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Manchester Social Housing Allocations Scheme Review

We are making changes to the way that social homes are allocated in the city.

The current Manchester Move system was introduced in 2011.

Since then the demand for social homes has increased significantly but during the same time the number of social homes that have become available for new tenants has fallen considerably.

Alongside this, there has been a large rise in homelessness and it is very difficult for people in crisis to find homes.


Some key facts

The number of Manchester Move applications has risen by more than 27% since March 2016.

The number of applications in the top three bands is increasing and is now over 6,600.

The number of homes that became available to advertise on Manchester Move fell by 32% between 2014 and 2019.

Over 8,000 households became homeless in 2018/19, an increase of more than 3,000 since 2014/15.

Manchester’s rate of people sleeping rough has more than doubled since 2014.

In February 2020 there were more than 1,500 homeless families and more than 640 homeless single people in temporary accommodation.

The cost of providing temporary and supported accommodation for homeless households is rising and is unsustainable.

Almost all homes go to households in bands 1 and 2, but most homeless households are in band 3.


In 2018/19 the council and its Manchester Move partners carried out a review of the allocations scheme to make sure that those in greatest need have the best chances of securing a social home.

There was a public consultation about the possible changes to the scheme and the majority of responses were in favour of the changes.



Subject to slipping due to Covid-19, we expect the new scheme to take effect on or about 3rd November 2020.


Moving to the new scheme

The new scheme rules will apply to all applicants.


Nobody will be asked to make a new application, we will just apply the new scheme rules and all applications will be placed in the appropriate band on the new scheme.


Depending on circumstances applicants might be asked to provide some additional information in order to ensure their application is in the highest band that it can be. It is good practice to keep applications up to date, so we advise applicants to check that all information is accurate and up to date.


Some applicants will no longer qualify to join the housing register. Most of these applicants are in current bands 4, 5 and 6, and have little chance of being rehoused. After everyone’s information has been updated and checked, we will know who no longer qualifies and we will write to everyone affected. We expect this will be at the beginning of October.


Some people will be in a different band on the new scheme. After everyone’s information has been updated and checked, we will know who is in which band and we will write to everyone. We expect to be able to do this around the middle of October.


Nobody will have a shorter queue date and nobody will “start again”. Most people will retain their current queue date on the new scheme. Some will have an earlier queue date.


The council and its partners are building new homes, but they take time to complete and we won’t be able to keep up with demand, so it’s important that applicants are realistic in their housing choices.


Other housing options

As with the current scheme, applicants’ chances of being rehoused depends entirely on their individual circumstances and how realistic they are when bidding for homes. There is very good advice on the Manchester Move website about bidding and about other housing options.


Changes to the rules

These are the main changes that have been agreed.



Currently we do not require people to have lived in Manchester for longer than a single day in order to qualify to join the housing register. This is very unusual and the government recommends that people should have lived in an area continuously for two years before qualifying for rehousing. It has been agreed to introduce 2 years’ continuous residency as a qualification to join the housing register, with certain exemptions.


Financial resources

Under the current scheme, if a household has savings of £75,000 or more then their application will be placed in band 6. This is unusually high. It was agreed to lower the savings threshold to £30,000 on the basis that this is sufficient for an applicant to pay a deposit for either a mortgage or a private sector rented home. Under the new scheme, any applicant with income or savings above the new thresholds will no longer qualify to join the housing register.



At the moment homeowners are allowed to join the register. This is unusual and the government recommends that people who own a home should not be able to get a social home. It was agreed that homeowners will not be able to join the housing register unless they are in an exempt category, for example people who are not able to cope in their current home due to disability.


Community contribution

The current scheme awards additional priority for applicants who are contributing to their community by working or volunteering. This has been a popular and successful priority award since the current scheme was introduced in 2011. But over time this priority award has become a barrier to rehousing for those in greatest need. It was agreed to remove additional priority for contributing, instead focusing just on housing need.



The new scheme will continue to award band 1 for very severe overcrowding (3 bedrooms short). All applicants who are short by 2 bedrooms are in new band 2. Most applicants short by only 1 bedroom are in new band 3. The exceptions are applicants 1 bedroom short who either live with another household, or who live in 1 bedroom accommodation and have children. These exceptions are in new band 2.


Homeless applicants

Applicants who are homeless and are owed certain homelessness duties (the ‘Relief Duty’ or the ‘Full Duty’) are in new band 2. Applicants who have a home but are threatened with homelessness and are owed the homelessness prevention duty are in new band 3. Applicants who have been assessed as intentionally homeless but in priority need are in new band 3.


Moving group

The term “moving group” refers to the people that can be included in an application.

Moving groups now only include:

  • The applicant
  • The applicant’s spouse or partner
  • Children under 21 of either the applicant or partner so long as those children normally live with that parent
  • Grown up children over 21 so long as they remained living with that parent full time after they turned 21
  • Any close adult relative living with the applicant who is dependent on the applicant for care or who provides care to the applicant
  • A carer who is not related to the applicant if they need to live with the applicant to provide overnight care
  • Any two people who wish to live together in non-family type accommodation


To see the summary of the new scheme, click here

Posted 28.07.20


Coronavirus Update


All Manchester Move housing providers are experiencing difficulties due to the Coronavirus. This may mean that applications take longer than usual to process.


For more details look at the website of the provider which looks after your application. You can find links to the websites here.


You can help reduce delays by managing your application on-line, in particular by uploading documents straight on to your application, rather than sending them in by post or handing them in.


Please note that offices may be closed to the public due to the virus, meaning you won't be able to hand in documents in person. If you send them by post, there is likely to be a delay putting them on to the system. Thank you for your patience.

Posted 19.03.20


A change to our Mutual Exchange provider


The Manchester Move Partnership is changing its mutual exchange provider, so if you're currently registered with Home Swapper, this free service will end on 31st march 2020.

If you still want to exchange your home, you should register with our new, free mutual exchange partner House Exchange.


There are thousands of people looking to swap their properties right across the UK, so your ideal home may only be a few clicks away.

It's really easy to register with the service, just enter your details at www.houseexchange.org.uk and the site will match you up with other would-be-swappers. The website helps you to search, find matches and contact other council or housing association residents who want to swap their homes.

There’s also a free House Exchange App available on the Apple App and Google Play stores; so you can search on the move too!

Posted 18.02.2020


Providing your Rehousing documents is now easier...

At Manchester Move we are always looking for ways to make things easier for our customers. As such, we have just introduced an update to our website that will allow you to upload documents, such as proof of identification, directly onto your rehousing application.

This means there’s no need to go to a housing office to hand-in this information, or send documents through the post, you can easily send us your documents using your smartphone, tablet or computer.



If we need documents form you, you will see the new ‘Upload’ button when you log into Manchester Move. This new button will allow you to upload your documents and the system will then inform the Manchester Move partner who manages your application, so they can verify the documents for you.

Don't worry if you don't see the new upload button, this just means that your application is up-to-date and we don't need any more documents from you.


Posted 27.06.2019

Manchester City Council is considering changing its Allocations Scheme

Manchester City Council is considering changing the allocations scheme rules in order to give people in greatest need a better chance of getting a social home.

The council has a brief online questionnaire about the proposed changes and why they need to happen. If you would like to read about the proposed changes and give your views please click here.


Posted 13.06.2019

A change to Contour Homes...

Contour Homes has recently changed its name and will now be known as Onward. Onward will remain a part of the Manchester Move partnership and will still advertise homes through Manchester Move.



If you are registered for Rehousing and your application was managed by Contour Homes, you don’t have to do anything, your application will automatically change to be an Onward application.

You can find more information on Onward here.

Posted 14.02.2019


Shared Ownership opportunities in Charlestown

Manchester City Council has recently acquired a range of newly built 2 and 3 bedroom homes available for ‘Shared Ownership’. The new homes are being sold on behalf of Manchester City Council by Equity Living and are available now. You may qualify to purchase an initial share (the initial percentage share will depend on your circumstances) and take your first step on the ladder to home ownership.  

Sycamore Road, Charlestown.


These high quality homes, designed for modern family living, are located in the Charlestown area of North Manchester.


For further details on this shared ownership scheme, prices and eligibility, please contact:-


Email: Sales@equityliving.co.uk 


Telephone: 0161 486 7700


Web: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/




Top tips to prepare for Universal Credit 


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From Wednesday 29 November 2017, Universal Credit replaces some benefits for a lot of people in north Manchester. For more information and advice on the change, click here