What is Homes Direct?
Homes Direct is a platform used by housing associations and local authorities in the Midlands to advertise affordable homes to rent. You can see the list of the partners using the site here.
Why is Homes Direct closing?
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.
When will I stop seeing homes in my area on Homes Direct?
Homes will be available across the Midlands until 31 March 2021 but there might not be as many as you’re used to seeing. From April 2021 only properties in East Northamptonshire will be advertised on Homes Direct.
How will I bid on homes in my area after 31 March 2021?
The Homes Direct website will advertise homes across the midlands until 31 March 2021. After this date you will need to be registered with your local authority and/or housing providers to bid on their homes.
You’ve still got plenty of time to register with individual providers to make sure you keep seeing the homes available in your area.
When will Homes Direct close completely?
Homes in East Northamptonshire will be available from 31 March to 30 June 2021 and then the site will close down.
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 www.homes.midlandheart.org.uk
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) www.citizensadvice.org.uk 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 contact them directly about where you can advertise your property. Some popular exchange schemes are:
Homeswapper – www.homeswapper.co.uk
House exchange – www.houseexchange.org.uk
Exchange Locata – www.exchangelocata.org.uk
I am looking for a home in Newcastle-under-Lyme. What are my options after April 2021?
From the 31st March 2021, Newcastle-under-Lyme will no longer be advertising their vacant properties on Homes Direct. Up to that point, applicants will be able to apply and bid for housing, as normal. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, in partnership with Aspire Housing, are developing a new system, for housing registration and applying for housing. This will be in place by the 1st of April 2021. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will continue to provide regular updates via their websites and through email.
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 except East Northamptonshire, 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:
Rushden 0345 600 5050
Newcastle Under Lyme
Newcastle Housing Advice Office 0345 850 9698
Contact information for current Homes Direct partners: