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The demand for family-sized accommodation continues to rise. As a result, we have created a scheme that rewards tenants who downsize their council home through a mutual exchange. 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 under occupying your council property by 1 or more bedrooms;
  • Be a tenant of Ashford Borough Council housing moving to another Ashford Borough Council property;
  • Currently 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 house, flat.

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;
  • Where a tenant is unable to fully clear the property, we may provide assistance. This is at the discretion of the Senior Neighborhood Manager.

Any financial rewards offered may be used to offset monies owed to the council in respect of rent arrears, council tax arrears or clearance where this has not been agreed prior to your move.

What are the additional benefits?

  • Up to £500 of your removal costs will be reimbursed to you following the move and on receipt of an invoice. 

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 encourage the use of Kent Homeswapper and can support you in finding a suitable home to exchange with;
  • We will assist with planning your move.

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 property more suited to your family size, that is smaller and easier to manage.

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 spare room subsidy 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 and will lead to deductions from your benefit.

For more information contact the mutual exchange team on email mex@ashford.gov.uk.