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Alternative Housing Options

HomeOption is a different way of allocating homes owned by the Council and Housing Associations. It will not provide more homes but it will allow you to see the vacancies that arise in the six partner authority areas.

Most Homeseekers will not get the opportunity to rent accommodation with a Council or Housing Association. There are many more people looking for homes than there are vacancies. Therefore, you may need to consider alternative solutions to your housing difficulties. Here are some alternative housing options you may wish to consider.

Private Rented Accommodation

Private rented accommodation can include lodgings, renting your own flat or house or shared accommodation. Your landlord will be a private individual or company.
Living in private rented accommodation you will either be a tenant or a licensee.

Private renting offers you the freedom to find the type of accommodation you require in the area you wish to live. You may be eligible for help with the rent payments through Housing Benefit, contact your Local Authority for more details.

If you decide to go ahead, you will need to get money together for a deposit and usually one month’s rent in advance.

Contact your own Local Authority for further advice and to see if they operate either a Rent Deposit or Rental Loan Scheme.

Mutual Exchange

Tenants of Councils and Housing Associations may be able to swap their home if they are secure or assured tenants. This is called a mutual exchange. In mutual exchange, two or more tenants exchange their homes and take on the terms of each other’s tenancy.

If you are a tenant of a Council or Housing Association please contact your landlord for further details.

Shared Ownership

HomeBuy is a government backed affordable shared ownership scheme.
HomeBuy Products include:

New Build HomeBuy

New Build HomeBuy is a part-buy/part-rent scheme offering you the opportunity to buy what you can afford now.

Homes are sold as leasehold properties on shared ownership terms. They can be flats or houses; newly built or occasionally newly refurbished.

You can purchase as little as 25% and up to a usual maximum of 75%. You will need to be able raise a mortgage for the share you want to purchase, and you will pay a subsidised rent on the share you don’t own. You can buy additional shares at a later date. This is known as ‘staircasing’.

When you want to sell the property you can sell the share you own through your housing association allowing further households to benefit from low-cost home ownership. The property is resold at market value and you will benefit from any equity which has built up on the share that you own.

Rent To HomeBuy

This option offers new build homes to rent for a pre-defined period of time with the expectation that you will buy a share of the property at the end of the rental period.

Homes are available through a range of housing associations on assured shorthold tenancies with an affordable rent of 80% (or less) of market rents. The rent is payable for a pre-defined and limited period, after which time there is an expectation that you will purchase the property on the terms of New Build HomeBuy. The rental period provides you with the opportunity to save for a deposit towards buying a share in the home, enabling you to access mortgage availability.

Some housing associations offer variations of Rent to HomeBuy. Some of these schemes are marketed with different names, for example “Try Before You Buy” or “Rent Save Buy”, etc.

HomeBuy Direct

This option offers equity loans towards the purchase of a new build home on selected developments.

You buy a minimum of 70% of the market value of a property. An equity loan of up to 30% is provided to assist your purchase. There are no payments on the loan for the first five years. After five years there is a fee of 1.75%, which increases annually in line with inflation. You will need to raise a mortgage to purchase through this scheme. You can also use any savings you may have to contribute as a deposit towards your share.

You can buy additional shares at a later date until you own 100%. This is calculated on the current market value at the time that you purchase the additional shares.
If you wish to sell your property, the equity loan is repaid as a percentage.

 

Other Options:

HOLD

HOLD is a specially tailored option to assist people with long-term disabilities to purchase a share in a property. It is offered by a small number of housing associations, with limited availability.

New Build Discounted Rent

Also known as intermediate rent, this option offers new build homes to rent at 80% (or less) of typical market rents.

Homes are available through a range of housing associations on an assured shorthold tenancy, usually for an initial period of six months. This is reviewed regularly.
Many housing associations that let properties through this scheme also offer an option to buy a share in the property on a New Build HomeBuy basis at a later date.
Some housing associations may ask you to agree to purchase the property after a pre-defined rental period. This is called Rent to HomeBuy.