Evidence base for preventing homelessness and rough sleeping strategy

10. Choice based lettings

The current Buckinghamshire choice based lettings (CBL) policy has been in place since 2019, although the four local authorities have been operating a common allocations policy and process for some time. As with most CBL schemes, only those with an evidenced housing need may join the housing register. Local connection criteria also apply, and there are exclusions for those with a history of arrears or anti-social behaviour. Those with higher incomes or who have significant assets are also excluded. Restrictions do not apply to those for whom a statutory homelessness duty has been accepted.

Applicants for whom a main duty has been accepted under homelessness legislation (ie it has not been possible to prevent or relieve homelessness, they are homeless, not intentionally so and in priority need) are placed in Band D. Applicants for whom a prevention or relief duty applies are placed in Band E. This banding was changed last year to try and secure better outcomes for those for whom a statutory homelessness duty was accepted. Procedures have been put into place to guard against perverse outcomes eg households not complying with activities to relieve homelessness in the hope that they will be placed in Band D

Outcomes should be closely monitored but at this stage it is not recommended to amend the banding again

The figures below are for 2020/21. The low number of lettings in Band A reflects the relatively low numbers placed in this band, which is intended for more urgent cases. The high number of lettings in Band D indicates that a reasonable number of households for whom a statutory homelessness duty has been accepted are being allocated social housing (Band D is not exclusively for homeless households but they do make up a significant proportion of this band).

Table 4 – CBL lettings by band
Band Lettings











Lettings by bed size obviously reflect stock availability, which is a combination of stock profile and turnover rates, rather than demand.

Table 5 – CBL lettings by bed size
Bed size Number



1 bed


2 bed


3 bed


4 bed


5 bed