Richmond Council agrees £150,000 downsizing pot
Richmond Council has agreed a pot of £150,000 to offer tenants a cash incentive to downsize after their children have left home.
The cabinet decided at a meeting last month to put the cash towards its Sponsored moves scheme, which is already up and running and has so far made more than 200 family-sized homes available.
It awards tenants who move to a smaller property £2,500 for every bedroom they lose as a result of the move, up to a maximum of £7,500.
Nicola Urquhart, cabinet member for adult services, health and housing at Richmond Council, said: ‘Through the Sponsored moves programme, we can free up family-sized homes in the borough for those who really need the extra space and assist those who are ready to move into smaller homes, with the chance to do so.
‘Once children leave home, or as people get older, the need for a four-bedroom family house may not be as great.
‘We are always on the look out for ways to make the most of the affordable housing we have in the borough as the demand is high, especially for family homes. Sponsored moves helps free up homes for families and prevents overcrowding in smaller residences, which would be better suited for couples or smaller families.’
The council may also provide help with the cost of removals and redecoration, she added.
The £150,000 is made up of existing money from last year’s budget and £41,000 in new grant money.