Housing allocation continues to be a concern, not only in South Africa, but also globally, in contexts where public housing programmes have been a key element in addressing housing needs. The clarity or lucidness of a housing allocation policy directive regarding its objectives and intended outcomes often influences the success of its implementation (DeLeon & DeLeon, 2002). This policy brief draws from Buitendijk’s (2011) definition of housing allocation as ‘a social housing allocation policy that consists of a set of criteria indicating which households are allowed to live in which accommodation, and includes rules about how households can apply for a vacant property’ (Buitendijk, 2011:1–2). This speaks to the South African housing allocation system that targets the poor who, without housing subsidies, would otherwise be homeless. Therefore, implementation of the housing allocation process facilitates access to housing for the indigent.