Havering Council is proposing to widen its social housing allocations policy and make it more “transparent".

The changes would change the residency criteria for people to join the social housing waiting list from at least six years to only three out of the last six years.

The register will also switch from a bands system to a points system, which will consider priority needs such as homelessness, overcrowding or medical needs.

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Additional points will also be given to key workers in education, the NHS, social care, foster care or emergency services.

Labour’s Paul McGeary, who oversees housing, said the current allocations policy, approved under the Conservatives in 2021, is “too blanket an approach”.

He added: “Applicants do not know where they stand or how properties are allocated and the knowledge is held by the department and this should be made available to the public.

“In the proposed new allocation scheme, we will make sure that each household in our borough is unique and no two were identical.

“The new level of transparency will help us build back trust and confidence.”

The housing register will also become “open” for people to self-assess their circumstances and apply.

Although the new policy will mean more people will be on the register, the council will try to promote other options such as its find your own scheme or shared ownership opportunities.

In a report before cabinet, a breakdown of allocations in the past four years shows that about 500 households are found affordable housing each year.

Havering’s waiting list fell to a twenty-year low of 1,922 households in 2022, down from a peak of 11,592 in 2013.