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Home swap scheme to help tenants

Monday, January 06, 2014

Tenants looking to downsize in the wake of welfare reforms are being urged to consider ‘swapping’ homes.

Tenants who wish to move to a smaller home to minimise the impact of the Bedroom Tax could benefit from a mutual exchange.

The scheme matches tenants who are looking to move to a smaller property with tenants seeking a bigger home.
More than 100 tenants of GHA have already agreed a mutual exchange.

It is hoped more tenants of GHA, Cube Housing Association and West Lothian Housing Partnership – which are all part of Wheatley Group – will consider the option as a way of finding a home which meets their needs.

GHA tenant Ryan Hunt from Glasgow was looking for a two-bedroom home for himself, girlfriend Necole Burrows and 16-month-old son Ryan. A tenant in the same block was looking to downsize due to the Bedroom Tax. The two households got the exchange they were looking for – and only had to move one floor.

Ryan, 28, said: “We were in a one-bedroom flat, but it was crammed, especially after we had Ryan. He had so much stuff - it was everywhere.

“We’d been living in the flat for six years and liked the block and the neighbours. We didn’t want to move too far.

“We were delighted when we got the call to say GHA had found a tenant
in our block who was looking for a move from a two-bedroom flat to a one-bedroom. It was perfect as it meant we could stay in the same area.”

Ryan even received help to move his furniture from the 19th floor to the 20th.

He added: “From the phone call to moving in took only a month or so. The concierge were also brilliant. They moved everything for us and helped us settle in.

“The flat needed a bit of work. But we were told we’d get help with that as well. We’ve had the rooms plastered and also new carpets fitted. I’d recommend the home swap 100 per cent.”

Margaret Moore, Housing Access Leader for Wheatley Group, said: “We know many of our tenants are looking to move as a result of the welfare reforms. We want to do everything we can to help those tenants find a home which meets their needs.

“A mutual exchange is another option for people who are under-occupying or over-crowded. We can help bring people together and help tenants move into their new home.”
Tenants looking for a home swap should speak to their Housing Officer or ask at their local housing office.

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