What is the Newport home options scheme?
The New port home options is a scheme run by the Newport city council to provide more affordable homes for its residents.
Who can use the Newport home options scheme
To use the Newport home options scheme you will need to be:
At least 16 years of age
You want to rent privately
You are looking for an alternate accommodation
Intend to rent a housing association property in Newport
A housing association tenant who intends to move to a new property in the Newport council
You want to purchase a home in Newport council under the Low-Cost Home Ownership Scheme
If you meet the above requirements you can register for the scheme and will be put on the housing register.
Who isn’t eligible for the Newport home options scheme?
Some people will not, by law, be eligible to join the housing register and therefore register for the Newport home options 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.
- You will not be able to use the Newport home options scheme if you have not completed an application form and been accepted on to the housing register.
- If you are not classed as a UK resident you may not be able to use this service
- You have previous council tenant debts which are serious enough to make you an unsuitable tenant.
- You have intentionally worsened your current circumstances in order to gain accommodation through this service.
If you make an application to be on the housing register for the Newport home options scheme and are refused then you will be notified in writing with the reasons clearly stated and you could ask for a review of this decision.
How to get a Newport home options scheme property
Below are the phases needed to get a home through the Newport home options scheme.
Phase 1- registering for the Newport home options scheme
You can apply for the Newport home options scheme if you are eligible. Even before your application to the scheme has been approved you will be able to apply for properties as long as you have an active application to the scheme. To register for the Newport home options scheme you should complete the online application. Once you have done this your application will be reviewed and you will hear back, usually within 4 months.
The Newport home options staff will write to you letting you know you have been accepted for the scheme and provide you with:
“Your housing application number.
The band and points your application has been awarded, together with your priority date.
And the number of bedrooms you are entitled to be considered for.”
Once your application has been approved you will then be able to bid on up to four properties per week. You can also assess the portal to bid if you are a tenant of any of the partner housing associations. You can do this if you want to move.
Once you have been accepted to the scheme you should ensure you notify the staff if there have been any changes in your circumstances so they may reassess you for the scheme and see if you now fit in a different band or are no longer eligible for the scheme.
Failing to notify the Newport home options staff of a change in your circumstances or intentionally providing incorrect information will mean that you may end up being ineligible for the home you have bid on If you have intentionally provided false information then this could mean that your application is cancelled, you are banned from the scheme and you could even be prosecuted for providing false information.
As the funds used to administer the Newport home options scheme eare public funds, the council has an obligation to ensure these funds are going to those in need. The council may also share information you have provided with any relevant third parties.
Some of the changes which you should notify the Newport home options of include:
A Change in your medical circumstances
A change in family details
A change in your contact address
A change in your contact phone number
Any changes that could affect your Newport home options housing application
Any change in your current living conditions which may be affecting your wellbeing
Any change in your current tenancy e.g being given notice.
Property size guides
With the Newport home options scheme, you will only be eligible for properties within your band.
A guide is provided below:
|Household Type||Property Type|
|Single person under 55||Bedsit/Studio, 1/2 Bed Flat/Maisonette|
|A single person over 55||Bedsit/Studio, Bungalow, 1/2 Bed Flat/Maisonette|
|Couple or single person (with overnight access to at least 1 child)||1/2 Bed Flat or Maisonette|
|Couple or single person who is pregnant||2 Bed Flat/House/Maisonette|
|Couple (both under 55)||1 Bed Flat, 2/3 Bed Flat/Maisonette|
|Couple (one or both over 55)||1 Bed Flat, 2/3 Bed Bungalow/Flat/Maisonette|
|Two adults (not a couple both under 55)||2 or 3 Bed Flat/Maisonette|
|Two adults (not a couple one or both over 55)||2/3 Bed Bungalow/Flat/Maisonette|
|A single person with 1 dependent child||2/3 Bed Flat/Maisonette/House|
|A single person with 2 dependent children (same-sex)||2/3/4 Bed Flat/Maisonette/House|
You may need to have these supporting documents when you make your application.
- Proof of your housing history
- National Insurance number
- Photo identification
- Proof of income
- Proof of residence for all household members over 16 years old.
Phase 2 – Choosing and Bidding for properties
Properties will usually appear on the Newport home options scheme website on Wednesday night. If you are registered to the newsletter you will also receive a notification on when properties are available. 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
- In some cases a photograph is available
- If there are any special requirements for the property e,g age of the tenant.
- What band will receive priority for this property( You can still apply even if your band won’t receive priority but only if the property will be suitable for your family size using the property size guide above)
You can hover over the symbols on the property listing page to get more information about the property.
You can bid on any 4 Newport home options scheme properties in a week by doing so via their website, via text to +447860015214, Calling Home Options on 03001113580 or visiting City Hall or one of the partner offices to place a bid.
If you need help placing your bids or you want to request for someone to place your bids on your behalf you should inform the Newport home options staff.
You will only be able to bid for properties which you are eligible for and you won’t be able to bid on the property advert has expired.
Phase 3- Review
Once the bidding is complete a list of eligible applicants will be produced in order or who needs the Newport home options scheme 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 Newport home options scheme website. If you are accepted you will usually be contacted with 28 days of the bidding cycle ending.
The scheme council or landlord will check that the applicant’s details are accurate and up-to-date before any offer is made.
They will check that you are still eligible, that you can afford to rent the property etc It is very important that the contact details and information you provided for yourself are up to date as if they are not you may miss out on the Newport home options scheme 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 upon 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 Newport home options scheme properties which are advertised in the coming weeks.
If you refuse two properties you will be removed from the housing register and would have to reapply to the scheme.
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. Once you accept a property your application will be cancelled and if you want to move in the future you will need to reapply to the scheme.
When you may be rejected?
There are a few scenarios where you may be rejected for a Newport home options home. They include but are not limited to:
- You became ineligible since you joined the scheme
- A landlord withdraws a property from the scheme
- The priority band you were placed in was incorrect and hence you have no priority on the property
- The accommodation is not suitable for you
- The accommodation is unaffordable for you
- Yo were offered more than one property and you are more suitable to the other property
- You do not meet the local letting policies which may have been imposed by the landlord e.g age
- You do not meet the letting criteria on the property
- Your circumstances have changed and you are no longer in the right priority band and hence not eligible.
- Your situation requires you to be suspended whilst an investigation is carried out into your application.
Refusing a property if you have additional priority
If you refused a property with a reasonable offer and you have additional property then your additional priority will be removed and your application will fall back into your normal priority band.
“A property will usually be considered to be a reasonable offer if:
- It is of sufficient size to accommodate the members household;
- The physical access to the property and the internal layout and facilities are appropriate;
- The property is affordable for you.”
If you are not in agreement with a decision to remove your additional priority you can ask for this decision to be reviewed.
You can see how priority is given by clicking here.
Phase 4 – feedback
At the end of the month, Newport home options scheme will publish a list of homes that have been let, how many applicants bid for each property, the priority band and the number of applicants who were deemed to be priority applicants. You will also be shown the “priority date of the applicant at the top of the list at the close of the advert. This does not mean that this applicant has been offered the property as there may be other criteria to be applied before a decision is made on who will be offered the property.”
Newport home options scheme 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, the popularity of the area or property and the waiting time.
Getting a mortgage
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.
In this brief guide, we discussed the Newport home options. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
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.