Chelmsford City Council

Housing Allocations Policy consultation

We are currently reviewing our Housing Allocations Policy, and want to make changes so that the policy:

  • reflects the current demand for accommodation in the Chelmsford area

  • prioritises accommodation to the people that need it most

  • better manages the expectations of people on the Housing Register

Cabinet approved our proposed changes to the policy at their meeting on 3 July 2018.

We are now holding a final consultation to gather your feedback on the new policy.


Aims of the policy

The aims of the policy are to:

  • be simple, fair, transparent and understandable, and have due regard to the prevailing circumstances in the city
  • help applicants make informed, realistic decisions about their future housing prospects, and to better manage their expectations
  • minimise applications from households with little to no realistic chance of successfully finding a home through the Housing Register
  • ensure that applicants who can afford to find their own housing independently are expected to do so
  • promote the effective use of the housing stock made available from registered providers
  • reduce the use of emergency and temporary accommodation for homeless applicants
  • promote homelessness prevention by prioritising applicants who are threatened with homelessness
  • incentivise applicants to seek employment if they are able to work
  • encourage active participation for those able to bid using Choice Based Lettings
  • maximise the availability of lettings to applicants with a well-established local connection to Chelmsford


Download the policy

You can download our:

You can also download our new Tenancy Strategy, which supports the Housing Allocations Policy.


Taking part in the consultation

If you would like to provide feedback on the new Housing Allocations Policy or the Tenancy Strategy, you can contact us.

The consultation will close at 4pm on Tuesday 25 September. We will not consider any comments we receive after this.

Once the consultation has closed, we will consider the comments. Cabinet will then review the new policy later this year, and we will adopt it once they have approved it.


There is a high demand for social housing and affordable properties to rent in the Chelmsford area.

Last year, the number of properties available for social and affordable rent went down to 451. This means that the demand for housing is nine times the number of properties available to rent, with 4000 applicants on our Housing Register.

We work with housing associations to provide social and affordable accommodation in the Chelmsford area.

We also help to find temporary accommodation for people in need facing homelessness. This accommodation is not always in the Chelmsford area.

The Housing Register is a list of people who qualify for social housing and need our help to find somewhere to live. 

Our Housing Allocations Policy sets out who can apply to join the Housing Register and the qualification criteria. The criteria includes age, income and personal circumstances. Some applicants for housing have a legal right to join the register as a result of their particular circumstances. This is known as a statutory duty.

To join the Housing Register, applicants need to fill in an application form and provide the information we need to decide if they qualify.

When an applicant qualifies to join the Housing Register, we use the information they provided on their application to place them into a band. An applicant's Housing Register band is based on their housing need, as set out in our Housing Allocations Policy. 

The changes we want to make to our Housing Allocations Policy will affect the qualification criteria, and the Housing Register bands.

We have four Housing Register bands. Band 1 is the highest priority, and band 4 is the lowest priority.


Band 1

This band is for applicants that urgently need to move. This could be due to an extreme medical condition or due to safeguarding needs.


Band 2

This band is for applicants that have an increased priority because they:

  • are currently homeless

  • are threatened with homelessness, through no fault of their own

  • have medical needs

  • live in accommodation that has a prohibition order

  • are severely overcrowded in their current accommodation

Band 3

This band is for applicants that have two forms of moderate housing need. For example, this could be an applicant that has a medical condition that would improve with alternative condition, and they are a foster carer.

Band 4

Band 4 is split into band 4 and band 4A. Band 4 is for applicants that only have one form of moderate housing need. Band 4A is for applicants that need specialist accommodation, such as housing for older people.

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