Sunday 25 February 2024
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Nottingham

Council residents could be paid to downsize as hundreds on waiting list

Council house residents in part of Notts could be paid up to £2,500 to downsize in order to free up more family homes.

Broxtowe Borough Council is setting aside £20,000 for the project after revealing it has a waiting list of 346 people waiting for a property with three or four bedrooms.

The authority said it is common that family homes become under-occupied as children move away.

The council offers lifetime tenancies to tenants – but now it plans to speak to relevant residents to see if they would be willing to move.

Residents could be offered a basic grant of £1,000, with £500 extra for each additional spare bedroom in the property.

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Tenants can also get £500 if their property is in ‘high demand’.

The grant is capped at £2,500.

Councillors will decide whether to approve the ‘Home Release Scheme’ at the authority’s cabinet meeting on November 1.

The authority said 90 households currently have ‘spare’ bedrooms in family homes, with 19 of those under-occupying by two bedrooms.

Five four bedroom homes are currently under-occupied – and the council says it only has 56 four-bedroom properties in total.

Council documents stated that under occupancy of homes “can lead to financial hardship”.

They said: “Moving home to a smaller council property can be a daunting prospect for tenants who may have lived in their property for a number of years and may not feel they can do so without support.

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“The Home Release Scheme puts into place financial support as well as the support of officers to assist with some of the practical arrangements.

“The Council has a high demand for larger property based on its waiting list profile, so additional homes to allocate to families would help those in high housing need on the waiting list or those that are threatened with homelessness.”

To qualify for the scheme, the resident must live in a two-bedroom property or larger and be downsizing to a one-bedroom property.

But the council added that “It is acknowledged that not all households will wish to move, even when incentives and support are offered”.

The council can also provide assistance with removals, disposal of bulky items, redirection of mail and advice with bills.

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