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Shapps: More tenants using coalition’s national home swap scheme

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Social tenants who have been stuck in homes that no longer meet their needs are seizing the opportunity to up sticks through the government’s HomeSwap Direct scheme, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has revealed.

HomeSwap Direct is an online scheme that shows social homes available for swaps across the country.

The Minister welcomed latest figures which showed that nearly 6,000 searches a day are being conducted on HomeSwap Direct. The total number of searches since it launched in October 2011 is expected to hit the 1.5million milestone soon.

Shapps said that for the first time HomeSwap Direct has allowed tenants to look outside the service provided by their own landlord and be given a choice about where they live.

Previously, tenants wanting to move were restricted to swapping properties through a scheme chosen by their landlord, effectively meaning only a partial swap scheme existed.

Shapps said: “For years, social tenants were stuck in the ridiculous situation where they didn’t have the same freedom of choice as everyone else and could only swap homes with those using the same service as their landlord, or face competition from those higher up the waiting lists.

“HomeSwap Direct has challenged this lazy consensus that people are trapped in their homes. Instead, tenants are taking power back to arrange their own home swap by viewing properties available not just in their neighbourhood, but across the whole country. And with nearly 6,000 searches every day, and nearly 1.5million since its launch, this scheme is clearly opening doors that were simply closed to social tenants, giving them a chance to improve their job prospects, live closer to family or simply move to a home better suited to their changing needs.”


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