Council offers grants for tenants to downsize
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Housing
Harrow Council is offering its tenants grants to downsize their homes in an effort to reduce its 4,000-strong housing waiting list.
Under the 'grants to move' scheme, residents wanting to downsize into a smaller council property can receive £1,500 for each bedroom they give up.
There are also grants available to support people to move into the private sector. Those wanting to move into the PRS can receive between £1,500 and £6,000 for giving up their council flat depending on its size, while those wanting to buy a house can receive between £20,000 and £38,000.
Housing families in temporary accommodation currently costs the council around £3 million annually, with the cost of putting up a family in a four-bedroom property costing £16,000 a year.
Barry Macleod-Cullinane, cabinet member for adults and housing, said:
“With a housing stock of 5,000 properties and 4,000 people on our waiting list, doing nothing is not an option.
“Our grants to move scheme supports people to voluntarily move into private accommodation or downsize their council accommodation, and in the process frees up valuable housing for our homeless families.
“We will treat each application on a case by case basis and there will be checks and balances in place to prevent fraud. The council will receive a quick payback as we reduce the number of people living in temporary accommodation.
“Although there are benefits to moving into private accommodation, we make it clear that there are risks involved in taking up a private tenancy or becoming a homeowner.”