A shortlist of eight care providers interested in buying council-run homes in Leicestershire has been drawn up.
The county council has been looking to transfer nine homes to the private sector in an effort to save hundreds of thousands of pounds.
But the move has been opposed by staff, unions and some families and the sale of six homes collapsed last summer.
Officials said the successful bidders would be revealed in March 2011, with the full transfer in the summer.
'Removal of choice'
Council cabinet member for Adults and Communities David Sprason said: "I'm pleased that we have sufficient interest in all nine homes, from experienced care providers who have exceeded our qualifying standards threshold."
Keith Libetta, regional organisers for Unison, said: "We are disappointed that the council is still going ahead with the sale.
"Throughout the process we have maintained this is a removal of choice and accountability from the people of Leicestershire."
The homes are to be transferred are Curtis Weston House and day centre, Wigston; Hadrian House, Thurmaston; Harvey House, Barwell; Huntingdon Court, Loughborough; Kirby House, Kirby Muxloe; Lenthall House, Market Harborough; The Limes, Hinckley, including day centre; Tillson House, Coalville and Woodmarket House, Lutterworth.
The bidders vary in size from Shaw Healthcare (Group) Ltd which runs 59 care homes across the UK to Reason Care Ltd which runs three homes in the East Midlands. It also includes Age Concern Leicestershire & Rutland, which does not currently operate care home services.