Meet, greet and swap

Press Release: 26/09/2013

More than 65 tenants and their households attended the first home-swapping event, Meet, Greet and Swap, organised by Winchester City Council and held at the Winchester Discovery Centre last week (Tuesday 17 September).

Tenants were able to advertise their property and talk to other tenants about the possibility of swapping homes. Tenants also benefited from staff support to use the library’s computer facilities to access Home Swapper, a website to which the Council subscribes on tenants’ behalf. Due to unanimous support from tenants, councillors, council officers and Discovery Centre staff, the event will be repeated within the next six months.

Chris Pink, a representative of the Training and Events Group, a sub-committee of TACT (Tenants And Council Together), who helped at the event, said: “We were delighted with the turn-out and have had lots of positive feedback from other tenants. We hope it can happen again very soon.”

Comments from those who attended include:

A noble idea. Keep up good work.

Hopefully it works! Thank you and fingers crossed.

Good idea - needs to happen more often.

The event was funded by rental income, representing one of the many ways in which tenants of the Council receive added value for money.

It comes at a time when reductions in housing benefit for social tenants with a spare room are generating a greater need for individuals to move. It also comes at a time when local housing registers are being streamlined to further prioritise those with the greatest need for social housing.

Once someone has found a swap partner, most tenants move within eight weeks. As an alternative to applying to move through a local housing register and as a very efficient process, the Council recommends this route for tenants who wish to move within a short timescale and who need to move to make non-urgent changes to their accommodation – for instance they wish to be nearer to work, or need cheaper accommodation or want a house instead of a flat.

Exchanging tenancies is an opportunity available to any secure or assured social tenant in England or Wales who meets certain conditions under the Housing Act 1985.