Breckland Council Housing Allocations Policy consultation December 2023

An allocations policy is a document that states how a local authority assesses and prioritises applicants for social housing for rent.

Social housing in Breckland is mostly owned by registered providers (Breckland Council owns only 15 properties for a specific purpose)  but the Council facilitates the allocation of social housing through its housing register, in partnership with the majority of registered providers that operate in Breckland.

Local authorities are required, by law, to have an allocations policy and to adhere to certain legislation and guidelines.  However, there is some scope to adapt an allocations policy based on  local contexts.

It is good practice to review an Allocations Policy periodically to take into account any new legislation as well as changes to the national landscape and local conditions.  Since the current policy was implemented, in early 2020, we have experienced considerable increase in demand on the council's housing services and a reduction in the number of social homes available for rent.

Many applicants to the housing register will, realistically, have little or no chance of being successful in applying for a property as there are not enough properties to meet the demand.  There are currently over 1,700 applicants, with only an average of 400-500 properties available each year.  The assessment of these applications takes considerable officer time and applicants gain no advantage by being on the housing register 'just in case'. 

Officers have carried out the following, in order to develop the proposed draft policy:

  1. Desk top research of other local authority allocations policies
  2. Interviews with Norfolk local authorities to understand how their newer policies were re-drafted and what the impact has been since introduction
  3. Group workshops with housing officers to understand their experiences, opinions and suggestions
  4. Multi agency workshops with partner landlords, support agencies, officers and members. 
  5. Review of the policy against the Code of Guidance for Allocations.

This document breaks down the existing Allocations Policy (2020) and shows feedback so far as well proposed changes and reasons for the proposal.

Table of Current Allocations Policy (Adopted March 2020) (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window) , with feedback from workshops, proposed policy changes and reasons.

This document is the draft policy as it would be with the suggested changes.

O & S Dec 23 Appendix C Breckland Allocations Policy - Draft December 2023 (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

We would welcome your feedback on the proposed changes and will take all of this into account when drafting the final version of the policy.  We know that there will be conflicting opinions and that we will not be able to meet the hopes of everyone who has an interest in this policy, but we will always aim to make the policy as fair and transparent as possible.

If you would like to provide feedback, please complete this questionnaire (opens new window). The closing date for this is Tuesday the 2nd of January.

Next steps

The final version will be taken to the Council's Cabinet and Full Council meetings for approval in February and will be implemented from the first of April onwards.  Existing applicants will be contacted about reassessment.

Last updated: 15/12/2023 16:14:49