Social housing allocations in Scotland: practice guide

Guidance on allocating homes in the social rented sector.

1. About this Guide

1.1 Who the Guide is for

This Social Housing Allocations Practice Guide 2019 (the Guide) is aimed primarily at the local authorities and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) who allocate homes in the social rented sector.

It will also be useful for tenants, governing body members, agencies advising others on their rights and responsibilities in relation to the allocation of social housing and anyone with an interest in housing allocations in Scotland.

It has been designed to offer practical assistance to staff with responsibility for reviewing, monitoring and updating allocation policies and procedures to ensure they comply with current legislation.

1.2 Background

The Guide draws on the Social Housing Allocations Practice Guide 2011 and has been revised to take account of the changes brought in by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014. It also draws on a set of training materials on the changes made to allocations by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, developed for the Scottish Government and available from their website at: /publications/housing-scotland-act-2014-training-pack/

1.3 Contributors

The 2018 Practice Guide has been developed with the support of a Project Advisory Group which included representatives from:

  • Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers;
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities;
  • Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations;
  • The Scottish Government; and
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

Landlords from across Scotland have provided examples of their own practice to help illustrate some of the topics covered in the Guide.

1.4 Purpose of the Guide

This Guide is designed to help social landlords find their way through the legislation and practice covering social rented sector allocations.

It is important for every social landlord to have an allocation policy that complies with all relevant legislation and statutory guidance, and the policy should also reflect housing needs across the area or areas in which the landlord has homes for rent.

What works well in one area, or for one landlord, will not necessarily work for another and allocation polices should reflect the circumstances and housing needs of the communities covered by the policy.


Email: Claire McHarrie

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