Have your say on how we allocate homes and support people in housing need

Closed 8 Mar 2021

Opened 14 Dec 2020


44% of Hackney residents live in social housing, provided by either the Council or a social landlord such as a housing association. The majority of social rent homes in the borough are offered by Hackney Council to households on the Council’s housing register, with applicants and tenants able to bid for homes that are available.

More than 13,000 households are currently on this list, including those without a suitable place to live and those whose social rent home doesn’t meet their needs looking to transfer. This number has risen continually in recent years as finding an affordable place to live in the borough has become more and more difficult.

As demand has grown and supply shrunk, the Council’s allocations system – designed to give people choice, flexibility and a meaningful say in the place they call home – has increasingly struggled to meet the needs of the people it is there to help.

Why your views matter

This system was designed when the number of homes for social rent was double that of today, and when fewer people were in need of social housing.

While everyone who joins the housing register has a level of housing need, households are currently able to join even if they don’t have a reasonable chance of receiving a home for social rent. With 11,000 bids received for every 100 homes that become available, thousands of households put time, effort and emotional energy into their search for a home, often without a realistic chance of benefitting.

Under the current system, residents with the highest priority can also turn down suitable properties, extending the amount of time they wait for a home. The system has also had the unintended consequence of discouraging some people from taking other opportunities to address their housing difficulties, in case it reduces their priority.

This system has created a huge operational challenge, with an ever-growing register requiring resources to manage as the numbers of enquiries, complaints and review requests despite fewer homes being allocated. These can be better spent providing proactive support to those in housing need.

We want to create a simpler, more transparent housing register, better suited to the situation in Hackney today. At a time of increasing demand and reduced supply, the Council must ensure that the limited stock of social housing that becomes available goes to those in greatest need while also investing in advice and support for all those unlikely to access a home through the housing register.

We want to create a new system that is:

  • Empathic – prioritising people with the greatest need
  • Simple – easier to apply and guides people to the right outcome
  • Robust – generates less confusion and misunderstanding
  • Fairer – provides predictable outcomes
  • Clearer – changing the conversation about what’s possible

We are proposing a comprehensive set of measures to provide the right support for all people in housing need. This would include changes to the requirements to join the register, changes to the number of bands, increased assistance to access alternative accommodation, renaming the bands, and reducing the number of times that a household can refuse a suitable offer.

Please take a moment to read through the consultation summary document and the draft allocation policy scheme below before filling out this survey.

You can also register for our online engagement sessions by clicking here.


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  • Residents
  • Service users


  • Understanding views