Richmond Council’s ‘Sponsored Moves Scheme’ is helping housing association residents find a smaller, more manageable property which better suits their needs.
The scheme is set up help people with one or more spare-bedrooms and who may have difficulties maintaining a larger property. The scheme can help social housing tenants living in the borough of Richmond upon Thames.
When people register for the scheme they provide details of the type of property they are interested in and the Sponsored Moves team works to find the right property for them. The vacated houses are put to good use as they are allocated to someone on the housing waiting list, giving a family in need of a home somewhere to live.
Residents can receive £2,500 per bedroom they give up, to a maximum of £7,500. The team will also arrange the move with a professional moving company, pay the costs and liaise between the resident, the council and the housing association to ensure tenants get the house that meets their needs.
One elderly resident helped by the scheme, Ms Wells was unable to continue living in her home as she could no longer manage her stairs and had suffered a fall in the home. She had temporarily moved in with her son and his family, although this was not suitable in the long term.
The sponsored moves scheme helped her moved into a one-bed sheltered accommodation. She is much happier and safer in this new home. Sheltered accommodation provides older residents with the support they need to remain living in their own home.
Following her move, Richmond Council was given nomination rights to her previous property for a family in need of housing.
She received an incentive payment of £5,000 for giving up two bedrooms. The council also paid for the removal company to carry out the move.
Ms Wells said:
“The sponsored moves scheme is a straight forward and easy process. The team were very helpful and provided a great service making the move a smooth transition.
“I really like the fact that I am now living in sheltered accommodation, where there is an onsite warden.”