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Housing options from April 2021


Frequently asked questions


What is Homes Direct?

Homes Direct was a platform used by housing associations and local authorities in the Midlands to advertise affordable homes to rent. The has now closed and no longer advertises homes to rent. Homes Direct is now only used for mutual exchanges.


Why has Homes Direct closed?

Housing associations can let their homes themselves or take referrals from their local authority. Some of the organisations using Homes Direct have started operating their own schemes to re-let their homes. This means that they no longer need to advertise on Homes Direct.

Some providers have made changes to their allocations policy to give them more flexibility and make their homes available to a wider range of applicants in housing need. When providers have different allocations policies it is easier for them to be managed by each organisation. Having one portal makes this more difficult.

All providers are committed to help building balanced and sustainable communities and to making homes available to the wide range of customers who need an affordable place to live.


Why can't I see homes in my area on Homes Direct?

Homes Direct closed on 31 March 2021. No homes will be advertised on the site after this date.


How will I bid on homes in my area after 31 March 2021?

From 1 April 2021 you will need to register with your local authority and/or housing providers to bid on their homes.


Will the bids I made before Homes Direct closes still be considered?

Yes, any bids that you make up until 31 March 2021 will be considered.


Is there a new scheme that I can register with?

At this time there isn’t another scheme that all providers can sign up to. Depending on where you live you’ll need to register with your local authority. There might be a housing association in your area who have homes to rent but you’ll need to contact them directly.

Midland Heart have launched a new scheme to let their homes


Will I still get the same priority if I register with the council or housing association?

This will vary depending on your landlord or Council. In most cases you’ll be given a priority or banding when you register.


Where can I get more information about finding a home?

You can speak to your local council’s housing team or contact the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) for advice.


What will happen to my application and all my confidential information?

Any details that you have given will be kept securely and disposed of after a period of time in accordance with our data retention policy.

If you’re already with a landlord they’ll write to you and confirm what information they have and if you’ll be able to transfer to another scheme.


Where can I advertise my home for a swap (mutual exchange) now?

If you have a tenancy with a local authority or a housing association, you’ll need to contact them directly about where you can advertise your property. Some popular exchange schemes are:




I am looking for a home in Newcastle-under-Lyme. What are my options after April 2021?

For further information, please click on this link: Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council


I’m looking for a new home in my area, who should I contact about my application?

If you’re looking for a home in any area, please speak to your landlord first. They will be able to offer you advice about the options that are available to you. If you don’t have a landlord, please speak to your local council’s housing team or your local Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB).

If you are looking for housing in the following areas, please use the following contact information:


Local office

East Northamptonshire

Please click on this link: East Northamptonshire Council

Newcastle Under Lyme

Please click on this link: Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council


Please click on this link: