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New housing allocations policy

The council has made key changes to its housing allocations policy, meaning the way we let council homes in Wolverhampton is changing.

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How we allocate

Shortlists are based on a customer’s priority band, the number of housing needs that place them into that Band and then waiting time. So if a property was advertised open to all with no local preference applied to the advert applications in the Emergency band would be at the top of the shortlist. If there are two applicants in the Emergency band that place a bid for a home we then look at the number of Emergency housing needs each customer has. If there are any applicants with two or more Emergency housing needs they will be placed above applicants with one Emergency need. If two or more Emergency Band applicants have the same number of housing needs their shortlist position is then decided by the length of time they have had that level of housing need, with the customer who has the longest period with that level of priority being placed first

Housing needs that place an applicant into a lower priority band are not considered. Only housing needs that place the customer into their highest priority band are considered in terms of shortlist positions for example a customer that has an Emergency Priority need and a Band 3 housing for different reasons - the band 3 housing need would not affect their shortlist position as it was not a second emergency housing need.

This is mirrored through the remained of the shortlist so applicants in Band 1 would be below applicants in the Emergency and the first band 1 case on the shortlist would be the applicant with the highest number of Band 1 housing needs who had had a band one housing need longer than any other applicant in Band 1 with the same number of housing needs.

Each recognized housing need is detailed in the City Council’s Housing Allocations Policy available here. Also present in the Allocations Policy and local lettings plan appendices are the lettings variations. This include:

  • Local connection – one in four properties per area of the city is advertised with a preference to applicants who have a local connection to the area. In this case applicants who have placed a bid for the home are consider in priority order ahead of applicants without local connection
  • Lower Bands – one in ten properties are advertised with a preference to Bands 2/3 whereby the person who is top of the shortlist for this home will be the applicant in Band 2 with the greatest number of housing needs that place them into Band 2 and greater waiting time than any other applicants in Band 2 with the same number of housing needs
  • Ground floor flats – for ground floor flats preference is given to applicants requiring one level accommodation and access without climbing stairs or 1 or 2 steps so we consider applicants that meet this criteria in priority order ahead of applicants that do not require level access accommodation
  • New Build properties – 20% of new Build properties per scheme are advertised to applicants in the greatest housing need. The remaining 80% are advertised to applicants who are currently tenants of the Council or a Housing Association and of this 80% 40% of properties are advertised to current tenants of the Council or a Housing Association who also have a local connection to the area.
  • Best use of stock – for 50% of all suitable bungalows, flats and maisonettes preference is given in priority order to transferring tenants of the Council or a Housing Association who are freeing a house. Houses released via this method are then advertised to transferring tenants of the Council or a Housing Association who are overcrowded in their current home.
  • Adapted properties - Preference will be given to applicants whose needs best match the adaptations in the property. So we consider applicants who require the adaptations in the property before applicants that do not require the adaptions in priority order.

From September 2021 the following changes will take place

Local connection will no longer be applied to properties that are relet. The only homes advertised to applicants will be a local connection will be a set percentage of homes on new build housing schemes

5% of adverts will be advertised to applicants in Band 1

5% of advert will be advertised to applicants in Band 2/3

If you are offered a property, you'll be able to have a look round at a viewing before you make your mind up.