Key to Choice: improving the way applicants bid for homes

The Council and its partner housing associations are improving the way applicants bid for homes. From Friday (29 April 2016) homes will no longer be advertised in a newspaper and applicants will instead bid online at www.keytochoice.co.uk.

The decision to move to online is in response to the increase in online bids submitted on a weekly basis, which is currently just under 90%.  

Until now Council and housing association homes were advertised in the Monday edition of the Edinburgh Evening News and in the EH – Your Key to Choice paper and website.

From Friday 29 April, bidding will open every Friday at 3.30pm and close the following Friday at 3pm.

The new website has a refreshed look, and extra features such as letting applicants know immediately if they have placed bids on properties that are unsuitable for their household or if they have bid incorrectly for a starter/mover property. The new website also has symbols on listings, to help people see at a glance which property best meets their needs.

For those who still prefer a paper copy of adverts a PDF can be downloaded from the new website (www.keytochoice.co.uk). Applicants can also ask for a copy to be printed at local Council or partner landlord offices and at local libraries. The Council will also continue to offer a vulnerable client service, to make sure that people who need help to bid are assisted to do so.

Housing leader Councillor Cammy Day said: "The move to an online bidding system reflects customer demand. Research has shown increasing numbers of residents want to use online services as a way to get in touch with the Council.

"We will, of course, make sure those who wish to have paper copies can access them but the Council is leading the way with digital services, focused on everyday needs of residents and keeping them informed and up to date. I hope the new website will be well received.“ 

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