Home Options Norwich (Guide)

What is home options Norwich?

Home option Norwich is a scheme run by the Norwich city council to provide more affordable homes for its residents.

There are different housing associations which run the scheme in tandem with the Norwich city council.

Who isn’t eligible for the home options Norwich scheme?

Some people will not, by law, be eligible to join the housing register and therefore register for the Home options Norwich scheme.

These people include:

  • Some people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act
  • Some people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
  • People (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

How to get a home options Norwich property

Below are the phases needed to get a home through the home options Norwich scheme.

Phase 1- registering for the Home options Norwich scheme

You can apply for the home options Norwich scheme if you are eligible.

  • You are eligible if:
  • you are aged 18 or over, and
  • you have a local connection to the area i.e have lived in Norwich continuously for six months.

You are not eligible if:

  • you are subject to immigration control
  • you have been involved in antisocial behaviour in a previous property
  • you have breached your tenancy conditions with a previous landlord
  • you have been rehoused through the Home Options scheme in the last 12 months unless your circumstances have changed.
  • you are undergoing a Right to Buy or mutual exchange.

You may also be eligible for the home options Norwich scheme If you live outside Norwich.

If you do not live in Norwich you cannot apply to join the Home Options scheme unless:

  • you are aged 60 and over requiring sheltered accommodation
  • you come within the armed forces covenant
  • there are exceptional circumstances which require you to live in Norwich.

If you have any queries about your local connection, please contact home options Norwich on 0344 980 3333.

You will need to have these supporting documents when you make your application.

  • Proof of five-year housing history
  • National Insurance number
  • Photo identification
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of residence for all household members over 18 years old.

Phase 2 – Bid for properties

Properties will usually appear on the home options Norwich website on Wednesday night. From this point on you can filter between houses and place bids as you see fit.

The properties will display:

  • The landlord
  • The properties rent
  • The properties size
  • The properties location

You can bid on any 2 home options Norwich properties in a week by doing so by their website or Calling Home Options on 0344 980 33 33 or visiting us at City Hall, Norwich and asking to place a bid.

Phase 3- Review

Once the bidding is complete a list of eligible applicants will be produced in order or who needs the home options Norwich property the most. The applicants will be listed for each available house. If you are not successful after bidding you will not be contacted and should continue your search on the home options Norwich website.

The scheme council or landlord will check that the applicant’s details are accurate and up-to-date before any offer is made. It is very important that the contact details you provided for yourself are up to date as if they are not you may miss out on the home options Norwich property even if you are at the top of the priority list.

If your name is at the top of the priority list for a particular property you will usually be asked to come and view the property.

If for some reason the council is unable to offer you the property e.g because you currently have rent arrears or you have a legal dispute with the council then the home will be passed on to the next person below you on the priority list to view.

This is the same case if you view the property and decide to pass up on it as you don’t like it for whatever reason.

You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property and will be able to continue to bid for any other home options Norwich properties which are advertised in the coming weeks.

If you are offered a property you will not be shortlisted for other properties until you have decided to either accept or refuse the offer.

If you accept the property you will be advised when you can move in.

Phase 4 – feedback

At the end of the month, home options Norwich will publish a list of homes that have been let, how many applicants bid for each property and the number of applicants who were deemed to be priority applicants.

Home options Norwich cannot give you individual feedback as there are simply way too many people.

You will also be able to view useful statistics about how many properties have been let in a particular area and the different types of property which have been advertised.

This gives you some idea of where you may want to bid based on the property type and the waiting time.

If you are considering getting a mortgage then using a mortgage broker may be a good choice as mortgage brokers usually have access to many more products than any specific mortgage lender.

Mortgage brokers will also usually have access to specific deals from mortgage lenders as well as experience on which mortgage lenders will be more likely to accept your case. This will help you avoid getting rejected on a mortgage application and having to build credit due to the damage a rejection might do to your credit score.

If you have bad credit or are self-employed then specialist mortgage brokers such as bad credit mortgage brokers or self-employed mortgage brokers may be useful.

You may also want to consider the government schemes which are available for first-time buyers and home movers such as:

  • Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
  • Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
  • Help to buy equity loan- gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
  • Shared ownership- You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
  • Armed forces help to buy- similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
  • Rent to buy- This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
  • Right to buy- allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
  • Preserved right to buy– same as above.
  • Right to acquire- same as above.

You may also be eligible for mortgages which allow a 100% Loan to value

They are a certain type of mortgage known as a family springboard mortgage, they include mortgages from lenders such as the Barclays family springboard mortgage, the Lloyds lend a hand mortgage or the post office family link mortgage.

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.