Northampton Borough Council news release: Home swaps become 'just a click away'
Housing Minister Grant Shapps launched a new national scheme that, for the first time, will allow social housing tenants wanting to swap their home to see every available property in the country.
And Northampton Borough Council is one of the twelve councils in England who will be testing innovative and cost-effective ways of supporting mobility.
'HomeSwap Direct' will give tenants who want to move house - to be closer to a new job, their family, or to a property better suited to their needs - greater choice over potential swaps by allowing them to see a much wider selection of properties than ever before.
Until now tenants have been restricted to swapping properties with other tenants in the scheme chosen by their landlord - effectively meaning only a partial swap scheme existed. 'HomeSwap Direct' will instead give tenants access to properties nationwide and boost their prospects of moving.
And as the scheme will be online, it will make advertised swaps much more accessible for tenants and the possibility of moving house 'just a click away'.
Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing said: "I am pleased that Northampton Borough Council is one of 12 councils sharing £1million funding to help make a real difference to the future of social housing and trying new innovative ways of supporting their tenants.
"They will help make it much easier for tenants that want to move to do so, whether for jobs, to be closer to family or to homes better suited to their needs.
"This is a great opportunity to see what more we can do to increase mobility in social housing and I look forward to hearing about the progress they make, and that can be used around the country to improve the lives of all social tenants."
Portfolio holder for Housing, Councillor Christopher Malpas said: "This is great news, the ‘HomeSwap Direct’ scheme will make it easier for our tenants to move around.
"We look forward in working on initiatives that will help improve the social mobility for our residents.”
So from next April, new requirements will mean that all social housing landlords will have to ensure that they make properties from across the UK available to their tenants looking to swap their home, giving them the opportunity to move anywhere in the UK - including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The reforms are part of the measures included in the Localism Bill to give social tenants far greater freedoms and flexibilities and make better use of social housing.