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Assisted Moves Scheme

The demand for family-sized accommodation continue to rise. As a result, we have created a scheme that rewards tenants who downsize their council home. You could receive a financial reward, support in moving and help finding the right property.

Who is eligible under the scheme?

You need to meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Be over the age of 50;
  • Be a tenant of Ashford Borough Council housing;
  • Current live in a two, three, or four-bedroom family type property (bungalows or designated older persons accommodation are not included);
  • Wish to downsize to a smaller property – either a flat, bungalow, or a unit in one of our sheltered schemes.

You may also qualify if you currently live in a mobility property owned by the council. This includes properties that have been specifically adapted for disabilities. The property will have to no longer need those adaptations.

What are the financial rewards?

You could receive the following rewards:

  • £1,000 for downsizing and releasing family accommodation;
  • An additional £500 for those releasing four bedroom accommodation;
  • An additional £1,000 if transferring to a sheltered bedsit;
  • Where a tenant is unable to fully clear the property, we may provide assistance. This is the discretion of the Senior Neighbourhood Manager.

What are the additional benefits?

  • Removal costs are paid. This includes removing of all your furniture and possessions, supply of boxes, and a packing and unpacking service;
  • New carpet for your new property;
  • Financial compensation for the re-direction of your post;
  • Financial compensation for the disconnection and reconnection for your home telephone;
  • Disconnection and reconnection for your cooker and washing machine.

What else do we help with?

We also offer the following assistance:

  • You will benefit from practical advice and support from your housing manager;
  • We can help your application to this scheme and guide you through the Choice Based Lettings process. We can also make suitable bids for you for properties that you are interested in;
  • We will assist with planning your move;
  • We will help you contact your utility companies,change your address and read your gas and electricity meters;
  • We will help you with the change of address for housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Why should you consider this scheme?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following statements then you should consider an assisted move:

  • If your current property is proving too costly for you to maintain and you want to reduce your household costs’
  • If you wish for a smaller property that is easier to manage;
  • If you need a property that is suitable for your needs;
  • If you want support within a sheltered environment.

If you are currently under occupying your council property then you may want to consider this scheme. Under the Localism Act 2011 and welfare reform changes a bedroom tax has been introduced to those working age people who are under occupying their social rented property. The extent of the under occupation will affect the financial impact this may have on you.

For more information contact the housing services team on 01233 330688 or email housing@ashford.gov.uk

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