Common Housing Register (CHR) - building a register: a practitioner's guide

A practical guide to the development of common housing registers between local authorities and registered social landlords in Scotland. The guide draws on the experience of those areas in Scotland who have successfully implemented a CHR.


What is this guide for?

This guide is for anyone involved in developing a Common Housing Register ( CHR) in Scotland. It has been written mainly for people who have lead responsibility for developing or maintaining a CHR in both the local authority and RSL sectors. But it will also be useful for all CHR partners, social landlords considering participation in a CHR (both locally and nationally) and tenant organisations involved in the CHR development process.

The Scottish Government produced the first CHR Practitioner's Guide in 2004. However, CHRs now have a more established role in the way people find housing in Scotland. This new guide has been developed to:

  • reflect the growing body of experience and knowledge gained by CHR partnerships across Scotland;
  • provide more guidance on what to do once your CHR is set up;
  • give more directional advice about what has been found to work well in CHR development; and
  • act as the key publication to support CHR practitioners in Scotland.

How should I use it?

The guide has been developed in such a way as to allow you to dip into the relevant sections when you need advice or assistance on a particular issue.

The guide includes practical examples from across Scotland, and beyond, so that you can learn from what has worked well for others.

Other resources

This guide builds on previous resources produced in Scotland, such as factsheets, case studies and forms and agreements in use by CHRs across Scotland. It may be helpful for you to refer to these as you continue the development of your CHR. The key information and support resources can be found on the Scottish Government CHR webpages and the CHR Support Service webpages . (

How was this guide developed?

This guide was developed by ODS Consulting on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is strongly based on the experiences of 14 CHRs across Scotland, who kindly participated as case studies. The 14 CHRs/ CHR partners are: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray CHR (Apply4Homes), Cairn Housing Association, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh (EdIndex), Fife, Highland, HOME Argyll, Midlothian, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

A short summary of the background to each CHR is available as Appendix One. Support in relation to Section Nine 'Using ICT to Run Your CHR' was provided by the ICT Advisory Service for CHR partnerships based at the Scottish Housing Best Value Network.

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