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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

New practice guide for social landlords on allocations and suspensions launched


The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) introduced a number of changes to social housing allocations and suspensions to support greater flexibility in the system and allow landlords to tailor policies to meet local needs.

Following commencement of Section 2 last year, social landlords will have until May 2019 to ensure that their allocation policies comply with the legislation.

Changes introduced by the Act include replacing existing priority need groups with new categories and the ability for landlords to take property ownership into account within their allocations policy.

To support social landlords to review and, if necessary, to revise their allocations policy the Scottish Government commissioned Craigforth Consultants and CIH Scotland to produce an updated guide, Social Housing Allocations in Scotland: a practice guide, to compliment statutory guidance already published by the Scottish Government. 

The new guide covers all aspects of allocations and suspensions using practice examples from social landlords across Scotland.

The guide is available to download from the Scottish Government’s website:

Anne Cook, Social Housing Team Leader at the Scottish Government said:

“The commencement of the allocation and suspension aspects of the Housing Act presents an opportunity for all social landlords to review their policies and make sure that they are up to date and reflect local needs and circumstances.  We want to ensure that social housing allocations in Scotland are fair and that landlords have the flexibility they need to create a policy that is right for their tenants and the local community and this Guide will support them to do so”  

Lucy Robertson, Director of Craigforth said:

“This new guide will support social landlords in deciding how to review or revise their allocations policy. There are certain aspects that all landlords must adopt but others, such as taking property ownership into account, are optional and each landlord will have to decide what the right approach is in their area.”

Ashley Campbell, Policy and Practice Manager at CIH Scotland said:

“We were really pleased to be able to work on this project and ensure that housing practitioners were involved in developing the guide and provide practical examples of how allocations policies are working well across Scotland. The legislation introduces some new aspects which haven’t been used before - such as the ability to take property ownership into account - so we hope the sector will continue to share examples and learn from each other as practice develops in these areas.”



Notes to Editors

1. The Scottish Government is the devolved government for Scotland and has a range of responsibilities that include: the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation.

2. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at

3. The allocations and suspensions guidance can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website:

4. For further information, please contact Anne Cook, Head of Social Housing Services Team: Better Homes Division, Scottish Government on 0131 244 0710 or email

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