How the scheme works
With Home-Link, it will not be the Council or Housing Association who will find you a home; instead you look for your own home using the Home-Link web site or magazine. There are four steps to registering with Home-Link, allowing you to bid for properties that you are interested in:
Step 1 - Registration
You will be registered with Home-Link if:
• You are an existing tenant of any of the participating Councils or Housing Associations and have registered for a transfer; or
• You are an applicant on a housing register of a participating Council or Housing Association; or
• If you are a new applicant to the housing register.
You can complete an application form online or by requesting an application form from your local Council or Housing Association.
Once your Council or Housing Association has accepted you onto the register, we will write to you with the Home-Link user guide and your Home-Link Number. We will tell you which housing needs band (A, B, C or D) you have been placed in and your priority date (the date you were placed into that band).
You must keep your local Council or Housing Association informed of any changes to your circumstances i.e. changes to your household size, medical condition or housing situation. This is very important as it could result in changing your band or your eligibility for certain properties.
Step 2 - Bidding for Property
Available properties are advertised each fortnight on the Home-Link web site and in the Home-Link magazine, giving you information about each available property. You can pick up a free copy of the Home-Link magazine from various places, including Council offices, Housing Association offices and the other access points in your local area.
Properties will usually be advertised every other Friday. Your bids must reach us by 12 noon the following Wednesday. This is known as the bidding cycle.
Registered applicants of the Home-Link scheme will be able to bid for a maximum of 3 properties in each bidding cycle.
You can bid in the following ways:
On the web: Go to login and log on with your Home-Link number and date of birth. Alternatively,choose to login with your email address and choose a more personalised password.
By telephone: Call 0870 727 0481 and follow the instructions.
By text: Text 07781 472 726
By coupon: Blank coupons will be sent directly to you with your registration pack. Each coupon will have your name and Home-Link number printed on it. This is your individual number so do not give your coupons to anyone else. You can request more coupons by going to the Home-Link website or by ticking the box on your coupon when you submit a bid.
Step 3 - The Offer
Once the bidding cycle has closed, we put the bids received in priority order to produce a shortlist of eligible applicants for each property.
The landlord of the property allocates from the shortlist after doing further checks. If your name is at the top of the shortlist, you will normally be invited to view the property. If you refuse this property, the next person on the shortlist will be invited to view it.
You do not automatically get penalised for refusing a property you have successfully bid for, however, we may review your circumstances if you refuse several properties, especially if you are in a high housing needs band and need to move urgently.
If you successfully bid for more than one property in the same bidding cycle, the landlord will usually contact you to ask which property you would prefer as your first choice. People who have come top of a shortlist are usually contacted within a week of the close of the bidding cycle.
Some landlords may invite more than one applicant to view the property at the same time, however, the property is usually offered to the applicant with the highest housing need who attends the viewing.
Properties may be advertised some time before they are ready for occupation, you will be informed of when the property is available.
Whilst a property is under offer to you, you will not be able to place bids on any other properties. Only one property may be on offer to an applicant at one time.
If you receive an offer to view, and you do not intend to turn up you must contact the landlord.
Step 4 - Feedback
All properties are listed on the Feedback page of Home-Link once they have been let.
The feedback tells you how many people bid for each property, as well as the band and priority date of the successful bidder. This helps you to see how long the successful bidders have been waiting.
It is not possible to notify you individually when your bids have been unsuccessful.
If you have questions about how the scheme applies to you or about bidding for properties, there are fully trained housing staff available to support you at your local Council or Housing Association offices.