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Would you like a new house in your life? Try speed dating

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

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Housing associations in Bristol are inviting their tenants to a 'Speed Dating for Houses' event, in a effort to confront the coming 'bedroom tax'.

Organised by Merlin Housing Society, the romantic occasion will give residents in the Cadbury Heath and Kingswood areas of the city who want or need to change their home the chance to meet like-minded people.

Those who find 'love' will be able to simply swap their homes - subject to their landlord's approval.

“We’ve got more than 550 people who are going to be affected by the bedroom tax when it comes in on April 1st,” said Rob Hawkins, Financial Inclusion Manager at Merlin, who is leading the organisation's efforts to raise awareness about welfare reform.

“They face losing up to 25 percent of their housing benefit or finding somewhere smaller to live. The vast majority need one-bedroomed properties, but they come up so rarely.

“This way, people needing to downsize can have direct access to people from our housing association and others in the area who may be looking to move to a bigger property – perhaps because their family has grown and they need more space.

“If the event is a success, we’ll roll it out across our other areas.”

Customers of Merlin, United, Knightstone and Solon housing associations are being invited to the event on Thursday, February 21 between 12 noon 2pm, which is being held at the Cadbury Heath Youth Centre Park Road, Warmley, Bristol.

Merlin runs 8,300 homes in the south west.

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