Second ‘speed-dating’ event for home swappers is planned
Published by Sarah Thomas for Thrive Homes in Housing and also in Communities
A second housing exchange event run by Thrive Homes in the style of a ‘speed-dating’ function is to take place after the first was so popular it had people queuing outside to talk to fellow home-swappers.
More than 60 people from across Hertfordshire attended the Mutual Exchange event at the ASCEND centre in South Oxhey, which matched up housing association tenants with a home to swap.
All the tenants involved wore badges indicating what type of property they had to swap, and what sort of home they were looking for. It meant people could instantly spot tenants with a home swap which could interest them, and viewings were soon being arranged.
It worked so well that Croxley-based Thrive Homes are already planning another event in the summer, but with longer hours to allow more potential home swappers to meet up.
Pam Mitchell, Housing Options Manager at Thrive Homes, said: “They were queuing outside when we opened our first event, and it was a really successful day, with positive feedback from everyone involved. We’re sure there were some successful home swaps arranged.
“It was like a ‘speed-dating’ event, as people could easily spot someone with what they wanted and then immediately start talking to them about a home swap. We also put boards up listing what home swaps were available, and what was wanted.”
She said some tenants seeking a home swap might be looking to downsize as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’ legislation, but others could be looking for a bigger home or to relocate to a school catchment area.
As well as tenants from Thrive Homes, the April event involved Hertfordshire tenants from Hightown Praetorian & Churches, Home Group and Riversmead housing associations. Staff from the Rickmansworth-based 9 Lives Furniture Project also attended to show how they can help with low-cost furniture and household items.
Thrive, which owns and manages more than 4,000 rented homes in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, is part of Herts Choice Homes, which means its tenants can swap properties with another tenant from a housing association based in Hertfordshire. Many of those attending the event were also helped to sign up to the national Homeswapper scheme.