In this brief blog, we are going to discuss how the Home-Options works, how you can register your interest for a home on home options and bid for one. 

What is the Home options scheme?

The home options scheme is a scheme between a group of councils and homeownership providers to provide affordable homes in the UK. The providers are mainly based around the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands region. There are other home options schemes (such as the home options Norwich scheme) which may be run across the country but for this guide, we will simply focus on the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands region.

The Home options scheme will look to advise you on your suitability for the homes they offer. The home options group is very aware of how good housing can ensure that you have good health and good education for your kids.

The home options scheme will look to help you in the following ways:

  • By providing affordable homes which are suitable for you based on how quickly you need the homes and any other housing requirements you may have.
  • By assisting you in assessing your income level and providing you with options on how you can improve your income level. This means you can increase your affordability for a home options house.
  • By assisting you in determining what benefits you may be eligible for, assessing what employment options you may be able to get if you are currently unemployed. They will also advise you on what sort of training you may need to get employment.
  • If you currently have a home options home then by providing you with the support to ensure you can maintain your current mortgage repayments or tenancy.
  • By providing you with guidance on support on helping you reduce and manage the amount of debt you have.

The home options scheme works with other partner organisations, local community and statutory groups to offer the detailed level of service mentioned above. 

If you are looking for affordable housing then you can contact the home options partnership to see if the scheme is run in your local region and if you are eligible for the scheme or other housing in the UK.

You can begin your search for homes in the home options scheme here. The home options home is regularly advertised on the website and you can start the registration process there and begin to bid for homes.

The homes available on the website are available both to buy or to rent.

  • The home buying or renting process with the home options partnership is pretty simple, it goes like this:
  • You bid for a home found on the website
  • The council or housing provider who is providing the home will then analyse all applicants and will allocate the property to the most eligible person based on the home options property allocation policy. The home options partnership has two different policies for r Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands.
  • The successful applicant will then be contacted by the home options partnership provider, they will check that they are still eligible for the property and then discuss the offer of accommodation with them.
  • Some home options providers will now ask for a deposit to secure the property.

The home options partnership providers

There are a few home options homeownership providers who provide homes as part of the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands Home-Options Partnership.

These providers are mainly housing associations and councils who collectively advertise affordable homes and offer guidance to people who are looking for affordable homes in the High peak, Erewash, Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales and Staffordshire Moorlands areas.

The main home options partners and their contact details are below:

Amber Valley Borough Council 

You can contact the Amber Valley Borough Council on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

Tel: 01773 841400.

Email: home.options@ambervalley.gov.uk

Office: Amber Valley Borough Council

Town Hall, Ripley

Derbyshire, DE5 3BT

Derbyshire Dales District Council 

You can contact the Derbyshire Dales District Council on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

Tel: 01629 761311

Email: housingadvice@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

Office: Derbyshire Dales District Council

Town Hall, Bank Road,

Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3NN

Chesterfield Borough Council

You can contact the Chesterfield Borough Council by clicking on their name above, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

Erewash Borough Council 

EMH homes manage the housing register in Erewash.

EMH homes

You can contact EMH homes on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

Tel: 0300 123 6000

Email: enquiries@emhhomes.org.uk

Office: emh homes, Jubilee House

Whitwick Business Park, Stenson Road

Coalville LE67 4NA

Futures Housing Group

You can contact the Futures Housing Group on the details above, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

High Peak Borough Council 

You can contact the High Peak Borough Council on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

High Peak Borough Council manages the housing register in High Peak.

Tel: 0345 129 7777 or 01298 28400

Email: home-options.enquiries@highpeak.gov.uk

Office: High Peak Borough Council

Buxton Town Hall, Market Place,

Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

You can contact the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

Your Housing Limited manages the housing register in Staffordshire Moorlands. You can contact them via:

Tel: 0345 345 0272

Email: PropertyAdminMoorlands@yourhousinggroup.co.uk

Office: Your Housing Group

Central Lettings Team (South),

602 Aston Avenue, Birchwood Park,

Warrington WA3 6ZN.

Your Housing Limited 

Waterloo Housing Group

You can contactWaterloo Housing Group on the details below, please ensure you mention that you are contacting them in regards to the home options partnership.

If you are already a tenant of the Waterloo Housing Group, they will manage your transfer application.

Tel: 0345 600 6055

Email: info@waterloo.org.uk (Please state in your email that it is for the attention of the Home-Options team)

Office: Home-Options Team, Waterloo Housing Group

1700 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park

Birmingham B37 7YD

There are also other housing associations which work under the home options partnership but aren’t listed above but you will see a link to their websites on the property listing .

How to apply for the home options partnership

To apply for the home options partnership scheme you will need to complete an online application form. This application form will let you know if you are eligible for the scheme and what housing options are available for you through the home options scheme.

You can find a link to the application form here.

Who is eligible for the home options scheme

For you to be eligible for the home option scheme you will need to be legally in the UK and have the right to reside in the UK as a resident. You will have a right to reside in the UK even if you are not a UK citizen, as long as you have a valid residence permit or visa.

You will also need to be a resident to one of the below councils or have some connection to those councils. This could be because you currently work there you currently school there, your currently live there or your immediate family currently lives there.

Amber Valley

Chesterfield, 

Derbyshire Dales, 

Erewash, 

High Peak or 

Staffordshire Moorlands (There are some exceptions which apply)

You will not be eligible for the home options scheme if:

You already own a home

You have used the home options partnership in the past 2 years

You have missed rent payments have a history of rent arrears

You have been known to have anti-social behaviour

You may not be eligible if any of these apply to you but you should still contact the home options provider who is advertising the house you are interested in for further information.

You can read more about the home options allocation policy here.

Supporting documents

When you make your application for a home options home you may be required to provide supporting documentation. The online application form will let you know what sort of supporting documents you may need to send in as part of your application and where to send those documents. If you do not send the supporting documents requested as part of your home options application then your application will not be complete and will be left pending. This means you won’t be able to bid for any homes you see on the home options website.

Help with your application

If you need help with making your  housing application or if you are having difficulty using the online form or maybe you are not able to use the online form for whatever reason then please contact your local Home-Options team for more advice.

Once you have made an application you will receive a decision on if you have been selected for the home options property or not.

If you are not happy with the decision that has been made then you can ask the local home options provider review their decision.You can find more about the review process here.

How is your home options application reviewed?

The home options applications are reviewed based on priority. This means how urgently you need housing. The housing associations and local councils will look at which applicants have the greatest need for housing and likely allocate them as the successful applicants.

The housing associations and local councils will also look at where you live, the conditions you live in, the amount of bedrooms you have in your house ,if your house overcrowded or your living conditions are currently very poor. If you tick all the boxes here then the home options scheme may give you a much higher priority for housing.

The home options website goes on to state “ In some cases, we may set conditions on the priority you receive. For example, you may only get priority if you move closer to your place of work, or we may put a time limit on your priority to encourage you to move rather than wait for a specific property.”

The home options priority bands are: 

Band A – (Emergency/Top Priority)

Band B – (Urgent Need to Move)

Band C – (Identified Housing Need)

Band D – (Non-Priority Housing).

If you want to learn more about these priority bands then you can have a look in the home options allocation allocations policies for Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands.

Home options property advert

The homes which are available to bid on are listed on the home options website. This will give you all the information about the property which you require to decide if this is the right property for you. You have a limited amount of bids which you can use so you should only bid for properties you are sure you want.

The property listing will contain information such as:

Local data: this includes information about crime in the area, local schools, local shops, health services and public transport options around the area.

Map and street view:The map and street view will help you look around and explore the area with google maps

Bidding deadline: Each property listing will have a bidding deadline and you should ensure you submit your bid before this deadline if not it may not be counted.

Landlord: You will also see information on who the landlord of the property is and a link to their website where you can find more information about the services they offer.

Charges: You will see a section detailing the charges associated with the property such as rent, service charges etc It will also let you know if you have to make a rent deposit.

The Home options bidding process

The bidding process has now changed slightly, in the past homes were only updated every 2 weeks but now homes can be added to the website at any time and this means that you will likely see a new property on the website on any day which you visit the website.

Email alerts will now also be sent out so you will receive a new notification when a property which meets the criteria you have put down on the online application form becomes available in your region.

The property advertised will be available for a minimum of 5 days. And your bid must be placed by 11:59 pm on the day the bidding for the home closes.

You will still be able to place up to three bids at any one time.

How to set up the email alert

Setting up the email alert is pretty straightforward, you should follow these steps set out in the home options website.

“Login to the Home-Options website

Click on the ‘Your Property Alerts’ button

Set up your property alerts, choosing an area in which you want to live, the type(s) of property and the number of bedrooms and whether the property is adapted

Choose between daily or weekly alerts

Click ‘save’ and keep an eye on your email – you’ll receive a notification when a matching property is advertised.

You can update your alerts at any time by logging back into the Home-Options website and changing the details of your search. To cancel the alerts, change the frequency of your alerts to ‘No alerts’ and click ‘save’.”

You can set up as many email alerts as you want for any property types that you want but you can only bid for properties which you are eligible for.

How to Bid

To bind you should sign in to your home options account and then click on view homes, the browser should now load the homes which are available to you. You can click on each property listing to see further information such as the landlord, any charges, a map view of the home and surrounding areas etc. A “Place bid” button will be on each property listing, if you want to place a bid then simply click on this button and register your interest in the property.

You can then login into your account and view the properties you have bid on as well as any response to your bids.

If you need help or assistance in making a bid then  you can contact your local home options provider to assist you.They will talk you through the bidding process and assist you in making a bid.

Once the review process has finished then local home options provider will contact successful bidders, those who haven’t been successful will be notified via their online dashboards. You shouldn’t bother contacting the home options provider to inquire on whether you have been a successful bidder or not.

Thank you for taking the time to read out home options guide, if you have any questions or comments please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.