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How we allocate council housing

There are a lot of people who want to live in Islington, and a massive shortage of council housing and association housing, so we can only offer properties to people in the greatest need.

We cannot offer a council home to most people who apply and this is likely to get worse. We allocate points for housing based on current circumstances and only those with a high amount of points can bid for council housing.  

Last year we let only 1,022 properties, housing around 6% of the over 15,000 households on our housing register. Less than half of these properties had more than one bedroom.

Most council properties in Islington are allocated to families in greatest need who have lived in Islington for three or more years, and include:

  • Islington Council tenants who are living in homes bigger than they need, which then frees up a bigger home
  • Islington Council tenants who need to move so that we can renovate the home that they are in
  • Islington residents who social services have told us need to be housed
  • Islington residents who have a life threatening or serious medical condition made worse by their current housing
  • Islington residents who are severely overcrowded (need an extra two or more bedrooms)
  • homeless households where we have a duty to house them and who we have been unable to find a home in the private rented sector.

We assess your need based on your current circumstances

When you apply to be on the council housing register, we assess your application based on the information you have given us. We award you points, based on your current circumstances. We will let you know, how many points you have and why they have been given.

If you are awarded more than 120 points, you will be sent details of how to bid (show your interest in a property) through our Home Connections Scheme. 

Average number of points needed for properties in 2021/22

  • studio = 172 points
  • 1 bedroom = 229 points
  • 2 bedrooms = 238 points
  • 3 bedrooms = 277 points
  • 4+ bedrooms = 343 points

How points are given

Moving somewhere with fewer bedrooms

Points are given for each bedroom in your existing property that you do not need.

Urgent welfare needs

We award points if you have an urgent need to move due to welfare needs - for example if you are responsible for a child who is at threat of being taken into local authority care, if you are experiencing domestic violence, or if you need to move to provide or receive support from a family member.


We award points for:

  • each extra bedroom you need for your household
  • opposite sex overcrowding, where males and females have to share a bedroom and one is aged ten years or older (unless they are either 16 or older and living as a couple)
  • additional points if you are severely overcrowded because you need two or more additional bedrooms


We award points if you have a serious or life-threatening medical condition, that is made worse by your housing situation. You will be asked to fill in a medical form and it will be assessed by the Housing Medical Officer.

Resident status

We award points if you are a resident of Islington when you apply and you have lived in Islington for at least three of the last five years.

Waiting time

All applicants will receive 5% of their total housing needs points, excluding residence and waiting time points, for each complete year from the date of the first award of housing needs points. For homeless applicants this will be for each complete year from the date of issue of the S184 decision.

Threat of homelessness

Points are awarded if you have been given a valid notice to quit by your current landlord, and are therefore threatened with homelessness.

Shared or lack of facilities

We award points if you share two or more of the following with people not on your application:

  • cooking facilities
  • bathroom
  • toilet
  • cold water supply

For further details of how many points are given for each circumstance and details of the local lettings policy for new housing, please refer to the council's housing allocation scheme 2018 version 3.

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