Housing allocation

We allocate housing based on need rather than the length of time applicants have been waiting.

Housing Allocations Policy (pdf)

Qualifying Conditions

To join the Housing Needs Register and bid for social housing, you need to meet qualifying conditions.

The qualifying conditions are based on:

  • local connection
  • financial resources
  • behaviour
Local connection

To qualify under local connection, you will need to:

  • have continuously lived in Harlow for at least five years; or
  • have a parent, siblings and/or nondependent children who have continuously lived in Harlow for at least five years; or
  • have been in permanent full time employment in Harlow continuously for 12 months, working a minimum of 24 hours per week

You will not have to prove a local connection if you:

  • are an existing Harlow social housing tenant
  • are a current or former members of the Armed Forces
  • are a bereaved spouse or civil partner of a member of the Armed Forces
  • have no safe connection in another area
  • have a need to be near specific medical or support services
  • qualify for the Move to Work Scheme
Financial resources

You won’t be able to join the Housing Needs Register if you or your partner has:

  • Housing-related debt totalling £1,000 or more (not including mortgage arrears). If you do, you will need evidence to show repayment plans have been made to clear all of the arrears and repayments kept up over a 12-month period.
  • More than £50,000 from savings, equity or income. This does not apply to existing Harlow social housing tenants or applicants who require sheltered accommodation because of a medical or social need.
Behaviour

You won’t be able to join the Housing Needs Register if you have:

  • a current Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO)
  • lost your previous home due to antisocial behaviour
  • an outstanding injunction
  • a recent conviction related to domestic abuse
  • had a home closed by the Police due to involvement with drugs

If your behaviour has shown significant improvement and you can show evidence to support this, you can apply to join the Housing Needs Register.

Priorities

If you meet the qualifying conditions to join the Housing Needs Register, you will be placed in a band based on your housing need.

Band one is the highest priority, and band four is the lowest priority.

Band one

If you have an urgent need to move, we will place you in band one.

Band one covers:

  • a ‘special’ medical priority (life-threatening)
  • a tenant whose home is about to be demolished or developed
  • a recommendation by Essex County Council Social Care Services that there is an urgent need for alternative accommodation
  • a prospective adopter with a recommendation from Essex County Council Social Services (maximum of three nominations per year)
  • a prospective foster carer with a recommendation from Essex County Council Social Services (maximum of two nominations per year)
  • a tied tenant who we have to re-house upon termination of employment
  • a tenant living in an adapted property that no longer requires adaptions
  • a successor to a tenancy who we need  to move
  • an adult son/daughter of a deceased tenant eligible to an offer of accommodation after a previous succession between parents
  • a tenant living in a property which is subject to a compulsory purchase order
  • a tenant moving from Supported Housing through the ‘Move On’ scheme
  • a tenant willing to move by giving up all extra bedrooms
  • a tenant whose house is statutorily overcrowded

Band two

If you have a high need to move, we will place you in band two.

Band two covers:

  • a ‘high’ medical priority
  • a homeless household which we have a duty to rehouse
  • a potentially homeless household
  • a former tenant who we agreed to rehouse at a future date when the tenancy was given up
  • a tenant willing to move to a smaller home and still under occupy by one bedroom
  • a tenant living in a one bedroom flat with a dependent child aged three years or over
  • a tenant living in a studio flat (bedsit) with a dependent child
  • a tenant with no secure tenancy and sharing facilities with another family
  • a tenant lacking  two or more bedrooms

Band three

If you have an identified housing need, we will place you in band three.

Band three covers:

  • a ‘moderate’ medical priority
  • a homeless household which we don’t have a duty to rehouse
  • a person or household who has a need to move as identified by Essex County Council Social Care Services care plan or has been agreed with Social Care as a means of relieving hardship
  • a Move to Work applicant
  • a tenant lacking one bedroom
  • a tenant living in a flat above the ground floor with a dependent child

Band four

If you don’t meet priority bands one, two or three, we will place you in band four.

If you are a member of the Armed Forces and also have a local connection, you will be placed one band above your housing need priority.