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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number answers to frequent questions that you may find useful.  If you can't find the question below then please contact us.

What is Home Options Newport?
How do I register?
What information do I have to provide?
How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Home Options Scheme?
Can you refuse to accept me onto the Home Options Scheme?
How do I find out which properties are available?
What is 'bidding'?
How do I express an interest in (bid for) a property?
What if I can't bid for myself?
Can I select a property that is bigger or smaller then my needs?
How will I know if it is worth showing an interest in a property?
Who gets the property?
When will I hear if I am successful in getting a property?
What happens if I am successful?
What if I want to refuse an offer of accommodation?
My bids keep being unsuccessful.  Is there any point in me carrying on bidding?
If I bid earlier in the week am I more likely to get the property?
What do I do if my circumstances change?
What if someone in my household has a medical condition?
What if I become homeless or if I am at risk of being made homeless?
I am homeless and in temporary accommodation,  Can I still take part in the scheme?
I have rent arrears. Can I take part?
I am interested in sheltered accommodation.  Can I take part?
I am a housing association tenant who wants to move.  Will i qualify?
How do I request a review of a decision?
If I join the scheme will I be offered a property?
Unsuccessful?


What is Home Options Newport?

Home Options is a choice based lettings scheme which enables people to find housing association homes for part purchase or for rent, as well as opportunities within the private rented sector. Registered users can express an interest in a property (bid) through a variety of channels - internet (using the website), text message, phone and postal coupon and in person at any of the partners offices.

Expressing an interest ‘bidding’ means you tell us you’re interested in a property – no money changes hands.

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How do I register?

The easiest way is to apply through the on-line application form. You will need to follow the instructions to register your details and then complete the property application form as indicated. The process takes approximately 45 minutes in total.  Help can be found on the websites main page.

If you do not have access to a computer you can contact Newport City Council on 01633 656656 or any of the partner Housing Associations and they will go through the form with you over the phone or if you prefer, advise you on where you can access computers or send you an application form by post.

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What information do I have to provide?

You will need to make sure that you have all the relevant details to hand. These include:

  • The name, address and date of birth of all household members

  • Their telephone contact numbers

  • A full five year address history of all household members

  • A National Insurance number for the main and second applicant (this is not essential)

  • Your employment and income details

  • An email address (if you have one)

You may also be asked to supply:

  • Any relevant information which supports your application such as medical information, issues you are experiencing in your current accommodation etc

  • Any other information which is relevant. This could include why you left your previous accommodation or convictions for anti-social behaviour.

Please note that if you are not already a tenant of one of the partner organisations you may be requested to provide proof of your identity and proof of your address. This is important as we may not be able to process your application without this information.

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How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Home Options scheme?

You will receive confirmation that you have been accepted onto the Home Options scheme. This will tell you your registration number, date of registration, which band you have been placed in and the level of points awarded. This confirmation may be sent by letter or email.

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Can you refuse to accept me onto the Home Options Scheme?

Yes. There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. If you are found ineligible to register you will be notified of the reasons in writing and advised of your right of appeal. More detailed information is contained within the Home Options Newport policy.

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How do I find out which properties are available?

Properties are advertised weekly. Adverts are available in a range of locations across the city and can be viewed on the Home Options Newport webpages.

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, number of bedrooms, rent/costs and other features of the property. If the property has special features or is otherwise restricted the advert will detail the special requirements that the applicant must meet to be able to express an interest in the property.

There is a range of accommodation advertised through the Home Options scheme. This includes housing association rented properties, low cost home ownership options, private rented housing and shared accommodation. In all instances you will be required to provide a payment towards your rent upon signing for any tenancy you may be offered, often referrred to as rent in advance. You will therefore need to start to save towards this. Advice and information can be found in the housing solutions guide or through the money advice webpages.

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What is ‘bidding’?

Bidding is the term commonly used to explain the process of ‘expressing an interest’ in a property.

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How do I express an interest in (bid for) a property?

Expressing an interest (bidding) means putting your name forward for the properties you are interested in. It is important to only apply for properties that you are interested in as if you refuse two offers of accommodation then your application will be removed from the Home Options Newport scheme.

You can do this by visiting the website, by phone, by text message, email or in person at our offices. You can make up to four bids on each weekly advert.

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What if I can’t bid for myself?

The system can be set to "auto bid" for you on the type of property you are interested in. Alternatively, a family member or advocate can bid on your behalf. If you wish to select the auto bid feature then you will need to speak with a member of staff before this can be activated as we will need to make sure that your preferences are recorded.

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Can I select a property that is bigger or smaller than my needs?

No, you will only be able to select properties that you are eligible for. In some instances you will be able to apply for properties with 1 bedroom more than you require. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you can afford the rent on any property and checks will be made on your financial circumstances before a formal offer is made.

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How will I know if it is worth showing an interest in a property?

We publish information about homes that have been successfully let. We tell you the number of applicants that bid for the property together with the band, the points level and 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. You can see these results by using Properties and recent lets search panel from main navigation menu.

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Who gets the property?

The property will generally be offered to the person who is in position 1 at the close of the weekly advert cycle. Any offer is subject to verification checks carried out by each Housing Association. Offers will only be made to individuals where they meet the necessary criteria for the property which is often recorded on each individual property advert.

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When will I hear if I am successful in getting the property?

If you are successful you will be contacted by the housing provider as soon as possible after the advertising comes to an end. This will usually be completed within 4 weeks of the advert closing but in some instances this can go beyond this time.

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What happens if I am successful?

You will be invited to view the property concerned and, at the viewing, will be offered the tenancy of the property subject to any verification checks that need to be carried out by the Housing Association concerned.

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What if I want to refuse an offer of accommodation?

We know that choosing a home isn't easy and we know we can't show everything about a property in the adverts. That's why we don't normally have penalties for refusing a property after viewing if the property is unsuitable for your needs. However, where the refusal is considered to be unreasonable your preference is likely to be reconsidered and if you refuse two reasonable offers of accommodation your application will be removed from the housing register.

Should this happen you will be able to re-apply but the level of preference awarded will generally not exceed band C.

Some applicants have a limited time to bid and limited options - you will be informed when you register if this applies to you.

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My bids keep being unsuccessful. Is there any point in me carrying on bidding?

Whether you are the successful bidder depends on who else wants a particular property.

The lower your housing need band the longer it may take for you to be housed. The more flexible you are about the area you wish to live in and the type of property you want and the more properties you bid for, the more likely you are to be successful. Details of recent lets can be found on the home page of the home options site.

If you are in the lower bands you may want to look at other housing options such as low cost ownership or private rented accommodation. If you need further advice about your housing options please contact the Housing Options Team on 01633 656656 or complete the online Housing Solutions Guide.

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If I bid earlier in the week am I more likely to get the property?

No. Applying earlier will make no difference.

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What do I do if my circumstances change?

Tell us. It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band.

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What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details and this can be completed on the online application form. Your application may be referred to the Health and Welfare Needs Assessment Panel who may grant additional preference if your home adversely affects your medical condition. If you are granted additional preference there is an expectation that you will apply for properties that meet your housing and medical/health requirements. If you do not express interest in suitable properties, your additional preference may be amended.

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What if I become homeless or if I am at risk of being made homelessness?

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness then you should contact the Council. The Council will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing solutions with you. If you have applied to Home Options Newport for accommodation and your application has been accepted on to the register you will still express an interest in properties.

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I am homeless and in temporary accommodation. Can I still take part in the scheme?

Yes. You can take part in the same way as other applicants. However, the band awarded to you will depend on your circumstances and the duty owed to you under legislation. You will need to speak with the Council over this if you are unsure at all.

If you are a homeless applicant and have not received an offer of accommodation within 2 months, your circumstances will be reviewed. If you have failed to bid (and cannot provide a reasonable reason why) or have failed to select a range of suitable properties, the Council may decide to make a direct offer of accommodation to you. If you refuse the property the council may consider that it has discharged its duty towards you. You will then be asked to leave the temporary accommodation provided for you and your band will change.

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I have rent arrears. Can I take part?

Yes. You will be able to take part, provided you are eligible to register but you will not normally be offered a new tenancy until you make a clear commitment to clear the debt owed and have maintained payments for an agreed period of time. You need to contact your landlord or ex-landlord to discuss with them arrangements to repay any debt.

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I am interested in sheltered accommodation. Can I take part?

Yes. Properties are advertised in the normal way and age or other restrictions are listed on the advert. If you are interested in Extra Care Schemes you will need to contact Linc Cymru Housing Association directly as an assessment of your needs has to be undertaken. Linc Cymru can be contacted on 02920 473767.

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I am a housing association tenant who wants to move. Will I qualify?

Tenants living in housing association homes are assessed in the same way as other applicants. Your priority depends on the home you live in and your need for alternative accommodation.

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How do I request a review of a decision?

To request a review you must contact a member of staff and state which decision(s) you disagree with and why. You can provide additional information that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 56 days. However, in certain cases this may be longer and you will be notified of this if this is the case.

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If I join the scheme will I be offered a property?

There is a high demand for accommodation and not all applicants will be successful. Acceptance on to the register does not guarantee an offer of accommodation.

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Unsuccessful?

Unfortunately there are not enough housing association properties for us to help everyone on the housing register. Those with higher need are likely to be housed before those in lower bands. If you are in a lower band it may take some time and you may want to consider other housing options such as private rented housing. Further information can be found within the Housing Solutions Guide.

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