Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Have Your Say! Newham Consultation on Changes to Allocation Policy


Dear Resident 

The London Borough of Newham is proposing to make some changes to the Housing Allocations Policy and we want to hear your views.

You can have your say by clicking here:

Over 27,000 households are waiting for social housing in Newham. Only a small number of houses become available each year and we want to make sure they go to the residents who need them most.
We do this through the Housing Allocations Policy. This outlines who is allowed on the list, how they are prioritised and how the council allocates housing.

The proposals

We want to make some changes to this allocations policy to make sure it is fair. Full details of the proposed changes can be found here but in summary, the four main changes being proposed are:

1. Who can join the waiting list: currently you can join the waiting list if you have lived in Newham for two years, if you work in Newham or if you have family in Newham. We propose changing this so you can only join the list if you live in Newham for three years. There are some exceptions to the three-year rule.

2. Waiting time: We propose changing the way time on the waiting list contributes to your priority when you bid on properties. Waiting time before a housing need arises will not count.

3. Removing the advantage given to people in employment: currently households in employment have a higher priority when they bid for a property. We propose removing the priority given to people in employment, so that priority is based on housing need and time on the waiting list.

4. Creating a new category based on overcrowding: we propose giving a higher priority to households who are overcrowded plus one other reasonable preference (housing need). We define severe overcrowding as being short of two or more bedrooms.

The consultation

The consultation is open until Monday 4th January 2021. The council will consider the responses it receives. Recommendations will then be made to Cabinet members to help them make a decision. We expect this to happen in March 2021.

The London Borough of Newham have appointed independent research agency Savanta to host this consultation and collect feedback from residents.

You can participate in the consultation by clicking here.

You can also request a postal version of the questionnaire by contacting or 0800 304 7488.

With kind regards,


Darren Levy
Director of Housing

London Borough of Newham
Newham Dockside
1000 Dockside Road
E16 2QU

Keep up to date with the most up to date safety information about the Coronavirus on the Newham Council website ( or call the Covid-19 helpline on 020 7273 9711 (1-7pm, 7 days a week)


Anonymous said...

How much public money are you wasting on the private Savanta consultancy? Why are the public sector not carrying this out?

John Gray said...

Basically, we haven't got a team of staff spare who can spend the next 3 months running this one off specialist consultation. Perhaps, we should employ more staff and set up a permanent consultation team but I suspect that this will cost more money than Savanta and I don't think there is enough work for a permanent team. I would rather employ more permanent housing officers

Anonymous said...

> 4. Creating a new category based on overcrowding: we propose giving a higher priority to households who are overcrowded plus one other reasonable preference (housing need).

What if someone has six children. Should the state be paying for this?

A key consideration should be if they have been involved in ASB. This is very difficult. If someone is causing ASB, I would want them moved out as neighbours, but at the same time, I don't them to be rewarded for causing problems.

How long does someone have to wait for a council house?

If someone waits twelve years, then by the time, they get the house, the kids will be nearly grown up. They will be moving out or leaving for college. Eventually, you end up with a single mother or couple with a 3 or 4 bedroom home, which is in far excess of their needs. A person has kids at age 20, gets council house by say age 30. Kids move out by say age 50. Care home at age 70 or 80. So you have a situation where someone is holding on to a 3 bed council house, as a single person for 20 or 30 years between 50 yo and 70-80yo . YOu could have older people go back to smaller council housing or the PRS, to free up council housing. The PRS sector is n't suited to the needs very old people, who may have other issues such as mobility issues, dementia or health problems.....

I don't know if my assumptions are correct, but I imagine this is what is going on with council housing. Newham could do some modelling on data.

John Gray said...

children do not choose their parents.

I think most council households have their grown up children (and in some cases grandchildren) still living there since they cannot afford to move out.

Chronic overcrowding in many cases causes ASB (especially noise disputes). If council tenants cause ASB then their transfer request can be suspended (if notice served)

Yes to building/buying council homes suitable for older tenants to move into and free up larger properties. However, the PRS at 100% market rents would not attract many older tenants.