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Housing allocation scheme

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

2. Who is eligible

2.1. Residential criteria

You will not be able to join the Housing Register if you do not have a local connection with Gravesham. A local connection under this scheme means:

  • currently living in Gravesham and been resident for a continuous period of three years at the point of application. This does not include households placed in temporary accommodation under the homelessness legislation or Children Act 1989
  • currently employed in Gravesham and working within the borough continuously for the last three years
  • a Housing Association or Council tenant currently residing outside Gravesham who is moving for work-related reasons, where a failure to move will cause hardship
  • if we have accepted the main housing duty under the homelessness legislation (s193 Housing Act 1996)
  • a serving member of the Regular Armed Forces or a former member within five years of discharge (or a bereaved or separated spouse or civil partner of such a member)
  • a serving or former member of the Reserve Armed Forces within five years of discharge who needs to move because of a serious injury, medical condition or disability sustained as a result of their service

In exceptional circumstances, applicants will not need to demonstrate a local connection. This can include (but is not limited to) applicants who:

  • had a break in the period of continuous residence or employment due to circumstances beyond their control. For example, a temporary move to escape violence or threats of violence, or a temporary change to their usual place of work
  • are currently residing outside Gravesham Borough but need to move into the borough to provide or receive significant and ongoing care or support to, or from a close family member (children, parents or siblings)
  • are currently residing outside Gravesham Borough but are at risk of violence or harassment (including domestic abuse or hate crime) and that risk would be substantially reduced by a move to Gravesham
  • are Gravesham residents temporarily displaced because they are currently residing in a supported housing or rehabilitation scheme outside the borough
  • are aged 55 years or over and have been assessed as suitable for housing within one of our designated sheltered housing or extra care schemes
  • applicants who are unable to demonstrate a local connection because they are travellers who have been pursuing a nomadic lifestyle in accordance with their cultural tradition

2.2. Qualifying persons

Qualifying persons, all ‘qualifying persons’ are eligible to have their application added to the Housing Register. Part VI of the Housing Act 1996, (as amended), confirms that the Secretary of State may prescribe who are or are not qualifying persons. Anyone aged 16 or above is able to join the Housing Register, unless they are ineligible or disqualified. You will be ineligible if you:

  • are not already a Secure or Introductory Tenant of the Council or an Assured Tenant of a Private Registered Provider
  • are a person the Government says cannot be on the list (this includes people who are subject to immigration control and do not have permission to be in the United Kingdom (UK), or whose immigration status does not allow them to benefit from government help)

2.3. Ineligible because of immigration status

The Government states that normally we will not be able to allocate social housing to persons who are not already social housing tenants and who need leave to enter or remain in the UK. This applies to all persons except British citizens or persons with a right to reside in the UK under the Withdrawal Agreement entered into between the UK and the EU.

If you need leave to enter or remain in the UK (regardless of whether you have leave) you will only be eligible to join the housing list if you are a person who falls into one of the following:

  • recorded by the Secretary of State as a refugee
  • granted Exceptional Leave to Remain outside of the Immigration Rules who is not subject to a condition of non-recourse to public funds (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
  • granted unconditional and unlimited leave to remain in the UK, is habitually resident in the Common Travel Area (UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland) and who is not sponsored, or whose sponsor(s) have died
  • granted Humanitarian Protection
  • an Afghan citizen granted limited leave to enter the UK under paragraph 276BA1 of the Immigration Rules
  • granted limited leave to enter or remain in the UK on family or private life grounds under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights under 12 paragraph 276BE (1) or 276DG or Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules who is not subject to a condition of non-recourse to public funds
  • habitually resident in the Common Travel Area and who has been transferred to the United Kingdom under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 and has limited leave to remain under paragraph 352ZH of the Immigration Rules
  • habitually resident in the Common Travel Area and who has Calais leave to remain under paragraph 352J of the Immigration Rules (Effective from 1 November 2018.)
  • habitually resident in the Common Travel Area and who has limited leave to remain in the UK as a stateless person under paragraph 405 of the Immigration Rules
  • limited leave to enter and remain in the UK as the family member of a ‘relevant person of Northern Ireland’ by virtue of Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules

The Government also states that we cannot allocate housing to anyone unless they are habitually resident in the Common Travel Area, subject to certain exceptions for persons with rights of residence under the Withdrawal Agreement and persons who are in the UK as a result of being deported or expelled from another country.

The Government also states that we cannot allocate housing to a person whose only right to reside in the UK is based on their status as a jobseeker or an initial three months’ right of residence, or is a derivative right of residence based on being the principal carer for a British citizen.

The Council is not allowed to allocate housing to an ineligible person by granting them a joint tenancy with another eligible person.

These rules do not apply to a person who is already a Secure or Introductory Tenant or an Assured Tenant of a Private Registered Provider. In that case, you are free to apply for a transfer regardless of your immigration status.

The detailed provisions of these rules are complex and the above is only a summary of them. They are also subject to change by statutory instruments issued by Government from time to time.

2.4. Unacceptable behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour that is sufficiently serious enough for us to consider you to be unsuitable to be our tenant. You will not usually qualify to be included on the Housing Register if you or a member of your household, has behaved in an unacceptable manner in the preceding five years on the date of your application.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to the following:

  • eviction or otherwise lost accommodation as a result of anti-social behaviour or rent arrears
  • conviction of criminal offences in or near your home and we are satisfied you still pose a threat to neighbours or the wider community
  • threatening or aggressive behaviour towards our staff or contractors
  • racial, sexual, homophobic harassment.

The decision to disqualify you will be made by the Housing Allocations Panel. They will take into account any supporting information from you, your current or previous landlords, and the police, the Community Safety Unit, Probation or any other relevant professional body.

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