Like most social housing providers in Manchester, Southway allocates available Social and Affordable Rent properties in line with Manchester City Council’s Allocations Scheme.

Demand for Southway homes is considerable; unfortunately, many more people want to rent a Southway home than we have homes available to let. The Allocations Scheme rules help people who need housing most.

Changes from November 2020

Manchester City Council updated its Allocations Scheme on 3rd November 2020. The main changes are:


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

The priority for applicants with urgent medical needs, people fleeing domestic violence and abuse and for care leavers is unchanged.

You can view a summary of the scheme here.

How does this affect me?

Over the last six weeks with people affected by the changes have been contacted. Anyone with a current Manchester Move application need not apply again.

A review of how the changes have affected different groups of applicants including our own tenants who want to transfer will take place at the end of the financial year when the new scheme has had a few months to bed in. 

Southway staff have had full training on the new scheme.

To find out more visit Manchester Move.