Extra help for moves to sheltered housing

Winchester City Council tenants are being offered extra help to encourage moves to sheltered schemes in Winchester. It includes the first £500 of moving costs and extra money for decorations and fittings.

The Council is trialling the incentive scheme, with officer support, for tenants who want to move from family homes to two City Centre sheltered schemes, King Harold Court and Hyde Lodge.

Councillor Dominic Hiscock, the Council's Cabinet portfolio holder for Housing, said there were a number of vacant flats in the two schemes.

"We also know that many older tenants who live in family homes would like to move to a smaller, more manageable flat, but cannot face the hassle of moving. The Council want to assist them as much as possible, and as well as financial help with the cost of moving, we will help organise all aspects of the move.

"If this trial results in under-occupied family homes being freed up for families in real housing need, I would regard it as a major success."

Incentives include the first £500 of any moving costs; an additional £500 for decorations and fittings, doubled to £1000 for any tenant prepared to move from an under-occupied home; and support from a 're-location officer' who can help in areas such as visits to the new home, liaison with agencies and organising the move.

The increased incentives will be on offer from September for six months. If successful, it is planned to extend it to all Council sheltered housing schemes.

Any tenants who want more information on the scheme should contact the City Council's Customer Service Centre on 01962 840 222.