How we allocate housing

The banding system

Northampton Borough Council operates a needs based banding system. This means that the band you are provided is based on your housing need. The highest band shows the greatest need for housing. 

There are many different examples of the types of categories for each band.

This band includes:

  • Applicants who the council has accepted as being eligible homeless and in priority need (except those found intentionally homeless).
  • Applicants who have succeeded to a property that isn't suitable for them or live in,  or a property designated as sheltered or adapted for which they do not qualify/or there is no right of succession.
  • Tenants who have to vacate their homes within six weeks due to a Compulsory Purchase Order or because their council properties need major works. This will be managed in accordance with the council's decant procedure.
  • Tenants of Northampton Borough Council and our Housing Association partners who are under occupying their properties.
  • Applicants who are statutorily overcrowded (as defined by the Housing Act 2004).
  • Hospital discharge patients who have somewhere to live but it is unsuitable for their needs and cannot easily be adapted.
  • Applicants who are being discharged from the Armed Forces who have sustained serious injury, medical condition or disability during service. 
  • Emergency landlord request transfers.
  • Applicants are placed in the emergency group for a period of 6 bidding periods or cycles (6 weeks). 

During this time they will be expected to bid for suitable properties in the area of their choice. 

If the applicant has not been successful in their bidding, within this period the applicant will receive a direct offer of a suitable property within the Borough.

If the offer of accommodation is deemed to be suitable and reasonably meets the needs of the applicants, the right to refuse this offer will be subject to a statutory review. If the statutory review identifies that the property was not suitable for the customer, the customer will receive a further direct offer of suitable alternative accommodation and this offer will be made to the customer within 7 days of the outcome of the statutory review. 

Customers who are under-occupying will have an unlimited time period to find alternative accommodation.

PLEASE NOTE: The Localism Act 2011 now allows the council to discharge its homelessness duty to statutory homeless households by securing an offer of alternative accommodation in the private rented sector.

Band A - Urgent Need

This band includes:

  • Applicants who have a severe medical, welfare award or disability where their current accommodation is unsuitable or it is unreasonable to remain in.
  • Applicants who have priority on welfare grounds and require to move urgently because of a risk to their wellbeing or health. (This includes people who need to move to a different locality to give or receive care, access specialised medical treatment or take up employment, education or training). 
  • Applicants who permanently lack one or all of these essential facilities - hot water, heating, a kitchen, internal toilet and bathroom.
  • Private sector tenants who are required to vacate their home as a result of enforcement action by the council.
  • Applicants who are in priority need who have been issued with an effective notice that the landlord requires possession, which has less than eight weeks to run. This banding will remain for a further 6 weeks following the end of notice before being subject to a statutory review. 
  • Applicants who have a category 1 hazard as defined under the HHSRS legislation and confirmed by the council’s Private Sector Housing Team.
  • Applicants who are occupying partnership agency accommodation and who have an agreed move on.
  • Applicants who no longer require the adaptations in their current home. 
  • Applicants who are part of a multi-agency public protection agreement (MAPPA). 
  • Where there is a serious threat to the well-being of a child and their accommodation is a contributory factor to the risk. 
  • Customers who have an agreed fostering or adoption agreement in place with Northamptonshire County Council, who need to move to a larger home in order to accommodate a looked after child. 
  • Customers who could not be expected to find their own accommodation, such as young adults with learning disabilities who wish to leave the family home so that they can live independently within the community. 
  • Applicants who have ceased, or will cease to be entitled, to live in Ministry of Defence accommodation following the death of their service spouse or civil partner, where the death was wholly or partly attributable to their service.

Band B - Moderate Need

This includes:

  • Applicants who are owed a duty under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 and Northampton Borough Council service tenants who are due to retire or have their contract of employment terminated.  
  • Applicants who are sharing facilities (bathroom, kitchen etc), with a separate family household.
  • Applicants who require a move for moderate medical or welfare grounds where there is an acknowledgement that alternative accommodation would be beneficial but is not essential.
  • Applicants who are not in priority need and have received a Notice to Quit. This includes private rented tenants, tied tenants, lodgers or people residing with family.
  • Applicants living in properties assessed by the Private Sector Housing Team as being a Category 2 hazard under the HHSRS legislation.

Reduced priority band

Customers may qualify to join the Housing Register but may be given reduced priority because of one of the following reasons:

  • They, or any joint applicant or family members, have rent arrears, or other related housing debt.
  • They, or any joint applicant or family members, has committed, or allowed to be committed, acts of anti social behaviour, or caused damage to council property.
  • They have refused 3 reasonable offers within a 12 month period.
  • They have breached their tenancy agreement in some way.
  • They have capital savings or income above the threshold.
  • If they are a current council tenant their property does not meet the repair void standard, including its state of cleanliness, or decoration
  • If they have been assessed as intentionally homeless due to their behaviour