Havering Council has formally approved an updated scheme to allocate social housing in the borough using a system deemed "fairer" and more "transparent".

The new framework was presented by Councillor Keith Darvill, the lead member for climate change and housing demand, and greenlit at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday (May 15).

It introduced a points-based system to assign Council properties to applicants with specific needs.

These points will be awarded based on various criteria including local connection, homelessness, hardship and welfare, management transfer, unsatisfactory living conditions, medical requirements, the need for sheltered housing, and membership of the armed forces.

Read More: Council plans overhaul of social housing allocations

Individuals and families living in overcrowded conditions and those seeking to downsize will reportedly be prioritised under the scheme.

The revised policy will apply to new applicants, homeless households, and current Council tenants requiring a property transfer. However, it does not extend to the allocation of temporary accommodation. Notably, those already on the housing register will retain their current housing priority.

The council highlighted that the scheme will provide more transparency for applicants who can self-assess their status via the points-based system reflecting their housing needs.

Cllr Darvill stated, “I am pleased that the new Housing Allocation Scheme will serve applicants in a more fair and transparent way whilst demonstrating a broader picture of Havering’s housing demand."

The points-based approach, he claimed, has been developed to ensure that the available homes go to those “who need them most, but with existing applicants on the register being protected”.