New council house developments

Our ambition is to provide 1,500 high quality new council homes by March 2025 to address the housing shortage in Leeds and to improve the lives of our tenants.

The policy for letting new Leeds City Council homes delivered through the Council Housing Growth Programme

Last updated 5 April 2023

1. Introduction

The LCC New Build Lettings Policy (NBLP) sits alongside the council’s main lettings policy. It covers new build homes built or acquired by the council. This policy does not cover extra care schemes, supported housing schemes or individual buy back properties which are allocated using different criteria. It does not cover housing association new builds homes. The NBLP came into effect in May 2020 and applies to new build homes over a 5-year period.

Previous council new builds (pre-2020) were let through bespoke local lettings policies. All new build policies will revert to Leeds City Council’s main lettings policy 5 years after completion.

2. Aims of the NBLP

The objective of the NBLP is to deliver sustainable lettings, create stable and balanced communities as well as reward existing council tenants within the regeneration areas across the city.

The NBLP helps us allocate our new homes to people who meet their responsibilities as tenants and have an excellent tenancy record. We aim to build stronger neighbourhoods where people are proud to live and take pride in being part of the local community.

3. Advertising New Build Homes

New build homes will be advertised through the Leeds Homes website.

Highly adapted properties suitable for wheelchair users will be let to applicants by a direct let.

Properties will be advertised with an indicative rent level which will be up to 80% of the market rent. It will be made clear on the advert the rents are subject to a final evaluation nearer handover and are subject to change.

Properties will be advertised under the following criteria:

50% Date of Registration order / 50% housing need order.

Preference of offers will be given to applicants in the following order:

  1. Leeds City Council tenants living in the ward
  2. Local Connection to the ward area by means of living in, working in or having close family living in the ward
  3. All applicants

All applicants will need to demonstrate an excellent tenancy record. We will consider an applicant’s rent payment history, issues of anti-social behaviour and overall tenancy record. References will be requested from Housing Associations or private landlords (5 years history will be considered).

It is acknowledged that for some new build schemes there may require additional criteria which need to be put in place due to demand or supply issues within a local area. Any enhanced criteria, i.e., for site specific policies, would have to be evidenced and would only apply to the first lettings of homes and developments of over 10 units. For subsequent lets the standard New Build Policy would apply. The application of enhanced criteria would be approved by the Chief Officer for Housing.

4. Shortlisting

Properties will be shortlisted in date of registration order (regardless of housing need band), or housing need order.

An applicant’s Local Connection and Excellent Tenancy Record will be considered during the shortlisting process.

For the Local Connection we will consider:

Local Connections
Preference groupCriteria
Applies to all lettingsResidence in the area for 3 out of the last 5 years or 6 out of the last 12 months(not prison or hospital).
People with a local connection to the area – this would include living in, working in, or having close family living in the ward area. Lettings teams will check information held on the council’s housing application system and will contact prospective applicants to confirm the current information on local connection.Current employment or confirmed offer of employment. The employment can be part-time but not casual.

Self-employed and zero-hour contracts also count Close family associations (parents, brothers, sisters, or children) that have been living in the area for 12 months.

Specialist reason: Individual circumstances will be considered.

We will contact applicants to ask for evidence in order to verify their local connection, for example, proof of employment. In certain circumstances, we may consider waiving the local connection or accepting lesser proofs.

An excellent tenancy record will be considered when shortlisting for all our new homes. An excellent tenancy record is where an applicant has taken care of their current tenancy to a level reasonably expected. For existing Leeds City Council tenants, we check our internal records for example your rent account balance, for non-Leeds City Council applicants a reference request will be sent to their landlord, permission will be sought from the applicant in the first instance.

In general behaviour up to 5 years should be considered; however, officers should consider the proportionality of the tenancy breach, when it occurred and behaviour since then.

If an applicant is being considered for a new build home, a home visit will normally be undertaken, this would be an assessment of the applicant’s current property conditions and an affordability assessment to assess whether the applicant could afford to reside in the new build home.

On occasion when a home visit is not undertaken an affordability assessment would be carried out over the phone or by email.

The property condition, excellent tenancy checks and the affordability assessment will help determine whether to bypass the applicant on the grounds of property conditions or affordability before the offer is made.

Decisions will be made on the merits of each case, considering all the circumstances including:

  • reasons for the breach, for example, in the case of rent arrears, what caused the arrears to accrue
  • the applicant has support needs, physical or mental ill health and this could have contributed to their inappropriate behaviour in their tenancy
  • whether there is evidence that there has been an improvement in behaviour
  • the urgency of the applicant’s housing situation and whether the offer of a new home will address the issues
  • whether the customer is experiencing serious violence, hate crime or harassment or is in witness protection

5. Offers

Offers of new build homes will be made in advance of handover, this will give LCC and prospective tenants certainty about the allocation.

This means tenants will not be considered for offers of other properties once a new build offer has been made. Handover dates may vary considerably from the initial dates. We will keep prospective tenants up to date about predicted handover dates, so customers can then make an informed decision on whether to accept the formal offer.

6. Viewings

We will invite successful applicants to a viewing approximately 4 weeks before handover. The viewing may not be of the specific property offered to the applicant because the contractor may only offer Housing Leeds a ‘show home’ to view.

7. Monitoring and review

A lettings evaluation report will be produced after each new build scheme is fully occupied and handed over. The report will outline the key findings and lessons learnt from each scheme and demonstrate whether we have met the main objectives of the NBLP. A review of the NBLP will take place when an evaluation report shows that a review is required.

What's included 

All our new build homes will be provided at below market, affordable rents and will benefit from:

  • an enclosed rear garden
  • a garden shed, including secure cycle storage
  • energy efficient heating systems
  • a modern kitchen, compatible for gas or electric
  • off-street parking
  • a vehicle charging point
  • a ground floor WC
  • an overhead bath shower or level access shower
  • energy efficient glazing
  • energy efficient hot water systems
  • smart utility meters
  • private, sheltered entrances
  • high quality materials, including increased insulation


To apply for a new build council home, you will need to join the Leeds Homes register on the Leeds Homes website external link.

After you have registered, you can place a bid on the home you want to live in.

If you have any questions on our new build homes please email

Check what housing priority you have

We choose which applicants to let our new build homes to depending on what priority they fall under. Common rules include prioritising people who:

  1. have been on the Leeds Homes register the longest
  2. have had the highest priority need the longest
  3. are Leeds City Council tenants living in the area
  4. have a local connection to the area, such as living in, working in or having close family here
  5. are all other applicants

We will also check the last 5 years of your tenancy records. This includes your rent history, any issues of antisocial behaviour and references.

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