Bristol Housing Allocations Review Consultation

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Bristol City Council (BCC) is currently reviewing the way they let council and social housing, to ensure that people have homes that meet their needs, giving priority to those in greatest need, and making the application process easier.

The review will give the council the opportunity to look at who is housed, and why, and develop options for how to let social housing in the future.

Home Choice Bristol (HCB) is the housing register used by the council and partner housing associations to allocate social housing in Bristol. It has a single set of qualification criteria, a priority banding system and an arrangement for advertising properties.

How does the current system work?

Households have to apply to join the current lettings scheme (known as HomeChoice Bristol).

Applicants are placed into one of four bands according to their housing need with Band 1 being highest need. Households in Band 4 do not have a housing need, as defined in the current lettings scheme.

All properties that are available are advertised through HomeChoice Bristol and applicants can bid on properties that meet their needs. The property will usually be let to the applicant in the highest band who has been waiting longest in that band.

The system has four bands to prioritise housing need where Band 1 is for people in highest need, while those in the Band 4 are deemed to have no immediate housing need.

Further information about the reasons for bands can be found in our HomeChoice Bristol scheme.

There are a number of challenges associated with the current system, including:

  • Households in the two lowest bands (3 and 4) receive few offers.
  • The shortage of housing stock severely impacts on our ability to provide a satisfactory service.
  • It doesn’t help create mixed and balanced communities. In fact, it appears to concentrate the numbers of vulnerable households facing poverty in social housing areas and estates.


Homechoice Bristol applications by band as at April in the last three years


HomeChoice Bristol Allocations by band as at April for the two preceding years

Please Note: The allocations figure in Band 4 includes ALL allocations, including those made to age-restricted and sheltered properties


The objective of the review is to implement a revised Housing Allocation Scheme that:
  • Houses those in greatest need.
  • Is more efficient and user friendly for applicants, the council, housing associations and other partner organisations.
  • Gives realistic expectations about being housed to those who join the HomeChoice Bristol register.
  • Better supports the creation of mixed, balanced, sustainable communities.
Bristol City Council (BCC) is currently reviewing the way they let council and social housing, to ensure that people have homes that meet their needs, giving priority to those in greatest need, and making the application process easier.

The review will give the council the opportunity to look at who is housed, and why, and develop options for how to let social housing in the future.

Home Choice Bristol (HCB) is the housing register used by the council and partner housing associations to allocate social housing in Bristol. It has a single set of qualification criteria, a priority banding system and an arrangement for advertising properties.

How does the current system work?

Households have to apply to join the current lettings scheme (known as HomeChoice Bristol).

Applicants are placed into one of four bands according to their housing need with Band 1 being highest need. Households in Band 4 do not have a housing need, as defined in the current lettings scheme.

All properties that are available are advertised through HomeChoice Bristol and applicants can bid on properties that meet their needs. The property will usually be let to the applicant in the highest band who has been waiting longest in that band.

The system has four bands to prioritise housing need where Band 1 is for people in highest need, while those in the Band 4 are deemed to have no immediate housing need.

Further information about the reasons for bands can be found in our HomeChoice Bristol scheme.

There are a number of challenges associated with the current system, including:

  • Households in the two lowest bands (3 and 4) receive few offers.
  • The shortage of housing stock severely impacts on our ability to provide a satisfactory service.
  • It doesn’t help create mixed and balanced communities. In fact, it appears to concentrate the numbers of vulnerable households facing poverty in social housing areas and estates.


Homechoice Bristol applications by band as at April in the last three years


HomeChoice Bristol Allocations by band as at April for the two preceding years

Please Note: The allocations figure in Band 4 includes ALL allocations, including those made to age-restricted and sheltered properties


The objective of the review is to implement a revised Housing Allocation Scheme that:
  • Houses those in greatest need.
  • Is more efficient and user friendly for applicants, the council, housing associations and other partner organisations.
  • Gives realistic expectations about being housed to those who join the HomeChoice Bristol register.
  • Better supports the creation of mixed, balanced, sustainable communities.
Page last updated: 05 Aug 2022, 01:47 PM