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

You can download our current Housing Allocations Policy.

We held a consultation to find out your views of our proposed changes. The consultation closed at midnight on Sunday 22 April 2018.

We will use the results of the consultation to write a report. Cabinet will consider this report when they make final decisions about the proposed changes.

We will make the changes and start using the new policy in the summer.

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.

We want to make five changes to our Housing Allocations Policy, which are about:

  • increasing the residency and employment criteria
  • prioritising homelessness prevention
  • choice and time in need
  • bedroom need
  • the income and savings threshold

We are also considering how to apply any agreed changes to avoid disadvantaging current applicants.

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