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| 2 minutes read

New government consultation on social housing allocation

The Government announced a new consultation on 30 January 2024, as to how they propose to ‘crack down on rule breakers’ with regard to new rules for social housing allocations. It is intended that any new rules will be implemented by secondary legislation. 

Proposed measures include tougher regulations on allocations if there has been anti-social behaviour, as well as narrower policies and procedures for those applying for social housing.

Views are being sought via the consultation on the following key proposals;

UK connection test – Where an applicant must demonstrate their connection to the UK before they are allocated social housing. This would be achieved by being either:

  1. a British citizen.
  2. an Irish citizen.
  3. a Commonwealth citizen with a right of abode.
  4. an EEA or Swiss citizen with equal treatment rights, or
  5. by being a lawful resident in the UK for ten years. 

Local Connection test – Applicants would need to demonstrate a connection to a local area for at least two years before being allocated social housing in that area. This will include family, school, work, etc. 

Income test – There would be set thresholds for applicants and those on the waiting list to qualify for social housing. The Government have confirmed that this will have no impact on existing tenants, only those who are on the waiting list, or applying for social housing. 

Anti-social behaviour test – Applicants with unspent convictions for certain criminal anti-social behaviour, as well as certain civil sanctions, will be disqualified from social housing for a defined period.

Terrorism test – Terrorist offenders with unspent convictions will not qualify for social housing unless excluding them would increase the risk to public safety.

New grounds for eviction (for anti-social behaviour and terrorist offences) – The Government wish to implement a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy for repeat offenders of anti-social behaviour and create a new ground for eviction of terrorist offences.

Fraudulent declaration test – There are proposals to mandate a period of disqualification for those who knowingly or recklessly make false statements when applying for social housing.

Applicants on a waiting list – The new eligibility and qualification tests will not only apply to new applicants but also those currently on social housing waiting lists. 

The consultation states that these measures are intended to help the current social housing crisis, creating a more streamlined process to provide homes for those in need, as well as curb anti-social behaviour due to the proposed ‘three strikes and you’re out policy’. However, with such significant proposed changes there is likely to be considerable impact on landlords, both in respect of managing allocations as well as resident expectations.

The consultation closes on 26 March. You can find the consultation here;

Consultation on reforms to social housing allocations - GOV.UK (

 If you would like any further information, please contact Donna McCarthy or Kelly Lloyd.


housing management & property litigation, anti-social behaviour, social housing, housing associations, registered providers, housing sector