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Housing policy and strategy

Our housing strategy, tenancy strategy and homelessness strategy are all important to Westminster City Council



1. Private Rented Sector Strategy consultation

We are seeking your views on a new strategy to ensure our city has a well-run and managed private rented sector.

Westminster has the largest private rented sector in England which is home to a diverse mix of people, families and communities. The impact of poor-quality housing on safety, health and wellbeing is significant. We want to ensure every private rented home in Westminster is of good quality. Our strategy aims to tackle poor conditions and practices and to support tenants, landlords and letting agents by working together to make sure that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Our proposals

We are seeking feedback from all our stakeholders and residents on our proposals for the private rented sector strategy, which include:

  • Improving conditions in the private rented sector by carrying a formal consultation on a proposal to introduce a discretionary licensing scheme for all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and ensuring lawful practices
  • Helping make sure landlords and letting agents comply with the law, through greater education, increased enforcement and accreditation
  • Expanding our current service for tenants, and supporting landlords by developing the landlords and letting agents’ forum and exploring funding opportunities to improve energy efficiency in private rented homes
  • Improving knowledge and intelligence about the sector by establishing a new private rented sector group and working with other organisations that give advice and support to tenants
  • Helping to shape the sector through making the case for a national register of landlords and letting agents, improvements to the national Rogue Landlord Database and a simpler explanation of a tenants’ rights in their agreement or licence.

Have your say

Read the full draft private rented sector strategy for Westminster Council 2020-24 (PDF, 2.22MB)

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions regarding our proposals by completing our online survey.

Attend an event

All are welcome to attend one of our online events where you will have the opportunity to find out more about our plans for the private rented sector in Westminster and share your feedback.

The consultation for the private rented sector strategy closes on Sunday 25 October 2020.

Next steps

Once we have consulted with our residents and stakeholders, the council will use the findings to inform the final strategy and to develop an action plan, showing how we will deliver our objectives. We plan to publish the complete private rented sector strategy in early 2021.

2. Homelessness Strategy

Our Homelessness Strategy 2019 – 2024 sets out a ten point plan to tackle and respond to homelessness in the city. It aims to:

  • prevent more people from becoming homeless in the first place
  • improve our services and response when people do become homeless
  • meet the challenges ahead and have a homelessness system fit for the future

To develop the strategy, we carried out a review of homelessness and consulted on a draft. More information on the consultation can be found here.

The Strategy is also accompanied by an action plan.

Our strategy does not cover rough sleeping as it is a specific problem which requires its own strategy (see the Rough Sleeping Strategy) and response.

You can also view the draft Homelessness Strategy and the review at:

Westminster City Hall
64 Victoria Street
London, SW1E 6QP
Between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday


The Housing Solutions Service
82 Bruckner Street
London, W10 4EY
Between 10 am to 4pm Monday to Friday

3. Tenancy Policy

The council’s Tenancy Policy sets out its approach to flexible tenancies (brought in by the Localism Act 2011) in its own housing stock. The policy follows the principles of the Tenancy Strategy (which is a guide to all social housing with stock in Westminster in their approach to fixed term tenure).

The Tenancy Policy also sets out the council’s general approach to tenancy management and housing fraud.

For any further information about the Tenancy Policy Write to Policy, Performance and Communications team, 19th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.

Call 020 7641 2789.

4. Leaseholder policy for Housing Renewal Areas

The updated Policy 2018, sets out the financial compensation and rehousing options for leaseholders where the council wants to acquire their properties in order for housing renewal to go ahead. A summary of the policy can be found here.

The new policy replaces the one originally published in 2014. 

To find out more about the policy, write to Policy, Performance and Communications Team, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 6QP.

Call 020 7641 2789.

5. Rough Sleeping Strategy

At Westminster City Council, we are working closely with our prevention team and partner organisations to help those who are sleeping rough get off the streets and into accommodation. Click on the link to find out about our Rough Sleeping Strategy 2017-2022.

Cabinet Member Decision Report Rough Sleeping Strategy 2017-22

​Equality impact assessment tool 

Click on the link to find out how you can help someone sleeping rough



6. Housing Strategy

Housing Strategy 2015 - direction of travel statement
Draft Housing Strategy 2015
Draft Housing Strategy summary 2015
Westminster Housing Market Analysis Final report
Westminster Housing Market Analysis Summary report
LHMS Ecorys report
Housing Strategy press release

The council’s Housing Strategy - direction of travel statement sets out the general direction the council wants to go in with regard to housing. It also summarises responses received to the housing strategy consultation in summer 2015. A full housing strategy will be published once the impact of national housing policy changes on the council’s housing plans are clearer. You can also read a fuller summary of responses to the consultation.

For any further information about the statement write to Policy, Performance and Communications team, 19th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.

Call 020 7641 2789.

7. Tenancy Strategy

The council has published a Tenancy Strategy (PDF, 315KB) setting out its approach to fixed term tenancies. In line with the Localism Act 2011, all social landlords in Westminster are expected to have regard to the strategy when developing or updating policies for their own housing stock.

For any further information about the strategy write to Policy, Performance and Communications team, 19th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.


8. Policy for Tenants in Housing Renewal Areas

The policy sets out the rehousing rights and options for council tenants that need to move due to housing renewal. It also sets out what other tenants in housing renewal areas can expect.  

View the policy

A summary of the policy can be found here.

For further information, contact Dermot Moloney, Senior Regeneration Manager at

9. Allocations scheme

We publish our policies for assessing housing priority and allocating social housing in our Housing Allocation Scheme.

Housing Allocation Scheme March 2020 (PDF, 1MB)

Due to Covid-19 and in accordance with government guidance a different approach to letting social housing was taken between May 2020 and 24 August 2020. Read the full details of how people were allocated homes during this period in our Interim Allocation of Housing Statement (PDF, 216KB). This statement was updated on 20 July 2020. A previously updated version of the housing statement (PDF, 203KB) was shared on 13 July 2020. The original version of the housing statement (PDF, 201KB) came into effect on 18 May 2020.

Supply and allocation reports

This annual report reviews the supply and demand for social rented housing and low-cost home ownership for the last financial year and forthcoming  year. It also makes proposals for policy developments.

Supply and Allocation Report 2018/2019 (PDF, 1MB)

Location of temporary accommodation 

The GIS map below shows the location of all Westminster City Council’s temporary accommodation in March 2015. 


Cabinet Member for housing

The Cabinet Member for Housing is Councillor David Harvey.

Implementation of housing policy

The Housing Solutions Service is provided by Places for People. 

Housing allocation documents

Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2011/12 Housing Allocation Scheme October 2013
Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2012/13 Housing Allocation Scheme October 2014
Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2013/14 Housing Allocation Scheme June 2015
Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2014/15 Housing Allocation Scheme August 2015
Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2015/16 Housing Allocation Scheme November 2015
Social Housing Supply and Allocation 2016/17 Housing Allocation Scheme March 2016
Supply and Allocation Report 2017/2018 (PDF, 700KB) Housing Allocation Scheme March 2017
  Housing Allocation Scheme March 2018

10. Homelessness policies

There are 3 homelessness policies:   


More information about the policies can be found on the committee papers webpage.

Last updated: 22 September 2020