New statutory guidance makes clear that those in greatest housing need must be given priority. But it also gives councils more freedom to allocate their homes according to needs specific to their local area.
Councils have said they will use this extra flexibility to prioritise families with local connections, those seeking local employment and to tackle overcrowding and under-occupation in their communities.
The guidance also gives councils the responsibility to tackle the myths and misunderstanding surrounding allocations. Councils will be expected to consult their local communities on changes to their allocation policies, and inform local people about who is getting housing, ensuring allocation policies are better understood and have greater local legitimacy.
Healey said: "People must be given confidence that council homes in their area are allocated fairly. Councils must make sure people can see more clearly how homes are being allocated in their area.
"I’m giving councils greater leeway to do this. While priority will still be given to those in greatest housing need, they will now also be able to allocate according to needs specific to their local area.
"And with these greater freedoms, I expect councils to take greater responsibility in consulting with their communities, and explaining their allocation policies, to combat the myths and misunderstandings that often develop around council housing."
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