Thursday, 19 May 2011

Incentive scheme frees up Leeds homes

A housing incentive scheme designed to free up family housing in Leeds has opened up 300 properties in just three years.

The scheme, launched by Leeds City Council in June 2008, helps council tenants downsize from houses that are too big for their needs. Tenants who decide to move to a smaller property will receive £1,000 for each bedroom they give up and help free up larger homes in the process. These homes can then be offered to families who desperately need these additional bedrooms, many of whom have been living in overcrowded conditions.

The scheme has released 300 properties and over 500 bedrooms in the last three years, including 182 three-bed properties have been freed up for other households to move in to, including families living in overcrowded conditions.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
“Living in overcrowded conditions puts a real strain on families and can make home life extremely tough, especially for those with children. It’s no secret that social housing is in short supply, so we have to be innovative and make the most of the housing stock we have.

“This scheme has proved to be a huge success, and has really worked to ease overcrowding for a considerable number of people. I would encourage any council tenant living in a property that is too large for them to contact their local housing office or One Stop Centre about the scheme. Not only could you receive a significant incentive payment, you could also move to a property that’s more suited to your needs and help to make a real difference to someone’s quality of life.

“If you are interested in a potential move, please get in touch. We will assess the application to see if we can help with a move.”

For more information on the scheme please contact your local housing office or One Stop Centre.

Notes to editors:

Over recent years there has been a reduction in the number of family sized council homes available to let through the Leeds Homes Register, meaning the Council is seeking to make best use of its stock by reducing under occupation.

The under occupation scheme was launched in 2008 to encourage tenants to downsize to another council property. Support with the move is also offered.

Acceptance onto the scheme is subject to an individual assessment and not all tenants are accepted.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450