Housing allocations policy

This scheme enables the council to consider the individual needs of those applying for housing whilst making best use of the very limited housing resources available.

What’s in the policy

The policy sets out:

  • how to apply for housing
  • who is eligible to be accepted onto the housing register
  • who qualifies to be accepted onto the housing register and who may be disqualified
  • how priority is determined
  • how various property types will be allocated
  • the processing of offering a property
  • how often an application will be reviewed
  • how to request a right of review

Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of the scheme are:

  • to make best use of available social housing
  • to promote balanced, mixed communities
  • to ensure a fair and transparent assessment of an individual’s housing need
  • to ensure the system is simple to use and easy to understand
  • to fulfil our statutory duties
  • to prevent homelessness, minimising the time households spend in temporary accommodation or bed and breakfast
  • explore all possible housing options in order to meet housing needs

The council will assess all applications and place them on the Housing Register, allowing us to award priority based on housing needs.


Not eligible

Applicants will not be eligible to join the register if they:

  • are subject to immigration control
  • only have a right to reside in the UK because they (or a member of their household) is a jobseeker
  • are not habitually resident in the UK
  • have a right to reside in the UK of less than three months
  • are not allowed to claim housing benefit under s115 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1999

Applicants should note that their eligibility could change over time. If they cease to be eligible, we cannot allow them to remain on the housing register.

Recognised housing need

To join the housing register, the applicant must both:

  • meet the eligibility criteria above
  • have a recognised housing need 

A recognised housing need might be one or more of the following.

Reasonable preference

They must meet a national rule, called a reasonable preference:

  • people who are homeless and owed a homeless duty
  • people occupying insanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
  • people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including any grounds relating to a disability
  • people who need to move to a particular locality in the district of the authority, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship (to themselves or to others)

Local connection

They must meet one of the local connection rules:

  • have resided in the borough for five continuous years at the point of making an application
  • a care leaver under 24 years who has been looked after by the council for at least 2 years, including some time before they turned 16
  • a young person looked after by the council and been placed in care outside the borough
  • a need to move to the borough to provide full time care for a Kingston resident who has lived in the borough for 5 years or more
  • an adult in receipt of care from Adult Social Care and placed out of the borough in a hospital or residential care or other accommodation
  • have one of the above local connections immediately prior to going into prison or hospital or similar institution
  • those fleeing violence will be assessed under the homelessness legislation

Other recognised housing needs

Other recognised housing needs are:

  • council and partner registered provider tenants looking to downsize to smaller accommodation (also known as under-occupiers)
  • council and partner registered provider tenants looking to free up an adapted property they do not need
  • Gypsy or Traveller who has habitually resorted to Kingston

Additional preference will also be given to serving members of the armed forces, or those who have recently served including surviving spouses/civil partners who fall within the reasonable preference categories and are in urgent housing need.

Full housing allocations policy

Read the full housing allocations policy

Last Modified: 01/03/2024 12:30:14