Harrow Council is to bring in a system offering a grant for existing council tenants to downsize or move into private accommodation.
The Grants to Move scheme gives people advice and financial support to move into accommodation of their choice. Any moves will help to free up some of the 5,000 council or housing association properties in the borough for people on Harrow’s 4,000 strong council house waiting list.
The scheme should also save the council money. Harrow Council spends around £3m a year on housing need service which includes putting families up in temporary accommodation.
Barry Macleod-Cullinane, Harrow Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Housing, said: “With a housing stock of 5,000 properties and 4,000 people on our waiting list, doing nothing is not an option.
“Our Grants to Move scheme supports people to voluntarily move into private accommodation or downsize their council accommodation, and in the process frees up valuable housing for our homeless families.”
Under the scheme, those wanting to downsize into a smaller council property can receive £1,500 for each bedroom they give up.
There are also grants available to support people to move into the private housing sector. Those wanting to move into the private rented sector can receive between £1,500 and £6,000 for giving up their council flat depending on its size, while those wanting to buy a house can receive between £20,000 and £38,000.