NHA Update - New policy changes

Newcastle Borough Council and our main partner Aspire Housing have reviewed and consulted on the Joint housing Allocations policy.  

The new allocations policy will take effect from Wednesday 29th May 2024. 

Brief summary of the key changes


A change has been made to restrict the number of bids that can be placed at any one time by applicants on the Choice Based Lettings system, this will be now restricted to three. 

Choice based lettings operates by allowing applicants to express an interest in a  social home that has become available and is being advertised on the online system; this expression of interest is a ‘bid’.

The change will mean applicants can only make up to three bids, which is consistent with other Choice Based Lettings Schemes.

Local connection

Several changes have been made to the section of local connection. The following amendments will apply:-

a)     Applications from students in full time education, who have a permanent residence elsewhere, and just live in the local area during university/college term time and who do not qualify for any other local connection criteria will not be accepted onto the housing register unless they are unable to return to their place of residence due to a risk of harm from domestic abuse, or there are demonstrable conditions which renders their permanent accommodation unsuitable.

b)     explicit references will be made to persons who, by law, are not required to have a local connection to be placed on the housing register.

c)      Applicants with no local connection who are 55 years and over are eligible for sheltered accommodation only will need to satisfy an additional condition; they do not have the financial means to secure their own accommodation, either by outright purchase, shared ownership or rental within the private sector as set out the Equity Policy. 


The current policy prioritises applicants via a banding system; where those in greatest need are awarded a Band 1 and those in lowest need are placed in Band 6. The new policy will retain the Banding System from 1 to 6, but will make some changes as to who is to be placed in each respective bands.

Band 3 – Currently Non priority applicants owed a relief duty are placed into band 3 they will move into band 2.

Changes to allow discretionary judgements to be made in certain and exceptional cases as agreed by Nha and Aspire.

Band 3 will now be used as a NHA Preference Band for NHA and Aspire.

Medical assessments

The current policy, has major medical and minor medical need banding reasons. However, there is a perception the award is given based solely on medical conditions. This is not correct; but it’s the assessment of whether and to what degree medical conditions are adversely impacting the applicant’s ability to live in their current home, or similarly whether and to what degree the current home is having an adverse impact on their medical conditions. The bandings and the reasons related will remain unchanged.

Other additional ‘clarification changes’, to reflect procedural workings of the policy.

Applicants who are significantly overcrowded at the point of application and remain so at the point of an offer of accommodation may be permitted to bid for properties with one fewer bedrooms than their assessed bedroom need if the offer does not result in statutory overcrowding.

The new policy can be found on the help pages on this website.

If you application has been affected we will contact you searately.