By Monica Gibson

PEOPLE looking to move into a council house in East Renfrewshire may soon have more control over where they live and the type of home they get.

A consultation has been launched by East Renfrewshire Council (ERC), inviting people to have their say on proposals designed to give residents more choice and simplify the process.

If approved, the plans would mean change from the current system for allocating available homes to a Choice Based Letting approach.

According to ERC, the new approach means that those on the housing list have more of a choice than under a traditional allocations system. It also provides a more transparent process for those waiting for housing.

A number of councils and housing associations across Scotland are already using this approach successfully.

The council is proposing a system – to be known as Homeseeker East Renfrewshire – based on five groups of priority for housing.

Residents seeking council housing would be allocated to one of the five priority groups based on their needs and would then be able to bid on available homes when they are advertised in a dedicated section on the council’s website.

The new approach would allow residents to see all available council homes across the area and, in turn, the bidding outcome for each property, the number of bids received and the priority group of the successful bidder.

This would be particularly useful for residents in deciding when and what to bid for.

Councillor Danny Devlin, convener of housing and maintenance, said: “We are committed to letting our homes in a fair and easy-to understand way and help find suitable options for those in need of housing.

“As we continue to develop the services provided to our residents, we are keen to improve the choices for those on our housing list and for existing tenants in any way we can.

“We believe Homeseeker East Renfrewshire will simplify the way we let our homes, make the process more efficient and provide better value for money to our tenants.

“The proposed changes would also make it easier for residents to check the website and decide when and what properties they want to bid for.”

As part of the changes to the allocation of its social housing stock, ERC is also proposing to publish an annual lettings plan outlining the percentage targets (or “quotas”) of available homes that will be allocated to each priority group.

The consultation will be open until October 16 and the full proposals are online at

Paper copies are available with prepaid return envelope by emailing a request to or by calling 0141 577 3980.