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Croydon Council to launch choice-based lettings scheme for social housing

A choice-based lettings scheme has been launched in Croydon in an attempt to give those eligible for the council’s housing register greater choice in finding a suitable home.

The council’s new Croydon Choice system, which goes live later this month, is said to be a new way of allocating social housing properties in the borough, giving those on the housing waiting list more choice and making the process more open and transparent.

Under the new system, families and individuals who are eligible for the housing register will still need to have their housing needs assessed, the council pointed out, and they will be placed in a band according to circumstances. Banding is the method by which the council prioritises applications for housing.

But instead of the council contacting applicants when a suitable home becomes available, the properties will be advertised on the Croydon Choice website as soon as they become available. Applicants can then choose which ones they are interested in, from those that they are eligible for, and tell the council which properties they are interested in by expressing an interest or ‘bidding’. They can do this through the website or mobile app.

Properties are open to bidding for a minimum for three days, with the closing dates clearly labelled on each advert. Those with the highest priority will be given first consideration.

Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “This is a huge step forward for social housing in Croydon, making the way the council allocates housing far more open and transparent to thousands of families and individuals on the housing register. Croydon Choice allows those people choice over the area and the type of property they would like to live in.

“Previously those on the housing register had to wait for the council to contact them with an offer of a property – they did not know what other properties may have been available or how long they would have to wait for a particular type of property.

“The choice-based letting system puts those waiting for a home back in the driving seat, giving them greater choice which helps to build stronger communities.”

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