Social housing providers in South Gloucestershire have partnered up for a series of ‘speed-dating for houses’ events, to help their tenants move.
Merlin Housing Society, Knightstone Housing Association, Sovereign Housing Association and Solon South West Housing, are holding the events to help people affected by Welfare Reform. The three events will bring people who want or need to move home together to see if they can swap homes.
Merlin’s Head of Neighbourhood Services, Barbara Reid said:
“Welfare Reform is bringing huge changes for social housing tenants. More than 1,000 people living in South Gloucestershire areas have been affected by the introduction of the bedroom tax.”
“It’s not just demand for smaller properties though, we have families in need of bigger homes because they’ve outgrown their current one, and older people who are struggling to manage larger properties.”
“For some the only option is to move, but up until now that hasn’t been easy. The speed-dating concept has developed as a result of one we held earlier this year, which really bought home the demand for house swaps.”
Solon’s Head of Housing, Darryl Harkin said:
“Solon is happy to be involved in this initiative with Merlin, having attended the first event in February which was a great success.”
“We are hopeful that a number of our residents can secure a move as a result of the events so that the worry of finding the extra money to meet Housing costs is removed.”
Lynette Nigh, Assistant Director of Housing Management and Customer Contact at Knightstone, said:
“A large number of our residents are affected by Welfare Reform, so we’re working hard to help them understand and cope with the changes. We’re pleased to be involved with these events, which offer a different option for residents who’re struggling after the introduction of the bedroom tax.”
Home swapping, also known as mutual exchange, makes it easier for people living in social housing to move. If the properties match their requirements and the landlord agrees, then people can simply swap.
The events are being held at BAWA Filton on Thursday 30th May from 5.30pm to 7pm, Merlin’s head office in Chipping Sodbury on Saturday 8th June from 10am to 12noon, and Staple Hill British Legion on Tuesday 18th June from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Source: Merlin Housing Society