Produced in partnership with Iris Ferber of 42 Bedford Row

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Iris Ferber of 42 Bedford Row provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Allocation—qualification
  • What is a qualifying person?
  • Common qualification criteria
  • Exercise of discretion by LHAs: Limitations
  • Allocation regulations
  • Armed forces
  • Right to move
  • Discrimination


Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, in collaboration with Public Health England, has produced non-statutory guidance to support landlords with allocating social homes. The guidance contains information on how local authorities and housing associations consider using existing homes that become available during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The government makes clear that allocation by local housing authorities continues to be governed by Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 and authorities must have regard to statutory guidance. See further: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—social housing tracker [Archived]—Government guidance and LNB News 28/04/2020 53.

The Localism Act 2011 made important amendments to Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996): the Allocation of Housing Accommodation. An important amendment was the introduction—in England only, not in Wales—of ‘qualification’ for allocation, as well as ‘eligibility’.

Now, in England, if a person is eligible for an allocation of housing(broadly, if they have the correct immigration status, see Practice Note: Allocation—eligibility) but is not a qualifying person then they cannot be allocated housing accommodation by a Local Housing Authority (LHA).

This Practice Note deals with the meaning of qualifying person, as well as including different classes of qualifying persons, the interplay between that concept and the notion of reasonable preference discussed in Practice Note: Allocation preference .

What is a qualifying person?

A person may be allocated housing accommodation by an LHA in England (whether

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