken into care

care leaver/move on (ready to move)care leaver/move on (not ready to move) 
ASB - threat to lifeASB - significant impact on health and wellbeingASB - ongoing 

decants - need to move in the next six months

decants - need to move is more than six months awaykey workers 

overcrowded - by three or more bedspaces

overcrowded - by two bedspaces or where a child has to share a bedroom with a parent/guarding due to lack of a bedspaceovercrowded - by one bedspace 
 serious financial hardship  
 adapted property - needed or releasing  
 service accommodation - imminent end of contractservice accommodation - non imminent end of contract 

 

5.5 Placement in the band

Accumulative need: We operate an accumulative need banded system. This means if you have more than one priority award for being in a band you will sit above someone with a single priority award.

Time waited

You will be placed in the priority band in effective band date order.

Demotions

If you have a demoted application, we will place you at the bottom of the band that you qualify for by effective band date.

Application review

Your applications will be reviewed in line with the band you have been placed in, see section 7.3.1.

5.6 Determination of effective band date

To determine your effective band date, and provided verification is not delayed, we use the following:

a) When you submit your first application, your registration date will be your effective band date. For members of the armed forces your registration date will be your enlistment date if you are applying within five years of being discharged. For officers who were provided accommodation as a condition of the employment, their employment date will be their registration date.

b) If there is a change of circumstances and your priority need changes and you go up a band, we will use the date you were assessed for your new priority.

c) If there is a change of circumstances and your priority need changes and you go down a band, we will use the same effective band date you had in your original band, not the date we moved you down.

d) If you have more than one priority need award in the same band, the one that was awarded earliest will be your effective band date.

e) Our housing register is contained within a system that takes into account the date, hour, minute and second. Therefore, it is extremely rare for someone to have the exact same effective band date in the same band. In the unlikely event that it does happen, we will consider the type of priority awarded and the urgency of the priority to determine who will be allocated the property.

5.7 Notification of your assessment

Once an application has been assessed the applicant will be notified in writing of the following:

a. the priority you have been awarded and the effective band date

b. the size and type of property you qualify for

c. how to place a bid for a property

d. your housing register number

e. your review date

f. what to do if you disagree with the decision - see Part 7

Part 6: Advertising and lettings

6.1 Choice based lettings (advertised properties)

Most properties will be advertised through the choice-based lettings system. Once advertised, anyone who is registered can express an interest in these properties by placing a bid.

A proportion of the properties will be advertised for households with a priority need and a proportion will be advertised to applicants with waiting time. The proportions may vary in order to enable the council to meet its statutory duties. Adapted homes are not included in this proportion. We will consider property availability and demand before deciding the proportions.

The proportionality is reviewed annually. The current proportion is shown in appendix 5.

6.2 Direct lets protocol

If you have a housing need you will be expected to bid for properties that have been advertised. In addition to this we will consider a direct let based on need rather than preference where this would:

  • rehouse you quickly where there is an imminent need
  • assist with the placement of vulnerable households
  • assist with the management of properties identified as sensitive
  • reduce the cost of temporary housing
  • reduce the risk of harm to a household

Only a small proportion of properties will be let in this way. The direct let will be made to households already on the housing register. Where someone is vulnerable or needs careful placement for their protection or the protection of the community, assistance will be provided when they bid to ensure the property is suitable. A direct let will be made only if necessary to meet the criteria listed above.

6.3 How you will know which properties are available

Properties will be advertised in several different ways. Upon registration you will be informed of how and where to find this information. Registered providers will also advertise their properties on the same system. Each advert will contain the name of the landlord.

6.4 How you will know which properties you can express an interest in

Applicants can express interest in up to three advertised properties per week. The advert will contain a description of the property, name the landlord so you know if it is us or another landlord, provide the rent and service charge so you will be able to assess if you can afford it and confirm any arrangements for pets. The advert will say if it is a priority need advert or a time waited advert; all eligible applicants can bid on properties advertised as priority need, however we will prioritise those with a need above those with no priority need. Similarly if the property is to be targeted for someone with a medical need or need for specific adaptation preference would initially be given to households that match those criteria. If there are no such matching bidders, we will endeavour to identify other housing applicants who may benefit from the type and size of property as well as any adaptations installed before consideration is given to applicants with no recognised housing need. 

6.4.1 Assisted bidding

Where someone is vulnerable or needs additional help placing bids to ensure the property is suitable for their needs, you will receive assistance, either from the homeless team, your support worker, your advocate, the probation service (if relevant) or the lettings service. This is because we recognise that it is important to manage the process to get the best result for you when bidding for a suitable property, especially when assisting homeless households. This is called assisted bidding.

6.4.2 Auto bidding

Where someone who is vulnerable or unable to bid for themselves and has no one to do it for them would like their assisted bidding to be done automatically we will allow them to register for auto bidding. The system is given instructions on the properties that will match your housing need and then it bids on your behalf. This will assist greatly with the rapid placement of bids for households that need to be housed quickly. The auto bids are like an advance expression of interest.

6.4.3 Grouped bids

We will use a single advert for identical properties. Where there are grouped advertisements, applicants who place one bid will be considered for all properties within the group.

6.4.4 Retrospective bids

Where the choice-based lettings system is unavailable for 30 minutes or more, we may allow a retrospective bid to be placed after the closing date. These are rare and only by prior arrangement with the council and the landlord who has advertised the property. Retrospective bids cannot be placed later than 24 hours after the closing date.

6.4.5 Failure to bid

If you are registered in the critical, urgent or substantial bands, we have recognised your need to move to another property. If you do not bid for a suitable property, your application may be reassessed and assigned a lower priority award. We will consider the reasons you have failed to bid and professional advice before lowering any awards.

6.5 How applicants' bids are ranked

For those properties advertised with preference to housing need, preference will be given to those with priority need,. Eligible bids are ranked by band and then the effective band date within it. We will give preference to those who have multiple priority awards over those with a single priority need. In bands three and four, demoted applicants will be considered after undemoted cases. The order will run from band one to band four.

For those properties advertised with preference to longest waiting time, eligible bids are ranked in order of earliest date of registration, regardless of band. Bids from demoted applicants will only be considered and ranked after bids from non-demoted applicants have been considered first.

On the rare occasions where we exhaust the list and are unable to allocate a property from the bids, we will re advertise it and may consider a relaxation of the lettings criteria to enable us to let the property. If the property belongs to a registered provider, their agreement with the council will govern this area.

To ensure that best use is made of the housing stock, where an adapted property is advertised, applicants will be ranked in order of the need for the adaptations, the need for the type and size of property and the effective band date. If there are no appropriate bidders, we will endeavour to identify other housing applicants who may benefit from the type and size of property as well as any adaptations installed before consideration is given to applicants with no recognised priority need.

6.6 How you will know if your expression of interest has been successful

If your bid is successful, you will be contacted shortly after the closing date to arrange a viewing of the property. If the property belongs to a registered provider, you will be following their lettings process and they will contact you direct.

We will not contact you if you are unsuccessful. However, our publications will give general feedback on all lettings to help you make more informed expressions of interest in the future.

6.7 Offer of accommodation

An offer of accommodation must be deemed suitable. This will take into consideration:

  • household type and size
  • property type, size and condition
  • medical need
  • area in relation to employment and education
  • affordability

Only one property can be offered at a time - an applicant successfully bidding for more than one property in one week or across several weeks will be allowed to choose which property is to proceed to an offer. However, that decision must be made at the point of being informed of the second or subsequent successful bid.

An offer is made in writing (often sent by email) containing all the details of the property. If you view before an offer is made, an offer letter will be sent after the viewing. It will be subject to a clear rent account or where the applicant is reducing the debt in line with a repayment arrangement.

As a consideration of any offer you may be required to set up a repayment plan for any former council arrears. 

Transfer offers are subject to a successful pre-termination visit to ensure they have adhered to the terms and conditions of their tenancy agreement when handing their property back to their landlord.

6.8 Refusals

The council does not penalise applicants who refuse an offer of accommodation, except for homeless applicants who receive one offer only and refusal may result in a discharge of duty. However, we do expect applicants to understand that by refusing they will increase their waiting time and if they are currently awarded critical or urgent priority need, they may receive a direct offer which, if refused, will trigger a review of their application and may result in a lower priority.

6.9 Sensitive lets

Sensitive lets are rare and likely to be due to two main reasons:

1. Where a household requires careful placement for their safety or the safety of others, we may need to consider where we place to minimise any risks.

2. Where a property has a management history which requires the careful selection of the next tenant to ensure harmony in the area where it is located. In these cases we may target the advert and select only the most suitable applicants.

6.10 Housing with support or extra care

Some accommodation is designed specifically for older people or people who need a specific type of care or support. There is a charge in addition to the rent. They may also have extra care provision. If the property is advertised as choice-based letting, the advert will be clear who can apply. Some schemes are not advertised and are subject to a direct let.

The older people schemes are designed for those with a minimum age. Gateshead actively sets age restrictions on some of its properties to meet demand. The properties with these restrictions are listed in appendix 4.

In exceptional circumstances, younger people may be considered for older people schemes, if they require support and other types of accommodation are not suitable. Applicants for these schemes will be subject to a landlord need and risk assessment to ensure they meet the eligibility for the scheme.

6.11 Local letting provision

Sometimes areas or property types are subject to local lettings arrangements agreed with the council at the time the property was built or subsequently once they are in management. These are monitored annually and measured for their impact on the main policy.

a) Local lettings plans

Section 167(2E) of the 1996 Housing Act enables housing authorities to allocate certain accommodation to people of a particular description, whether or not they have a priority need. Specific allocations may be considered when made to a particular estate or community. They are used to achieve a wide variety of housing management and other housing policy objectives and are usually developed where there is a wish to alter the balance of the community or ensure a balanced community. For a list of the current local lettings' plans see appendix 6.

b) Rural lettings schemes

In areas which are officially defined as either villages or rural parishes, the rural lettings scheme may apply. The allocation will be made to the applicant with the highest priority. Where there is equal priority, the allocation will be given to the applicant that demonstrates the greatest connection to the community, which is assessed by:

a) how long the applicant has resided in the community

b) how long the applicant has been employment in the community

c) how long the applicant has been involved in voluntary work within the community

c) Section 106 Agreements

Properties developed on sites that incorporate a Section 106 agreement determining the allocation of housing on that site will be let in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Such agreements have been developed to ensure that secure mechanisms are in place to restrict the occupancy of the dwelling both on first occupation and in perpetuity to those who have a local community need for an affordable dwelling.

6.12 Tenancy determination

A tenancy determination involves identifying what type of tenancy you will be granted. Each landlord will have a tenancy management policy which will outline the tenancies they grant. You will be told in advance of the tenancy type and the conditions attached to the agreement.

The general principles will be:

1. If you have never held a social tenancy before, or we feel you will benefit from support in the first year of your tenancy, you will be granted an Introductory Tenancy for 12 months; and provided you adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement, this will convert to a secure tenancy at the end of the period. For registered providers this will be a starter tenancy for 12 months and if this has gone well, it will covert to an assured tenancy. Both introductory and starter tenancies are subject to periodic reviews and if things have not gone well, the landlord may extend this for a further six months provided they have given notice.

2. If you currently hold a lifetime tenancy, you will be granted another lifetime tenancy. This will be a secure tenancy for council tenants and an assured tenancy for registered providers.

3. If you have come through a homeless scheme and a flexible tenancy is one of the conditions, you will be granted a flexible tenancy for a period of time to allow you to settle in to your home and adhere to the conditions stated in your tenancy agreement. Flexible tenancies are usually short term and granted for a fixed term ranging between two or five years. Provided everything has gone well, a lifetime tenancy will be granted in the same property where possible.

4. Flexible tenancies may also be used in very large properties where they are in very short supply or adapted properties where the landlord has spent large amounts of money to install the adaptations. In most cases these will be for five years and, as they approach the end, you will be assessed for your housing need. If you still need this type of accommodation, a further flexible tenancy will be granted. If you no longer need this type of accommodation, your priority need will be assessed and you will be placed back on the housing register so that you can bid for a more suitable property.

6.13 Tenancy sustainment

We want people to be live happily in their homes and recognise that you may need support and assistance to sustain your tenancy. The Allocations Policy is designed to support longer-term solutions for people, and this means making it possible for them to stay in the home of their choice and one that meets their need.

We wish to ensure that we do everything practically possible to promote tenancy sustainment by:

  • ensuring a household is correctly routed to the right team when they approach the council for housing
  • considering the support needs, both immediately and longer term when you have your new home
  • taking all necessary measures to safeguard you and your household
  • signposting you to employment, education and health advice where you have indicated a need
  • working across all landlords to promote this approach
  • assessing your housing priority correctly
  • working with you and your landlord if your application is demoted, to provide you with the support and skills to address the behaviour that resulted in the demotion
  • working with you and your landlord if your tenancy is failing and it is not possible to save it, to find a solution, which may include a safe surrender agreement
  • granting the right kind of tenancy for your needs
  • ensuring you can afford the rent
  • ensuring the property suits your needs
  • if you need specialist housing, assessing this at the earliest opportunity
  • safeguarding community balance when allocating properties

6.14 Publicising lettings

We will review our performance and use it to predict the type of accommodation needed by people on the housing register, and to provide you with information on the time you may wait for certain types of properties.

Part 7: Decisions, complaints and reviews

7.1 Making a decision

When we make a decision in relation to your application we will do so in writing/email, giving a reason for the decision and the information we based the decision on. Where we are aware that additional support is needed in conveying the decision, we will take all practical steps to ensure we communicate the decision in a format that is acceptable to the applicant.

The types of decisions we might make:

  • the decision that confirms or denies your eligibility to join
  • the decision that confirms or denies whether you qualify
  • the decisions to accept or refuse a duty under the homeless legislation
  • the decision that awards your priority housing need
  • the decision that confirms the type of property your priority award makes you eligible to bid for
  • the decision to reassess your application as reduced preference
  • the decision to reassess your application following a change of circumstance
  • if you are homeless and refuse a property, the decision as to whether that refusal was unreasonable and whether to limit future offers
  • the decision to cancel your application
  • the decision to deny or uphold a review

It is important to understand the following:

  1. If you provide evidence that you did not provide for your original assessment. This is a change in circumstance.
  2. If you think we failed to follow our policy or stated process, or you simply feel we could have handled your application better. This is a complaint.
  3. If you disagree with a homeless decision under Part 7 of the legislation. This is a s202 statutory right of review.
  4. If you disagree with your priority award under Part 6 of the legislation or the decision to place you in reduced preference. This is a statutory right of review.
  5. If you have complied with the terms applied to your reduced preference and we then reassess your application. This is a registration review.

7.2 Complaints

If you think we failed to follow our policy or stated process, or you simply feel we could have handled your application better and you wish to make a complaint, then you should follow the council's published complaints procedure.

If you wish to complain about your landlord or the landlord of the property you have been allocated to, please use their complaints policy.

7.3 Reviews

Reviews fall into one of the following categories:

Review typeDescription
Application reviewThis review is initiated by the council in order to manage and maintain an application on the housing register and review your banding.

Statutory right of review (formerly known as appeals)

Where an applicant disagrees with a decision in relation to their housing application, you have a statutory right of review. Requests for reviews received after the 21-day timescale will be refused unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Legal reviewThis review is initiated in Court where an applicant has taken legal action or lodged a s204 review following an upheld decision on a s202 review.

 

7.3.1 Registration reviews

To ensure that applications on the housing register are maintained in accordance with their given priority need, we review applications. It is important that you respond within the time permitted otherwise you risk having your priority removed and/or having your application cancelled. The table below shows the frequency of registration reviews.

Review typeReview frequency
CriticalThese applications will be reviewed every four weeks. This ties in with homeless prevention and relief duties. These are critical cases and should not retain the highest level of priority indefinitely as factors in relation to their circumstances usually change rapidly.

Urgent

These applications will be reviewed every six months. In this way the priority need can be monitored as circumstances often change rapidly.
SubstantialThese applications will be reviewed every 12 months in line with good practice.
GeneralThese applications will also be reviewed every 12 months in line with good practice.
Spontaneous reviewsThese arise from time to time as a result of being alerted to a change in circumstance.
Reduced preferenceApplicants on reduced preference terms will be reviewed at six months to see whether they now qualify.

 

7.3.2 Statutory Right of Review

All applicants who have received a decision in relation to their housing have the right to a statutory review. This must be done in writing within 21 days of the decision setting out the reason(s) for the review. Typical decisions are covered in section 7.1. New evidence will not be treated as a review but a change in circumstance. Statutory reviews will be handled by a senior officer who was not involved in the original decision and their findings will be approved by a senior manager in the council. The decision is final.

The possible outcomes will be:

OutcomeDescription
Decision upheldThe reviewing officer agrees with the original decision, and it stands.

Decision partially upheld

The reviewing officer agrees with part(s) of the original decision which may force a reassessment, or it may be decided that there is no material impact and the original decision stands
Decision deniedThe reviewing officer disagrees with the original decision and a reassessment will be undertaken.

 The review types in relation to homeless decisions are called section 202 and are set out in section 19.3 of the Homeless Code of Guidance for Local Authorities, which also outlines the timescales for each prescribed review.

7.3.3 Legal review and judicial challenges

Where an individual or organisation feels the council's Allocations Policy is unfairly prejudicial, or their case has been dealt with in a prejudicial manner, they may wish to take legal action. They should seek independent advice before doing so. Where an applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome of a s202 review, they should take legal advice before doing so.

A court may deem the Allocations Policy or the way an application was prioritised as non-compliant with legislation and direct the council to undertake a review. This represents a judicial challenge.

Appendix 1: Lettings outside of the Allocations Policy

Lettings where a tenancy is created outside of the Allocations Policy include:

a) Conversion of an introductory tenancy: to a secure tenancy under S125 Housing Act 1996

b) Family intervention tenancies: Introduced by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, these are a form of residential tenancy without security of tenure. They may be offered by either a local housing authority or a registered provider to anyone who is a tenant of a lifetime tenancy subject to or could in the future be subject to a possession order on the grounds of anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse

c) Discretionary succession (tenancies): Tenants who are awarded a new tenancy under the landlord's discretionary succession provision

d) Non-secure tenancies or temporary accommodation: Any accommodation that is provided to meet an interim duty under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996

e) Temporary decants: Tenants who need to be moved temporarily whilst major work is carried out on their home will be granted a licence to occupy

f) Mutual exchanges: Between existing tenants under S92 of the Housing Act 1985 or under S158 of the Localism Act 2011

g) Assignment: To a person who would be qualified to succeed the tenant under S92 of the Housing Act 1985 (secure tenancies) or S134 Housing Act 1996 (introductory tenancies)

h) Transfers of tenancies by a court order: Made under certain provisions contained within matrimonial, family, children, and partnership legislation

i) Land Compensation Act: Allocation to a person entitled to rehousing under section 39 of the Land Compensation Act 1973

j) Repurchased Homes: Allocation to a person whose home is repurchased under sections 554 or 555 of the Housing Act 1985 (defective dwellings)

k) Transfers: Within a landlord's stock, where the unit has not been made available to the council

Appendix 2: Current resettlement schemes

The Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF)

The LAHF provides funding to local authorities to assist with accommodation pressures in relation to Afghan and Ukraine resettlement schemes. Properties acquired through this funding scheme can only be allocated on first let to those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or who live in unsuitable temporary accommodation and are on the following schemes:

  • Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
  • Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)
  • Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS)
  • Homes for Ukraine (HFU)
  • Ukraine Extension Scheme (UES)

United Kingdom Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)

The resettlement scheme includes families from Syria and other areas of the Middle East and Northern Africa. The programme runs over a five-year period with families and individuals entitled to support for up to five years.

Afghan Relocation Programme (ARAP)

The resettlement programme is for those who were working with the British Army. It was introduced to assist with the relocation of former locally employed staff and runs over a three-year period, with individuals entitled to support for up to three years.

Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)

The resettlement programme is for Afghan Citizens fleeing the war in Afghanistan. The programme runs over a three-year period, with individuals entitled to support for up to three years.

Homes for Ukraine (HFU)

The Home Office launched Homes for Ukraine in March 2022. This scheme differs from the normal resettlement programmes as it relies on members of the public hosting individuals and families from Ukraine. The local authority is responsible for completing all safeguarding checks, including disclosure and barring (DBS) and property checks. The hosts are required to commit to a six-month hosting period, after which individuals and families have three options:

OptionDescription
1Stay with their current host for a further six months
2Are re-matched to another host for six months
3Leave the scheme and look for their own accommodation either via the homelessness route or private rented accommodation.

 

Appendix 3: Definition of overcrowding

Under the legislation and regulation and for the purposes of defining overcrowding, two standards can be applied:

The room standard

The room standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling and the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation is such that two persons of opposite sexes who are not living together as partners must sleep in the same room. Children under the age of ten are excluded from this definition. A room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a bedroom or as a living room.

The space standard

The space standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling is more than the permitted number, having regard to the number and floor area of the rooms of the dwelling available as sleeping accommodation. A child under the age of one year and a child aged one year or over but under ten shall be reckoned as half of a unit. A room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a living room or as a bedroom. Gateshead uses the space standard.

No account shall be taken for the purposes of either standard of a room having a floor area of less than 50 square feet.

Floor area of room (square feet)Number of persons
110 or more2
90 or more but less than 1101.5
70 or more but less than 901
50 or more but less than 700.5

 

Appendix 4: Property age restrictions

Due to changes in demand for property types throughout the borough of Gateshead, age limits exist for certain property types. The table below shows the age restrictions.

Pensher StreetBungalow1 BedNo Age Restriction
Ellison Main GardensBungalow1 BedNo Age Restriction
DenesideBungalow1 Bed40
West AcresBungalow1 Bed40
Cheshire AvenueFlat1 Bed50
EmmavilleFlat1 Bed50
Leyburn PlaceFlat1 Bed50
GreenfieldsFlat1 Bed50
Bensham CourtFlatAll flats50
Regent CourtFlatAll flats40
Crocus CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Daffodil CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Lily CloseBungalow1 Bed60
MosspoolBungalow1 Bed60
Boltons BungalowsBungalow1 Bed60
Simpson Memorial HomesBungalow1 Bed60
Denton ViewBungalow1 Bed60
A J Cooks CottagesBungalow1 Bed60
William Morris AvenueBungalow1 Bed60
South LeaBungalow1 Bed60
Springwell CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Hawesdale CrescentBungalow1 Bed60
Rydal CrescentBungalow1 Bed60
Burnside RoadBungalow1 Bed60
Leazes ViewBungalow1 Bed60
Woodlands RoadBungalow1 Bed60
Broom CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Conifer CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Whinney CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Kells WayBungalow1 Bed60
South SherburnBungalow1 Bed60
Garesfield GardensBungalow1 Bed60
LilleycroftBungalow1 Bed60
Norwood CrescentBungalow1 Bed60
Southwood CrescentBungalow1 Bed60
Thistley GreenBungalow1 Bed60
Wood GreenBungalow1 Bed60
Hall GardensBungalow1 Bed60
Rectory Road EastBungalow1 Bed60
Squires GardensBungalow1 Bed60
Garvey VillasBungalow1 Bed60
Kays CottagesBungalow1 Bed60
Square HousesBungalow1 Bed60
Joyce CloseBungalow1 Bed60
Yetholm RoadBungalow1 Bed60
Allerdene WalkBungalow1 Bed60
Lowfield WalkBungalow1 Bed60
Albert PlaceBungalow1 Bed60
Boldon GardensBungalow1 Bed60
Easington AvenueBungalow1 Bed60
Ebchester AvenueBungalow1 Bed60
Hedworth PlaceBungalow1 Bed60
Simonside PlaceBungalow1 Bed60
Washington GardensBungalow1 Bed60
Milvain CloseFlat1 Bed60

All other bungalows are available to anyone over the age of 50.

All other flats will be advertised to anyone over the age of 18.

Appendix 5: Percentage of advertised properties

To meet the council's statutory duties, a proportion of properties will be advertised indicating that preference will be given to those applicants with a recognised housing need.

The table below indicates the current proportion of properties advertised with preference to those who have a recognised housing need. The remaining properties are advertised and let based on the longest waiting time (regardless of category of housing need).

The first figure in the proportion refers to the number to be advertised with preference to those with a recognised housing need. For example, for every five two-bed bungalows available to let, four will be advertised with preference to those in priority need (four in five).

 SizeProportion
Houses4 Beds100% to need
Houses3 Beds4 in 5
Houses2 Beds4 in 5
Houses1 Bed4 in 5
Bungalow2 Bed4 in 5
Bungalow1 Bed3 in 10 
Flats3 Bed1 in 10 
Flats2 Bed3 in 5
Flats1 Bed4 in 5
Bedsit Flat0 Bed1 in 4
MaisonettesAll100% to waiting time
Sheltered2 Bed1 in 2
Sheltered1 Bed4 in 10

Last updated June 2023

Appendix 6: Local lettings plans

Angel Court

To be considered for Angel Court applicants must:

  • be aged 60 or over
  • have a need for supported housing
  • have a daily need for assistance with personal care

Applicants will receive written confirmation from the council's Social Care Assessment Team stating if they meet these criteria.

Stage two

Each customer will be assessed based on the information they provide and on the level of care required with the following award levels:

  • high need: requiring support three or more times a day
  • medium need: requiring support twice a day
  • low need: requiring support once a day

Allocation of individual apartments

Vacancies will be allocated based on a quota to all three levels of need. Most vacancies will be advertised but there will be discretion to allocate some as a direct let where appropriate to meet urgent and/or exceptional circumstances where care is needed.

Deneside and Westacres

8 x 2 bed bungalows at 31-33 Deneside, 9-11 West Acres and 14-15 East Acres to be advertised and let to people over 60s or in medical need.

19 x 1 bed bungalows on the flatter part of the site at 5-11 Deneside, 34-37 Deneside, 10-13 East Acres and 12-15 West Acres to be advertised and let to people over the age of 50.

22 x 1 bed bungalows on the steeper part of the site at 16-20 West Acres, 1-7 West Acres, 38-43 Deneside and 1-4 Deneside to be advertised and let to people aged over 40

Within the scheme, residents over the age of 50 in the one-bedroom bungalows in area three will be given preference for the bungalows on the flatter parts of the site in area two over applicants who live outside the current scheme. Transfers would be allocated through ranked order of length of tenancy.

Emmaville

20 flats available to applicants over the age of 50. The properties are 17-20, 21-24, 25-28, 29-32 and 33-36. 

All tenants living in the first-floor flats will be given preference to move to the ground-floor flats provided they have registered a transfer and the flats have been advertised in band 2. 

Kibblesworth

There are 148 houses and bungalows built on the site of the council's Airey homes in Kibblesworth Village. 54 are being built for sale, and 94 for rent, of which 13 will be advertised as intermediate tenancies. The rent for the intermediate tenancies is set at 80% of market rent value and are intended for people who will buy them within five years. Existing Kibblesworth tenants were originally given the right to return, and the remaining units were advertised through choice-based lettings.

Preference is listed below and will consider local connection which is classified as anyone:

  • living in Kibblesworth village (and lived here for over 12 months)
  • working in Kibblesworth
  • needing to move into Kibblesworth to give support
  • needing to move into Kibblesworth to receive support

Bungalows

There are four specially designed disabled bungalows, and any vacancies will be advertised with preference to those with a medical need.

There are fourteen two-bedroomed bungalows and vacancies will be advertised as follows:

  1. preference to housing need
  2. preference to housing need plus local connection
  3. preference to housing need
  4. preference to Kibblesworth tenant downsizing
  5. waiting time

Two-bedroom houses

There are nineteen two-bedroomed houses and vacancies will be advertised as follows:

  1. preference to housing need
  2. waiting time
  3. preference to housing need plus local connection
  4. preference to housing need
  5. preference to housing need
  6. waiting time plus local connection
  7. preference to housing need
  8. preference to housing need plus local connection
  9. waiting time
  10. preference to housing need

Three-bedroom houses

There are 45 three-bedroomed houses and vacancies will be advertised as follows:

  1. preference to housing need
  2. preference to housing need plus local connection
  3. waiting time
  4. preference to housing need

Every third waiting time advert will be advertised as waiting time plus local connection.

Four-bedroom houses

There are ten four-bedroomed houses and vacancies will be advertised as follows:

  1. preference to housing need (three or more children)
  2. preference to housing need (three or more children) plus local connection
  3. preference to housing need (three or more children)

Five-bedroom houses

There are two five-bedroomed houses and vacancies will be advertised for housing need to households with five or more children.

Regent Court

Properties within Regent Court are actively marketed and let to new tenants aged 40 or over. Existing tenants within Regent Court aged less than 40 have the ability, if they wish, to respond to adverts and transfer within the block subject to compliance with their existing tenancy. In addition, properties in the block that have had the benefit of disabled adaptations will be advertised to applicants with medical need and will not be subject to an age restriction.

Bensham Court

Properties within Bensham Court are actively marketed and let to new tenants aged 50 or over. Existing tenants within Bensham Court aged less than 50 have the ability, if they wish, to respond to adverts and transfer within the block subject to compliance with their existing tenancy. In addition, properties in the block that have had the benefit of disabled adaptations will be advertised to applicants with medical need and will not be subject to an age restriction.