Allocations Policy

One Manchester allocates properties in a clear and fair way, prioritising those who need to move most and have waited longest. We also recognise people who make a positive contribution to the community by working or volunteering.

Allocations policy


1.1 This policy aims to clearly set out guidelines on how anyone looking for a home with One Manchester will be considered and how our properties are allocated and let.

1.2 Our policy aims to be fair and simple to understand. It is based primarily on a need to move and how long the applicant has been waiting, but also recognises:

  • Applicants' contributions through paid employment and volunteering.
  • Applicants' connections to local areas.
  • The ability to release under-occupied homes.
  • The need to tackle overcrowding.
  • The need for One Manchester to ensure the best use of our stock.


2.1 One Manchester works with the local authority, Manchester City Council ("the council") to enable it to fulfil its statutory obligations and regulatory requirements by a Nominations Agreement. This requires OM to allocate at least 50% of its vacancies to the local authority for the nomination of applicants who are prioritised according to their own rules, i.e. Manchester City Council Part VI Scheme for the Allocation of Social Housing. ("the MCC Scheme").

2.2 OM allocate up to 50% of vacancies to applicants according to the additional rules set out in this Policy, which is intended to complement and be read alongside the MCC Scheme.

2.3 Regardless of which policy is used to prioritise applications, the rules of property type and size entitlement set out in this Policy will apply.

2.4 This Policy is for social housing only. Therefore, it does not cover the letting of market rent properties, or assignment of tenancies by mutual exchange or succession.



There are 5 stages to effectively manage the Allocations Policy:

  • Part 1 - Applications 
  • Part 2 - Assessment & Prioritisation
  • Part 3 - Internal Moves and Use of discretion
  • Part 4 - Property type and size of entitlement
  • Part 5 - How Properties are allocated

Each will be separately detailed.


5.1 One Manchester is a member of Manchester Move which is an arrangement between Manchester City Council and most social landlords in Manchester ("the Partnership"). The Manchester Move system makes it easy for people to look for social homes in one place by operating the Manchester Housing Register ("the Register") - a common housing register which enables people to look for social homes across the city in one place.

5.2 All who wish to apply for a home with One Manchester are required to complete an online application through the website

5.3 The Manchester Move website includes a list of the current Manchester Housing Register landlords. Any applicant currently living in a property rented from one of those landlords will have their application held by that landlord. All other applicants will be randomly assigned a landlord to hold and assess their application. It does not matter in any way which landlord this is as all assessments are carried out consistently across the Partnership. Applicants can bid for OM properties whoever holds their application.

Validation of applications 

5.4 After registering on Manchester Move, applicants will have to provide the following for their application to be validated:

  • Two forms of identification for every adult in the moving group, of which one must include their National Insurance Number.
  • Proof of address for every adult in the moving group.
  • Proof of child benefit for every child in the moving group, in the name of one of the adults in the moving group.
  • If a member of the household is pregnant, the MATB1 maternity certificate.
  • If overcrowded, the same evidence as above for all other members of the household.
  • Full and accurate responses to any supplementary requests for information.

5.5 Applications where no documents have been submitted within 31 days of registration will be removed.

5.6 Once an application has been submitted applicants will be allocated to a band within 20 working days of receiving ALL the information required to process the application.

Where there is a need to visit an applicant or make further enquiries to confirm an applicant's circumstances the application will not be made live to enable bidding or receive offers until such a time as the applicant's circumstances have been confirmed. If there is a need to visit an applicant, or for an interview to be arranged to clarify details contained on the form, arrangements will be made and confirmed with the applicant within 7 days. The final allocation to a band will be confirmed via email within 28 days of any such interview, visit, or the completion of further enquiries.

Change of Circumstances & Reviews  

5.7 Applicants whose situation changes must log into their Manchester Move account and report a change of circumstances online. Depending on the change being reported this may require the application to be reassessed and further evidence supplied.

5.8 Applicants on an annual basis will also have to routinely confirm their details are up to date and accurate via the Manchester Move website. Applicants failing to review their applications will be removed from the Manchester Housing Register. Once removed they would then need to submit a new application.

Applications from Board members, One Manchester colleagues or close relatives 

5.9 Applicants will need to declare on their application if they are, or are a relative of, a Board member, colleague, co-optee or scrutiny panel member of OM or any of the housing register partners. Applicants will be asked again at the time any offer is made. The term relative includes: anyone living with the applicant as a partner or member of their household; natural/adoptive/step parents; grandparents; aunts; uncles; sisters; brothers; children; daughter and son in laws; estranged spouses or partners regardless of whether they live as part of the applicant's household.

5.10 Colleagues and Board Members of OM, Co-optees and Scrutiny panel members and their relatives are as entitled as anyone else to apply to appear on the housing register and should apply/be treated in the same way as any other applicant. However, in terms of process we have created the following guidelines:

  1. Colleagues should not deal with their own applications for rehousing nor those of their partners or relatives
  2. Colleagues seeking rehousing services must ensure that they exercise proper professional discretion in dealing with the member of staff handling their application

5.11 Colleagues and Board members are required to declare any potential conflict of interest. Board members  must make a declaration on the Interests log and colleagues are also required to complete a declaration of interest when granting a tenancy to an applicant who is or related to a member of staff or Board member.

5.12 Colleagues making allocations in such instances must evidence the Band and queue position of the applicant and seek the written authorisation of the  Head of Neighbourhoods, or another OM Director in their absence.

5.13 A quarterly report will be provided to Leadership Team highlighting potential conflicts of interests in letting properties to colleagues, Board Members of One Manchester and their relatives.


5.14 It is the law that social housing must only be allocated to people who are eligible to be rehoused. The following are not eligible:

  • People who are "subject to immigration control" (unless they fall within a class prescribed by regulations as eligible).
  • People who are not subject to immigration control but are nevertheless prescribed by regulation as being "persons from abroad" (this may include British citizens).
  • Any other person as prescribed by the Secretary of State.

5.15 Persons from abroad can apply to be rehoused, but their eligibility must be verified before they can be allowed to join the housing register. At the point of applying all applicants are asked for information about their housing history and legal status, including whether they are persons from abroad or subject to immigration control. Manchester City Council then carries out checks to establish eligibility to become a tenant under the MCC Scheme according to the relevant legislation.

Right to rent checks   

5.16 Right to rent checks were introduced by the Immigration Act 2014, 'Right to Rent' checks were introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 ('the Act') whereby the landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy premises under a residential tenancy agreement if the adult is disqualified as a result of their immigration status.

5.17 Right to rent checks do not need to be carried out on nominations through the nominations agreement with the council, these are considered 'excluded tenancies' as the council has conducted the appropriate checks.

5.18 Right to rent checks are conducted by One Manchester for all household members before any tenancy can be allocated by One Manchester using its own policy. This means that any additional adults occupying the property will be required to prove their eligibility.


5.19 Not everyone who is eligible to apply for rehousing will qualify to join the Manchester Housing Register. A person making an application can be found not to qualify for any of these reasons:

  • They do not have at least two years' continuous residency in Manchester;
  • They have available financial resources and/or household income above the limits;
  • They own a home anywhere in the world;
  • Their behaviour makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

5.20 Each of these reasons is described in greater detail in the MCC Scheme. OM use the same rules for qualification under its own policy as described in the MCC Scheme.

5.21 The same exemptions to the qualification rules apply to OM's policy, but additionally an exemption can be granted at the discretion of the Head of Neighbourhoods, for exceptional circumstances.

The Rehousing Review List (RRL)   

5.22 The Partnership share a Rehousing Review List (RRL). This is a list of people who may not qualify for rehousing or who may not have kept to their tenancy conditions at some time in either a current or former tenancy and therefore warrant further investigation as to their qualification and priority for rehousing.

5.23 OM will make sure that:

  • Everyone added to the RRL is informed exactly why they are listed and exactly how to appeal to be removed from the list
  • There is a clear and easy way to get a review

5.24 OM will enter people on the RRL in the following circumstances:

  • Former tenants of OM who owes a housing-related debt e.g. rent arrears, court costs, rechargeable repairs, furniture charge or storage -- of £100 or over
  • Current tenants of OM who apply for rehousing who do not qualify for rehousing or should have a reduced priority due to housing-related debt according to the rules of the MCC Scheme
  • Current or former tenants of OM where a possession order was secured for any reason who has not satisfied OM that they will keep to the terms of a tenancy agreement in future
  • Former leaseholders of OM who owes a debt of over £100 to OM
  • Anyone whose previous behaviour was proven to have spoilt the peaceful enjoyment of any residential dwelling and who has not yet satisfied OM that they will keep to the terms of a tenancy agreement
  • Anyone who has been violent to or threatened colleagues, customers or agents of OM and who has not yet satisfied OM that they will keep to the terms of a tenancy agreement
  • Anyone with an unspent conviction for a community offence or who is the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order or other Civil Restraining Order and who the Serious Offenders Panel are satisfied poses a significant risk to the well-being of any resident of Manchester by re-offending or breaching a Civil Order
  • Anyone who intends to live with a person in one of these categories. Applicants must sign an undertaking if they subsequently decide not to live with a person in any of the above categories
  • Anyone abandoning a property of OM (all costs including rent and other housing-related debt included)
  • Anyone damaging an OM property (all costs of repair included)

5.25 Applicants who are on the RRL for housing-related debt owed to OM who have since repaid the debt can ask for their entry to be reviewed at any time. The review will be carried out within 20 working days of request.

5.26 Former tenants of OM who are on the RRL for reasons other than housing-related debt will need to demonstrate at least two years good behaviour and sign a good behaviour undertaking before being considered again for housing with OM.

5.27 Any appeal to have an RRL entry reviewed, other than for housing-related debt, should be submitted in writing. This should include any grounds for the appeal and explaining why the person is now suitable to be a tenant. The person may be invited in for an interview. The appeal outcome will be notified within 56 days of the request or such longer period as may be agreed with the applicant.

5.28 Where the applicant is appealing against the original decision to include them on the RRL the review outcome will be determined by someone who was not involved in that decision.

5.29 A solicitor, advice worker or someone else can write comments on a listed person's behalf, as long as the listed person signs their name on the comments to show they agree with them. A solicitor, advice worker or someone else may also attend a review interview with the listed person at the listed person's request.

5.30 If someone applies for rehousing and their name is already listed on the RRL by another landlord, OM will inform them of their exclusion and who they need to contact to request a review.


5.31 OM use the same banding structure and definitions as described in the MCC scheme. This ensures OM recognises and responds to Manchester's housing needs, is easier for customers to understand and avoids unnecessary complications by ensuring a continued close alignment with Manchester City Council's policy aims.

5.32 There are 5 priority bands. Applications are placed in the appropriate band according to assessed need. For a full explanation of the criteria for each award please refer to the MCC Scheme.

The One Manchester Award 

5.33 OM recognises the importance of an individual's connection to the place they live and the positive contributions made by those in paid employment or volunteering, both in terms of sustaining their own tenancy and helping to create a thriving local community.

5.34 For that reason OM's policy additionally includes the One Manchester Award which has two distinct elements of Contribution and Connection. Any applicant can claim entitlement to either or both of these elements by answering the relevant questions as part of their application. The Connection element can be claimed for multiple different areas.

5.35 The One Manchester Award does not grant any additional priority or change the applicant's band instead the Award certain properties advertised on Manchester Move will be 'restrictively labelled' so that only applicants with either the Contribution element, or the Connection element to the area the property is located, or both these elements, are able to place bids.

5.36 The size, type and location of properties restrictively labelled to applicants with the One Manchester Award will be determined in accordance with OM's Local Lettings Plans which will be reviewed regularly and updated on OM's own website.

5.37 To claim the One Manchester Award a member of the household needs to meet any one of the following conditions:

  1. Contribution element
    • Currently working for a minimum of 16 hours per week
    • Currently volunteering for a minimum of 10 hours per month and has been doing so for at least 6 months
  2. Connection element
    • Be an existing resident of an OM area
    • Be a past resident of an OM area for 3 or more of the past five years
    • Working an OM area
    • Have children in full time education in an area
    • Have immediate family in an area - defined as either parents or children
    • Be providing or receiving care in an OM area

For the purposes of the Connection element, "an OM area" is defined as any council ward in which OM has social housing. Applicants will be entitled to bid for OM properties in that ward and the adjacent surrounding wards.


Applications from current One Manchester tenants and residents

5.38 Existing tenants of OM can apply to move. They are known as transfer applicants and must meet the following criteria:

  • Not have rent arrears or other housing related debt over the limit which disqualifies them for rehousing according to the rules detailed in the MCC Scheme.
  • Have a current agreement with OM in place to repay any outstanding rent arrears or housing related debt.
  • Pass a property inspection -- both internal and external.
  • Not be subject to any current or impending legal action for rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or any other reason unless authorised by the relevant manager.
  • Not be listed on the Rehousing Review List

5.39 If any of the above applies the application will either be placed in Band 5, or will not qualify, and any offer of rehousing made will be withdrawn, other that at the discretion of the Head of Neighbourhoods

5.40 Starter tenants who have been a tenant for less than a year can apply for rehousing. However their application will have reduced priority and be placed in Band 5 unless there has been a serious change in their circumstances since they took up the tenancy which requires addressing e.g. fear of violence.

5.41 Equitable tenants who are under the age of 18 can also apply for rehousing but their application will have reduced priority and be placed in Band 5 unless there has been a change in their circumstances. Once they are eligible for an assured tenancy the reduced priority will be lifted and they will be able to progress their application further.

5.42 Existing tenants and residents living in One Manchester homes will be assessed according to the same rules as all other applicants, as explained in this section. However OM recognises that sometimes specific exceptional housing needs or concerns may arise within its own properties which need resolving by an internal move within its own stock more urgently than the banding system and bidding process would otherwise allow.

5.43 Applications of this nature will be considered on an individual basis by the Neighbourhood Manager with responsibility for allocations with input from relevant colleagues and teams.

5.44 The number and nature of allocations will be monitored and reported on a regular basis.

Head of Service Discretion 

5.45 For any exceptional circumstances that may arise, which will be considered on a case by case basis, the Head of Neighbourhoods has the discretion to:

  • Override the criteria which would make an applicant not qualify or have a reduced priority.
  • Award priority under any Band or amend the Band award date.
  • Approve direct offers of accommodation.
  • Override the rules on property type, size entitlement and who can be included in a moving group.

5.46 Examples of where Head of Service Discretion may be used include, but are not limited to:

  • Where a personal tragedy has occurred in the home.
  • Where an applicant disqualified due to rent arrears resulting from welfare reform needs to down size.
  • Where there is a need to move to a very specific locality or property type which is rarely available.
  • Where a long-term resident family member is left in occupation of a property on the death of the tenant but does not have the right to succeed the tenancy.
  • Where young children are living in a multi-storey flat as a result of natural growth of the family.

5.47 For the avoidance of doubt, any Head of Service Discretion applied under this policy will only be valid under OM's Allocations Policy and will not apply to the MCC scheme. This means it can only be taken into account for the 50% of tenancy allocations OM makes under its own rules.

5.48 Any use of this discretion will be reported to Leadership Team on a quarterly basis.


Property Entitlement   

5.49 OM aims to make the best use of available stock whilst responding to local need when letting properties. It also looks to take into account the affordability of the offer made in terms of size entitlement and qualification for Housing Benefit. Appendix 1 identifies the type and size of household composition that is eligible for the stated property type. Working households or others who are exempt from the under-occupation charge may under occupy non-family type property by one bedroom only and subject to an affordability assessment.

The Bedroom Standard   

5.50 The statutory guidance "Allocation of accommodation: guidance for local housing authorities in England" (DCLG, 2012) recommends using the bedroom standard to assess the number of bedrooms needed by applicants for social housing. This is the standard used to determine bedroom need in the MCC Scheme, and OM's policy adopts the same standard.

5.51 The bedroom standard in the guidance states that a separate bedroom should be allocated to:

  1. married or cohabiting couple
  2. an adult aged 21 years or more
  3. a pair of adolescents aged 10 to 20 years of the same sex
  4. a pair of children aged under 10 regardless of sex

5.52 In addition, OM will allocate a separate bedroom to:

  1.  a pair of children/adolescents of the same sex where one is aged 10 to 20 and the other is under 10
  2. Any person under 21 in any case where she or he cannot be paired with another occupier of the dwelling so as to fall within (c), (d) or (e) above

5.53 OM will treat an application with someone who is pregnant by 28 weeks or more as though having another child and allocate an additional bedroom if required under this standard.


Property Adverts & Bidding

5.54 Most OM properties are advertised on the Manchester Move website, for a minimum period of 6 calendar days. The advertising period can start on any day of the week. During this period applicants can place a bid for the property if they are eligible to do so. Applicants can have a maximum of 3 current property bids at any one time, across all partner organisations, although this does not include bids previously placed for adverts which have now closed.

5.55 At least 50% of OM properties must be allocated to applicants nominated by Manchester City Council, under the Nominations Agreement. This is achieved by advertising half of OM's available properties under the MCC Scheme's rules and the other half under OM's rules set out in this policy. The rules being used are clearly stated on the advert and this determines the order of priority of the shortlist of bidders when the advertising period ends.

5.56 If OM's rules are being used the property may also be restrictively labelled in accordance with the Local Lettings Plan for that area so that only applicants with the applicable One Manchester Award can place a bid. How this works is explained in detail elsewhere in this policy.

5.57 Whichever rules are used to shortlist the bids, applicants can only bid for properties they are eligible for under OM's rules on size and property type e.g. a single person cannot bid for a three bedroom house.

Offers and Refusals

5.58 After the bidding closes OM will offer the property to the highest eligible applicant on the shortlist in band and date order. If the offer is refused it will be offered to the next in line, and so on. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the property meets their requirements before placing a bid. A reasonable offer is defined as one the applicant has placed a bid for, which was advertised accurately and meets their housing needs. Any refusal resulting from a failure to properly read the information contained in the advert will not be accepted as a reasonable refusal. Two such refusals will result in the application being demoted to Band 5.

5.59 Adapted properties will be allocated to the highest eligible applicant who has been assessed to require the adaptations, even if they are not the highest bidder overall. Bids from applicants who do not need the adaptations will be bypassed. Offers will be made to qualifying applicants in band and date order.

Direct Offers

5.60 Some properties, at OM's discretion, will not be advertised and will be directly offered to eligible applicants. Where a direct offer is agreed at the request of Manchester City Council this will be regarded as a nomination under the terms of the Nomination Agreement.

5.61 Examples of where this may happen include for internal transfers such as those listed in the Director Discretion section of this policy, or where a number of properties are pledged by OM to support specific strategic initiatives to tackle homelessness, rough sleeping, or to support young people leaving care.

Offer conditions

5.62 Offers made by OM are provisional until a pre-tenancy assessment has been completed. OM's Tenancy Policy explains the type and length of tenancy which will be offered depending on the applicant's situation, along with the requirements of the pre-tenancy assessment. This includes a household budget assessment to ensure the tenancy is affordable and a thorough evaluation of the applicant's circumstances to ensure any support needed to help the new tenancy succeed is in place.

5.63 Offers may be withdrawn by OM if any condition of the pre-tenancy assessment is not met.


6.1​ If a customer is unhappy about a decision in relation to this policy, they should first follow our complaints process. If they are still not satisfied, they may then take the complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.


7.1 The Head of Neighbourhoods is responsible for ensuring this policy complies with legislative requirements.

7.2 Managers and colleagues who deal with the allocation of properties are responsible for implementing this policy.


8.1 A full Equality Impact Assessment has been undertaken and the following risks identified:

  • Age restrictions
  • Local lettings policies
  • 31 day deadline for submission of documents
  • Two years continuous residency within Manchester
  • Those who have been pregnant for less than 28 weeks

8.2 However, these risks are outweighed by the need for the Allocations policy and the EQI deemed that the policy allowed people from different social backgrounds the opportunity to gain a home.


Compliance with this policy shall be monitored by Head of Neighbourhoods. We will review the impact of this policy on customers with protected characteristics.

9.1 The following data will be reported and updated quarterly to support the development of the Local Lettings Plans for each place area:

  • Area stock profile
  • Lets by band, property type and bedroom size
  • Percentage lets to homeless households
  • Percentage of lets to applicants with the OM award -- with a breakdown of contribution/connection themes.

9.2 This Policy shall be reviewed every 3 years.

9.3 The Head of Neighbourhoods will be responsible for initiating a review of this policy.


10.1 The Head of Neighbourhoods has responsibility for the effective delivery of this policy.


11.1 Internal Documents:

11.2 External Documents: