Conservative scheme helping more tenants to become homeowners
Council tenants who have been unable to get on the housing ladder or finding it difficult to move homes, are receiving the help they need to become homeowners through a Conservative led scheme designed to increase homeownership and reduce homelessness.
Across Kingston there is a significant demand for family-sized housing caused by the Lib Dems failure to build fewer new homes during their time as the administration. Currently Kingston has more than 130 homeless households requiring a three bedroom or larger property, and the cost of supporting these families whilst they wait for a property is high.
Council estimates have also shown that there are close to 200 households in council or housing association properties that are ‘under-occupying’, and could downsize to a smaller property. Under-occupiers are typically families where the children have grown up and moved out, and the parents are left with more bedrooms and living space than they need.
Over the past year the Conservative run Council in Kingston has successfully helped more than 20 tenants to downsize through its Incentive to Move scheme. Tenants who downsize through the scheme receive help finding a new home and are offered a wider choice of housing options. The council arranges and pays for a removal service, including the disconnecting and reconnecting of a tenant’s cooker and washing machine. Tenants also receive £350 to put towards new carpets and curtains, and depending on the circumstances and size of the property given up, some tenants may also be entitled to a grant ranging from £500 up to £1,500.
The Incentive to Move scheme is further evidence of the Conservative’s commitment to reduce homelessness and increase homeownership. It was the Conservative Government in 2015 who introduced the Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund to help those looking to move for work, to be nearer to family, or those with properties difficult to mortgage, buy their own home. Schemes like Incentive to Move and the Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund are crucial in giving a helping hand to council tenants across the country to become homeowners and offering the best chance to buy a home that suits their needs.
Richard, a local resident who benefitted from the Incentive to Move scheme said:
With the scheme you get a wider choice of property and location. The council found us one that we liked and we now live close to where our family lives. Our allocations officer was very helpful. He kept us informed, and when we were looking at houses on the council website, he was letting us know what was happening behind the scenes. He was very polite, honest and easy to talk to, which made the move easier.
Councillor Cathy Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Housing said:
The Incentive to Move scheme is offering a helping hand to residents across the Borough to downsize and be nearer their families. This in turn provides another homeless household with a new family home. It is good schemes like this which are helping the Council address the housing shortage created by the Lib Dems and helping more families realise the dream of owning their own home.