Downsize your council home
Sandwell Council provides assistance to tenants who wish to downsize to more appropriate sized accommodation. This is called the Tenants Assistance Scheme.
The scheme provides support from the Neighbourhood Officer, if required, and up to £650 financial assistance which can be spent on a number of options.
The scheme is designed to assist tenants who are affected by the impact of the under-occupation charge (bedroom tax) as well as tenants not of working age who wish to downsize to more suitably sized accommodation.
To qualify you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a secure tenant.
- Be a tenant living in a house, and/or are a tenant affected by a reduction in Housing Benefit as a result of the bedroom tax and move to more suitable accommodation.
- Your home must be in good condition, clean and tidy. Any fixtures missing will need to be replaced and any damage not attributed to fair wear and tear must be rectified.
- You must give us vacant possession - this means you must leave the home empty of other poeple and possessions so that the property can be re-let quickly.
Are you downsizing from a 2 bedroom or a 4 bedroom house?
Receive a cash payment
If you are downsizing from a two bedroom or a four bedroom house through the Tenants Assistance Scheme, in addition to the Help and Support available you may also receive a cash payment of £300 per bedroom released.
For example, if you move from a four bedroom house to a one bedroom property you will receive £900.
What kind of help and support is available?
You can choose from the following options up to the value of £650
- Payment to cover costs of your removals and packing (supplied by Sandwell Council)
- Payment to clear any recent rent arrears owed to Sandwell Council
- One week rent overlap
- Disconnection and re-connection of washing machine
- Disconnection and re-connection of telephone
- Fitting of carpets (existing and new) up to the value of £100
- Redirection of mail for three months
- Handyman service (supplied by Sandwell Council)
- Assistance with decoration of your new property
- Assistance completing forms
- Assistance with bidding
- Accompanied viewing of your chosen property
What do I do next?
Contact your Sandwell Local Centre and make an appointment for your Neighbourhood Officer to come visit you in your home to assess if you are eligible to join the scheme. If you are eligible you will need to complete a registration form and the Officer will ensure that the correct priority is awarded to your housing application.
Start looking for a new property by bidding for properties through our Choice Based Lettings Scheme. An officer will be able to help and guide you through the process.
Once you have been successful with your bidding you will be offered a property. If you decide to accept the offer your Neighbourhood Officer will discuss the variety of options and make necessary arrangements.
Once you have signed for your new property your Neighbourhood Officer will arrange the required assistance to move into your new home.
Once you have moved in you will receive payment per bedroom released.
This is a limited amount of money available each year and once spent we will be unable to continue to offer the scheme to anymore households.
As a result the scheme may be withdrawn at short notice.
For further information please contact your Neighbourhood Officer on 0121 368 1166.