A new project to explore how social housing is being allocated
across England has been launched by the Chartered Institute of
"Rethinking allocations" aims to analyse what social landlords
and councils are doing now - and why - and stimulate debate about
how things could be improved.
Councils and social landlords are being invited to take part in an online survey to share their
experiences. The survey closes on Friday 23 November.
"Rethinking allocations" is the next stage of CIH's Rethinking social housing project, which
saw more than 3,000 people have their say on the future of social
housing via workshops, an online survey and public polling. The
report demonstrated that while there is wide support for a much
broader range of people to be able to live in social housing, in
practice the shortage of genuinely affordable housing for rent
means that some form of allocation system will remain
It also highlighted serious issues with the sector's ability to
support people on very low incomes. Housing professionals who took
part said the shortage of homes for social rent is affecting their
ability to help people in housing need. According to research from
Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 70% of councils across
England find it difficult to help people access social housing to
prevent or relieve homelessness.
The CIH Chief Executive, Terrie Alafat CBE said: "Housing
professionals and tenants who took part in Rethinking social
housing raised concerns that practices such as affordability checks
and tenancy sustainment initiatives could effectively screen out or
exclude people considered most in need. Where are these people
supposed to go?
"Throughout this new Rethinking allocations project, we will be
looking at the different criteria used in allocation policies by
councils and housing associations across England, the extent to
which they're being shaped by government policy, and the impact
this is having on who is accessing and living in social rented
housing. By understanding better what is happening now, and the
reasons behind that, we're aiming to open a debate about how things
could be improved - and how we can get to a place where social
housing is allocated in a way that allows it to play a central role
in balanced, vibrant communities."
CIH will be using the data from the survey to develop a series
of workshops to explore the findings in more detail.
ARCH would urge member councils to take part in the online survey.
A pdf version of the survey is available, to help with collating
responses, please contact Faye.Greaves@cih.org for