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Added 11 April 2024

Who is it for?

This document was produced in response to a government consultation on how social housing should be allocated. It has been submitted to the consultation. It was drafted following ongoing engagement with Homeless Link member organisations. Other policy makers and decision makers within the sector may be interested to see what our members across the homelessness sector feel about this issue.

Why is it relevant?

At March 2023 there were 1.29 million households on local authority waiting lists, yet only 267,000 households were allocated a home in 2021/22. The shortage of appropriate, affordable social housing is one of the biggest drivers of homelessness. In the consultation the Government has suggested a number of specific tests that could be applied nationally.

What are the key takeaways?

Homeless Link and or members believes that social housing allocations should remain at local authority levels discretion and disagree with all of the proposals for additional national mandatory tests.

Homeless Link does not agree that an individual should have to demonstrate a connection to the UK for ten years before qualifying for social housing. 90% of social homes in England are already allocated to UK nationals and we are concerned that alongside being unnecessary this test would be unfair and discriminatory.

Homeless Link does not agree that there should be a mandatory need to demonstrate a two year local connection to qualify for social housing. This should remain a local decision based on the amount of social housing stock available.

Homeless Link also believes people accepted as homeless and owed the main rehousing duty should be exempt from a mandatory local connection test.

Homeless Link does not believe that an income test should be mandated by central Government. Housing markets and their relationship to income levels vary massively across the UK

Homeless Link opposes a national anti-social behaviour test. We are concerned that this would exacerbate homelessness and undermines efforts to prevent and end homelessness and rough sleeping. We further believe a "three strikes and you're out" eviction expectation should always be at the discretion of local authorities and not mandated nationally.

Read our full response below.

Talk To Us


Sophie Boobis

Head of Policy and Research

Head of Policy and Research