What Does Awaiting Allocation On Housing Mean?

Awaiting allocation on housing applies to properties offered by council authorities as well as social housing landlords. Through this blog post, we aim to explore the meaning of awaiting allocation on housing, the process involved, the criteria for getting priority while awaiting allocation as well as exceptions to the allocations scheme. 

What Does Awaiting Allocation On Housing Mean?

Awaiting allocation on housing means that your application for council housing has been approved and now you have been assigned a priority level to receive council housing (depending on the circumstances stated in your claim) and are being added to a waiting list. Once a council house (or a social housing property) meets your needs and room entitlement, you will be allotted the council property and asked to move in. Until then you will remain on the waiting list.

Awaiting allocation can sometimes take weeks or even months until an appropriate council property becomes available. If there is a change in the applicant’s circumstances during this time, they must inform the council of the details as some changes may increase your priority rank on the waiting list while some changes may reduce it. 

An allocation scheme generally sets out the following criteria:

  • applying for council housing by applicants living in the area
  • applying for council housing by applicants living outside the council district
  • priority given to council applicants based on their circumstances or health conditions 

In order for applicants to be approved for council housing and reach the waiting for allocation stage, they should be able to prove themselves as eligible for council housing. This includes:

  • be on a low income
  • have a local connection such as living or working in the area
  • take care of someone living in the area

The council housing Allocation Scheme is one of the ways to apply for moving into council property. The other option is through the Choice Based Letting Scheme which provides eligible candidates with a registered spot on the council housing waiting list where they are able to view available council properties through a web link. Claimants have the option of choosing council houses from the options that are offered to them by expressing their interest. Once they are shortlisted, an offer will be made by the council or social housing landlord based on the priority rank of the claimants on the waiting list.

Most councils usually offer both options; they have a certain property that can be allotted without the claimant having to review all the options. In this case, the council officials or social housing landlord finds a property that meets the needs and entitlement of the claimants and offers it to them to move into. Meanwhile, they maintain certain council properties for the choice-based letting schemes to allow claimants to choose their own council home. 

If you want to spend a minimum amount of time awaiting allocation, you can get yourself registered on the common housing register. This register serves as a joint directory of all council and social housing property that is available for potential tenants. It saves your time from separately registering with the council as well as a social housing landlord and increases your chances of securing a state-rented property earlier.

Are There Any Exceptions To The Allocations Rule For Council Housing?

Yes, there are certain exceptions that apply to allocations of council housing as tenancies acquired through any of the following conditions are not considered an allocation:

  • when two council housing tenants swap their properties with each other on the basis of mutual exchange
  • a tenant assigns their secure, flexible or assured tenancy to someone else under the rights of succession in the event of their passing
  • a tenant passes away and their co-occupier acquires secure or flexible tenancy as they have lived in the council property as their main home with the tenant 
  • an introductory tenant is assigned a secure or flexible tenancy at the end of their introductory tenancy agreement
  • suitable accommodation is being provided to someone under the Land Compensation Act of 1973
  • a tenancy that is offered to a family intervention tenant
  • tenancy allotted by the authorities to a former council tenant of a defective dwelling that the council has repurchased

Who Gets Priority While Awaiting Allocation On Council Housing?

While all approved candidates for council housing are added to the waiting list as they await the allocation of their council homes, there are certain individuals who may rank higher on the priority list due to their specific circumstances. These include the following:

  • someone who is currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the near future
  • people living in accommodation unfit for dwelling purposes either due to the hygiene conditions or poor infrastructure of the property
  • individuals living in an overcrowded house
  • claimants who have spent more time on the waiting list
  • applicants with medical needs or those challenged with a disability
  • someone facing harassment or domestic violence (or the risk of either) at their current home


Reviewing the content of this article brings us to the conclusion that awaiting allocation of housing means that candidates whose applications for council housing have been approved are part of a waiting list until a suitable council house becomes available to be offered to them for moving in. This allocation scheme is one of the two options to provide council property to claimants; the other is a choice-based letting scheme that allows potential tenants to choose their own council house.

FAQs: What Does Awaiting Allocation On Housing Mean?

What is allocation housing?

Allocation housing is a way of providing council residency to prospective individuals either through secure, flexible or introductory tenancy.

Who gets the highest priority for council housing?

Applicants faced with a severe illness or disability, homelessness, living in an overcrowded house or in unhygienic conditions are generally considered to be the highest priority for council housing.

What does it mean to be shortlisted for a council house?

Once the bidding cycle completes, a list is prepared in decreasing order of priority (based on the council housing bands assigned to applicants) to indicate the names of shortlisted individuals who will be offered the council property either through allocation or expression of interest.

What does your queue position mean on council bidding? 

Once you bid on a council housing property, you will be shown your queue position. This is an indicator of your ranking on the priority list for council housing. Your queue position can change at the end of the bidding process and even due to a change in your circumstances over a period of time.

Who gets a higher bidding queue position for council housing?

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.


Shelter Legal England – Local authority allocation schemes

Social Housing Waiting Lists and Allocations

Social Housing (updated April 2020) – GOV.UK