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Help to downsize

Helping you move into a more manageable home

Do you live in a house which is too large for you to maintain? Have your children left the nest leaving you with space you no longer need? Are you struggling with the stairs, or the garden, or the size of your bills? Are you thinking about moving to a smaller property but are worried about the move itself?

Our downsizing assistance scheme can help you through the process of finding and moving to a more suitable home, taking the stress out of arranging the move.

Why is the council offering to help?

Demand on our waiting list for family homes far outstrips supply. Many families with children are living in overcrowded conditions and are desperate for a fresh start. By helping people who no longer need their 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses to find a more suitable home, we also free up a home for a family.

What help can we offer?

Help you to find a mutual exchange

If you are in a 3 or 4 bedroom house and are looking for a 2 or 3 bedroom house you can join the HomeSwapper and Let's Swap. This is free of charge if you are a DMBC tenant or if you are a Housing Association tenant and your landlord is a member of the scheme.

Preference for rehousing

When you apply for rehousing through the Dudley at Home scheme, we will advise on your options regarding property type, location etc. and we will give you high priority on our waiting list. People who are tenants of a family house in the borough, owned by the Council or a housing association, and who will be moving to a flat or one bedroom bungalow will be placed in Band 1.

Finding a suitable property

If you need help using the Dudley at Home system we will inform you of suitable vacancies and help with expressing interest (bidding) for them.

Support Package

If you are a DMBC tenant in a 2, 3 or 4 bedroom house we can offer a support package if you are:

- In receipt of state pension (in case of joint tenants both must be in receipt of state pension)

Your current property must be in good condition and your rent account up to date.

Tenants of housing associations within the Dudley borough may also be eligible by arrangement with their landlord.

When you have been offered a suitable property a dedicated officer will contact you to agree an individual assistance plan, depending on what help you think you may need. For example, we can:

- Advise on the disposal of unwanted furniture or possessions
- Arrange removals and help with packing
- Organise disconnection and reconnection of appliances
- Arrange the change of utilities like gas, electric, water
- Liaise with the housing benefit team
- Redirect your mail
- In some circumstances we may also be able to help with some of the costs associated with the move.

Our housing options advisors will be there throughout the process, offering advice and support, dealing with any worries you may have.

Are there restrictions on where I can move to?

Normally, we would expect you to move to a property suitable for the size of your household and circumstances. For singles and couples, that would generally mean a 1 or 2 bedroom flat, or a 1 bedroom bungalow or sheltered apartment if you are over 60.

But I need a spare room for occasional visitors…

We completely understand this, but given the level of demand for affordable housing, we have to make best use of vacant properties. Have you considered alternatives? Some sheltered schemes have rooms for visitors to use, or have you thought about space-saving furniture like sofa-beds for occasional use?

Are there any other advantages to downsizing?

Quite simply, costs! Savings could be more than £40 per week or £2,000 per year.

Interested?

See related documents to the right for further information or contact Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.