We questioned how we could increase mobility, whilst maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. The Housing Options service was developed after assessing the individual needs and circumstances of our transfer applicants, and weighing them up against what the organisation could realistically do.
This was the start of the development of a unique dedicated housing service, offering tailored mobility schemes.
The service works on a referral basis. We take into account only the most severe cases of overcrowding, under occupation and health affected applicants and deal with each case on an individual basis. We may offer tailored telephone advice or we may arrange to visit you at home. We work in partnership with our core local authorities to offer wider ranging moving options and develop collaborative solutions including moves from one borough into another and access to housing outside of London.
Housing Options services:
If you are severely overcrowded, but would prefer to remain in your own home we can consider your property for structural change to create additional bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas by converting loft space, building extensions or knocking through and re-designating unused space. If a room is large enough we can divide it to create two rooms with a partition wall.
If your home is suitable, we will arrange for a surveyor to carry out a follow up visit to confirm what can practicably be done and then create a work schedule.
Please note there is a yearly budget allocation for this type of work
This scheme offers assistance with space management around the home to tenants registered for transfer, with the aim of improving the use of space or if possible increasing available space. After an extensive home visit, the Housing Options team make a recommendation as to whether space saving furniture would suit the circumstances. This would include for example sofa beds, storage units, fold away tables and chairs or bedroom furniture for the improved utilisation of available space. This is an interim measure – you will remain on the transfer list and it will not affect your ability to bid for properties. The furniture remains yours if/when you move home.
This scheme offers financial incentives to those moving via transfer (not via mutual exchange) and downsizing in the process.
If you are giving up 1 bedroom, we will pay you £1500
If you are giving up 2 bedrooms, we will pay you £2000
If you are giving up 3 bedrooms or more, we will pay you £2500 (maximum payment).
These incentive payments can be counterbalanced against rent arrears.
The scheme also offers assistance in the form of our newly introduced “Helping Hands” service which offers options in place of an incentive payment such as assistance with removals, the disconnection/reconnection of washing machines/telephones/cookers, mail redirection paid for up to three months and other options – up to the value of the lump sum payment.
This scheme re-houses adult non-dependent children of tenants registered for transfer on the grounds of under-occupation or overcrowding.
In cases of over crowding, we look at re-housing adult (over 18) sons or daughters into their own home resulting in reduced levels of overcrowding.
In cases of under occupation where a family is downsizing by two or more rooms, we can re-house an adult son or daughter into their own 1 bed or studio home. You then downsize to one bedroom less than anticipated.
To qualify you need to have an adult son or daughter in need of their own home, who has proof of identity and residency and would be willing to take part in a financial assessment of affordability. Successful applicants will be considered for bedsits and one bed properties.
This scheme offers a one off lump sum payment to cover the cost of the security deposit for tenants wishing to voluntarily move to the Private Rented Sector.
This does not cover rent in advance, only the cost of the security deposit as specified by the private landlord - normally the equivalent of a months rent.
The scheme also assists adult non-dependent children of qualifying residents to move to the Private Rented Sector.
This is a self help scheme which enables two or more tenants to swap homes. The swap can be between you and any other housing association or local authority. Circle 33 is a member of two mutual exchange web sites:
These sites are easy to use and match you with people who have homes that potentially suit your requirements.
These sites are free to all Circle 33 tenants.
Housingmoves (formally G15) was launched in May 2012.
32 London boroughs have come together to create this extensive mobility scheme, which offers residents cross borough moves into other London districts.
Housingmoves is a choice-based lettings scheme. Once you have registered, you can view details of all available properties on the Housingmoves websites and place bids on the ones that might suit you.
The scheme is aimed at those who wish to downsize, those who need to move for work or training, those who wish to be closer to family and friends or those needing to move to provide care.
If you think you might be eligible, you can register at www.housingmoves.org or contact the Circle 33 Housing Options and Advice team on 0800 073 0417
This scheme is for residents aged over 60 who are considering moving out of London to specified areas toward the coast or the countryside.
More information is available online www.homeconnections.org.uk
We have also gained access to the Mayors Capital Fund, which assists in the de-conversion of individual street properties back into homes of 4 bedrooms or more, creating much needed family sized housing.
Circle 33’s Housing Options team have created services which have excelled in dealing with overcrowding and under occupation. We have tailored services to suit the requirements of our residents - services which offer choice, not only to move to a new home, but more importantly to improve life prospects. It’s a fact that poor housing can devastate a family’s quality of life and this has registered poignantly with the organisation. Our Housing Options service has been focussing on addressing the issues.
Seaside and Country Homes Scheme
An elderly tenant had been under-occupying a four bedroom property in Tottenham for a number of years. Her intention was to move out of London, closer to friends and family. Housing Options were able to sign post her to the Seaside & Country Homes scheme – where 6 weeks after registering she downsized to a two bedroom property out of London. She was extremely impressed by the level of help and support she received via the Housing Options and Advice service.
Overcrowding & New Generation scheme
An overcrowded family were referred to the Housing Options and Advice team
They were living in a two bedroom property where the 22 year old daughter and 6 year old son shared a bedroom. This was causing a massive strain on the family as the daughter worked full time, but studied in the evenings, which often resulted in her staying up late. The son on the other hand went to bed early in order to wake early for school. The Housing Options & Advice team assessed the case and found that the New Generation Sons and Daughters scheme could offer a solution. The daughter was assessed and placed on the list. She was re-housed in just three months, alleviating overcrowding and subsequent tension in the household – which greatly improved the family's quality of life.
A Circle 33 family applied for transfer in 2008 on the basis of severe overcrowding.
They were living in a two bedroom house in need of four bedrooms, but they were having no success via the choice based bidding system.
The Housing Options team assessed the home for structural change. The property had a garage attached which the family did not use. The Housing Options team formulated a creative solution. We knocked through into the adjoining garage space and extended it. This became the new lounge. We installed a partition wall in the former lounge to create two good sized bedrooms – alleviating the family's overcrowding. They were delighted with the outcome and impressed by how such an inspired and practical solution had resolved their housing needs without them having to move home!
Call our Corsica Street office on 0800 073 0417 or 0207 447 3100 if you would like an information pack sent to you.
Or email us at HousingOptionsandAdvice@circle.org.uk
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