While your council housing application may be approved by the authorities in a matter of days, it may take months or sometimes years until you find a suitable council property to bid on and are allocated one to transfer into. Through this article, we will explain how long the waiting time is for being allotted a council house in Newham Council. In addition to this, we will also discuss what suitable council housing is, how applicants can participate in the council housing bidding process and what is considered as being on priority for council housing. 

How Long Is The Waiting Time For Housing In Newham Council?

The average waiting time in Newham Council is estimated to be around 13 years for an applicant to be accommodated in a reasonable council house that meets their housing need. According to the council’s own estimates, there are currently 27,000 applicants on the

Housing Register in Newham Council and some 4,500 families in temporary accommodation.

Depending on the housing needs indicated by applicants, the average waiting period in Newham Council according to the number of bedrooms is as follows:

  • 6 years, 8 months for a 1 bedroom property
  • 7 years, 1 month for a 2 bedroom property
  • 9 years, 5 months for a 3 bedroom property

The main reason for this elaborate waiting time in Newham Council is mainly the recent housing crisis that has witnessed an increase in privately rented properties by nearly 56 per cent; while wages haven’t increased as much. Due to this reason, there are many people living in overcrowded conditions in Newham.  

If you are above 18 years of age and have lived in the Newham Council area for a minimum period of 3 years, you will be given priority over other applicants on the Housing Register. There are certain other conditions as well that give priority to some applicants; these include the following:

  • Residents of Newham council who are placed outside Newham in temporary accommodation by the Council
  • Members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
  • Survivors of domestic violence or abuse
  • Individuals who have spent time outside Newham due to a hospital stay, prison, care home, foster placement, or analogous institution
  • Anyone faced with other exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Head of Housing
  • Services

Once you apply for a council house in Newham, the council will send you an email with a temporary reference number that starts with ENQ. Applicants can use this number to track the progress of their applications. It usually takes 28 days for the Newham Council authorities to pre-assess applications; after which they share their decision with the applicant. If your application is approved, you will have 28 days to upload your documents on the link shared by the council authorities when they confirm your position on the housing register while confirming approval of your application.

The Newham Council offers council property in choice-based settings. Once your council housing application is approved by the authorities, you will be placed on the Housing Register; making you eligible to bid on two properties per week once they are advertised by the council.

Below is a priority list that applies in Newham Council when applicants on the Housing Register bid for a chosen council property:

  • Members of the Armed Forces
  • Additional Preference Group (emergency re-housing & acute multiple needs)
  • Urgent bids (sometimes based on need and sometimes on the wait time)
  • Transfers from under-occupied properties
  • Less urgent bids
  • Living in severely overcrowded conditions
  • Priority home seekers

However, if someone falls under the following criteria, they will not be considered eligible for council housing in the Newham Council area:

  • homeowners with their own property
  • immigrants without required immigration status
  • previous complaints of social behaviour 
  • found guilty of deliberate and serious fraud

What Is A Suitable Property For Council Housing Application? 

Applying for a suitable property according to the number of household members that an applicant has will also play a major role in increasing their priority level and ability to get shortlisted. Below are details of the preferred household size of applicants versus the type of council property suitable for them:

The preferred household size of applicantsType of council property
Single people/couplesSingle bedroom flat/house
Single people/couples with part-time access to children (meaning they must stay overnight for at least 2 nights a week)Two bedroom flat
Disabled family member with a medical housing recommendation for adaptations such as a through floor lift or a stairlift.Adapted properties
Households with primary care of dependent children (generally referring to children up to 18 in full-time education) or a household with a medical recommendation for a houseHouses (with two or more bedrooms)
People aged 60 years old, or younger applicants with an appropriate medical housing recommendation (e.g. ground floor accommodation)Bungalows
People aged 60 and over needing an alarm call system and warden service, as well as younger applicants with a medical housing recommendation for sheltered accommodation. Retirement Life

What Happens Once You Are Offered A Council House In Newham?

Once you are offered a council house, the council will also inform you of a date by when they will need a response before they offer the house to someone else. If you accept the offer, you will be asked to visit the property. 

Should you accept the offer, you will be asked to sign an acceptance slip that mentions the following information:

  • your name
  • the address of your new council house
  • the date your tenancy starts

After that, a tenancy agreement will be drawn up and you will be informed of the rent deposit amount as well as the monthly rental payment.

If you don’t like the property or you think that it doesn’t meet your housing needs, you can refuse it and inform the council authorities. However, if you refuse three council properties consecutively without good reason, you may be taken off the council housing waiting list for 12 months.

How Long Does Shortlisting Take For Council Housing?

Shortlisting of council housing applications can take up to three weeks once bidding completes on a property. If an applicant bids for more than one property and gets accepted, they will be asked about their preference out of the two (or more) options before their offer is accepted.

Applicants who bid for council housing properties are prioritised on the following basis:

  • Whether applicants have a local connection to the parish or town in which the property is located
  • This is followed by bands 1, 2, 3, 4 and Open Market Register 
  • And in the end, the date applicants are placed in the band or on the Open Market Register

What Is Bidding Queue Position On Council Homes?

Once your council housing application is approved, you will receive a letter from the council office confirming your position to be on the waiting list for council housing. This means that you will not be allotted a council property immediately and will be part of a bidding queue.

Each week, there will be council properties advertised on the housing website (details of which will be shared with you by your council authorities). If you find a property according to your needs, you can place a bid on it. Similarly, there may be other bidders offering their interest to avail of the property.

Depending on the Band assigned to you in your council housing confirmation letter, you will be assigned a bidding queue position that determines your level of priority to be considered during the bidding process as well as your banding date. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

Individuals with emergency needs such as medical conditions or disabilities will have a higher bidding queue position for council housing and will be allotted Band A. Meanwhile, those who may have less extraordinary circumstances will be assigned Band B.

Who Gets Priority For Council Housing?

While each council has an individual allocation scheme to follow in terms of assigning priority to council housing applicants, claimants who fulfil any of the following criteria are expected to be higher on priority:

  • if someone is legally homeless 
  • they have to move homes due to a serious medical condition or disability
  • due to hardship-anything from medical treatment or potential danger to changing jobs
  • currently residing in an over-crowded house or under poor living conditions

As per a recent news report, foster parents and adoptive parents in some areas are being assigned Band 1 to extend the maximum benefit to their children. In recognition of their work during the pandemic, key workers have been assigned Band 2 (The total number of bands is 4 with Band 1 being the highest on the priority list).

Conclusion:

After a detailed discussion in this article, we have come to learn that the average waiting time for a council house in Newham Council is between 6 years for a single bedroom house to 9 years for a three-bedroom council house. However, due to the current housing crisis due to high rents on private properties and long waiting lists for council homes in Newham it may even take 13 years to be allotted a council house that meets your needs.

FAQs: How Long Is The Waiting Time For Housing In Newham Council?

How long does it take to get a council house in Newham?

While it takes 28 days for the council authorities in Newham to respond to council housing applications. Depending on the housing needs indicated by applicants, the average waiting period in Newham Council according to the number of bedrooms is 6 years, 8 months for a 1 bedroom property, 7 years, 1 month for a 2 bedroom property, 9 years, 5 months for a 3 bedroom property.

How many people are on the Newham housing waiting list?

According to the council’s own estimates, there are currently 27,000 applicants on the

Housing Register in Newham Council and some 4,500 families in temporary accommodation.

How long does it take to get a council house in the UK?

To get a studio and 1-bed council house in the UK can take between 11 to 13 months, for a 2-bed house it can take between 12 to 16 months, for a 3-bed one it can take between 12 to 25 months, while for a 4 (or more) bedroom council house in the UK it can take between 36 to 70 months.

What is Band D for housing?

Being assigned a Band D for council housing indicates that the candidate has a reasonable preference in terms of being offered a council house. It applies to families who are living in overcrowded conditions or those who are under-occupying a nother property.

How do I contact Newham Council?

You can contact Newham Council through their contact centre on 020 8430 2000. Individuals who use a text phone can contact the council on 18001 020 8430 2000.

References:

London Borough of Newham Draft Allocations Policy Summary.

Housing Allocations Policy Consultation Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after you apply – Apply for council housing

The average wait for a council house in each London borough

Housing allocations – Apply for council housing

Bidding Process – Homeseekers

Getting a council home – Citizens Advice

Council housing – GOV.UK

How To Get A Council House Quicker: Our Top Tips And Tricks | PPO

Being offered a council property

Getting an offer of housing

How_to_apply_for_council_housing/bidding_and_offers

Council housing: Apply for a council home – GOV.UK

Shortlisting & Offers – Homechoice

Your choice your home

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