Produced in partnership with Matthew McDermott of 42 Bedford Row

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Matthew McDermott of 42 Bedford Row provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Allocation—eligibility
  • Immigration status
  • Who is not eligible
  • Habitually resident
  • Exclusions from the habitual residence test
  • Wales and unacceptable behaviour

This Practice Note focuses on eligibility for the allocation of housing authorities (LHA) in England and Wales under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996). All applications for an allocation must be considered however an allocation can only be made to an eligible person. See Practice Note: Allocation of housing.

Eligibility primarily concerns status in the UK, qualification is the additional post-Localism Act 2011 power given to (English) authorities to determine who can and cannot join the scheme. In Wales, there is an additional category of ineligibility relating to unacceptable behaviour which is discussed in detail below: Wales and unacceptable behaviour.

There is now a significant difference between schemes of LHAs in England and those in Wales, with the introduction of the concept of qualification to the English system only and is dealt with in the Practice Note: Allocation—qualification.

Responsibility for determination of whether or not an applicant is eligible to be allocated of social housing rests with a LHA.

Both England and Wales have statutory codes of guidance on allocation of accommodation to assist LHAs in determining eligibility. The English Code isAllocation of Accommodation: Guidance for Local Housing Authorities in England 2012 (English Code) and the Welsh code is called the Code of Guidance for Local Authorities on the Allocation of Accommodation and Homelessness (March 2016) (Welsh code).

The English Code stipulates

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