Qualifying and priority criteria for social housing

When we receive your online application we will first determine whether you qualify for housing. To qualify for an allocation of social housing in the borough you must:

  • Be eligible for an allocation of housing under immigration laws
  • Be 18 years old or over (55 or over for sheltered housing applicants)
  • Not have refused any offer or nomination of suitable accommodation within the last two years
  • Have a housing need (e.g. are overcrowded or the accommodation is not suitable for medical reasons) 
  • Not have been previously involved in using false information to obtain public funds (housing or benefits)
  • Not have made yourself intentionally homeless from your last home 
  • Have a good history of being able to manage a tenancy and pay your rent

For the full details on qualifying criteria for social housing see our Housing Allocation Scheme.

Housing waiting lists

We use nine different housing waiting lists (also known as queues). This helps us manage the demand and priority for re-housing. For the details on our different waiting lists see our Housing Allocation Scheme.

When we receive your online application and confirm you meet the above qualifying criteria we will then assess your circumstances. The majority of applicants wanting to join the waiting list will join one of the following queues:

  • General needs housing (for applicants who want to move from their current home into social housing)
  • Sheltered housing (for applicants over the age of 55 who want to move to one of our sheltered housing schemes)


We will assess what priority your housing circumstances should receive by using a points based system which is set out in the Housing Allocation Scheme.

Applicants who will receive higher priority for housing:

  • People whose current housing has a serious negative impact on their health
  • People who are living in severely overcrowded housing
  • People who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse
  • Other priority groups as defined in our Allocation Policy

Applicants who will be given a lower priority for housing:

  • People who have not been resident within the borough for three years immediately prior to making an application
  • People who own or jointly own accommodation in the UK or elsewhere
  • People whose income or savings are of a reasonable amount to get alternative suitable accommodation
  • You are a housing association tenant and have not made a transfer application to your HA directly

Position in the waiting list

The number of points you receive will determine your priority band for re-housing, with band A being the highest and band D being the lowest:

  • Band A - 300 points or more
  • Band B - 150 to 299 points
  • Band C - 50 to 149 points
  • Band D - 1 to 49 points

Your position within your priority band is based on the date your application was registered.