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Home > Housing > Looking for a home > Gateway to Homechoice - how it works

Gateway to Homechoice - how it works

Further to updated Government guidance, issued on 13 May, we will resume advertising social housing properties on Thursday 4 June 2020.

From 4 June, some available properties will be advertised on the Gateway to Homechoice site while some might also be directly let to applicants who meet criteria stated within section 3 of the Local Lettings Plan.

Choice Based Lettings COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens once I have applied?

Assessment of Need

When we receive your application we will assess your housing need in accordance with our Allocations Policy and your application will be placed in one of five bands (A to E), with A being the highest. You will receive a letter advising you of your banding and the size of property you are entitled to.

Bidding for vacancies
Bidding or showing an interest in a property simply means putting your name forward.

You can select two properties each week and there is no cost involved in placing a bid.

Adverts include a description of the home and other relevant information, such as the rent, the size and any adaptations or other special features the property might have.

Each bidding cycle runs from midnight on a Wednesday to 11.59pm the following Wednesday. You can remove and replace bids within the advertising cycle.

Properties are offered to the person who meets the criteria in the advert and has been in the highest band for the longest time.

You do not need to bid every week however if you do not take part you will be restricting your chance of being offered a property.

At the end of the cycle we look at the list of people who have bid for each vacancy. The applicant in the highest band who has waited the longest will be at the top of the list. 
How will I know if it is worth showing an interest in a property?
When you select a property online you will see what position you are in, but this could change throughout the cycle as other applicants place or remove bids. There is no advantage to bidding early in the cycle.

If there are a lot of people ahead of you for a vacancy you will know that there is a little chance of being offered that property and you may wish to select another.

If you are not in a high band (A - C), you are unlikely to be successful unless you are interested in a lower demand property such as sheltered accommodation or an area of less demand.

Viewings and refusals

Landlords generally offer multiple viewings to the top three applicants for each vacancy. You will be told in advance what position you are in and if you are offered a property will have 24 hours to decide whether to accept it.

Generally applicants can refuse an offer without penalty and can continue to bid for other vacancies.