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Articles: Home and away

Contributed by admin on Jun 05, 2004 - 12:50 PM

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<FONT color=black size=4>HOME AND AWAY

<FONT color=black>Council tenants who want to exchange their home will have the chance to see what choices are available at a special Housing Options Day being held in Folkestone.

<FONT color=black>It is the first time an options day has been held in Shepway and Graeme Bosley, Shepway Council’s Performance and Community Development Manager, who masterminded the event, hopes it will give people the chance to choose their new home instead of having to accept those offered by the council. Tenants of Registered Social Landlords will also be attending.

<FONT color=black>"Fifty two people have so far told us they would like to use the day to try and exchange their homes. This event will give them the opportunity to see what choices are available, look at pictures and study the details. They will also be able to talk to other people who also want to exchange and find out at first hand what the house and neighbourhood are like," said Graeme.

<FONT color=black>The day will also explain more about the tenants’ incentive scheme that offers cash help to tenants who want to buy a home o­n the open market.

<FONT color=black>"This scheme applies o­nly to tenants living a home that has two or more bedrooms and is designed to help free-up more council homes by helping tenants make the move into private accommodation, said Graeme. "Independent mortgage advisors will also be o­n hand to help those people who thinking about leaving their council property, or those who are o­n the waiting list, who want to buy a home."

<FONT color=black>Tenants will also be able to learn about the Lawn scheme that encourages people to move from areas where there is a high demand for council housing - like Shepway - to areas where there are houses readily available, mostly in the North of the country. 

<FONT color=black>The Housing Options Day, being held at the Leas Cliff Hall o­n Thursday 17 June, will also promote shared ownership schemes where a home owner buys proportion of their home and a housing association owns the rest for which they pay rent. 

<FONT color=black>Finally people can learn more about sheltered housing schemes and decide if that is something that would appeal to them.

<FONT color=black>Cabinet member for Care and Support, Cllr Brian Copping, said the options day was an innovative way of giving tenants a greater say in where they wanted to live.

<FONT color=black>"This is a first for Shepway. If it’s successful we would like to get together with our neighboring District Councils to organise a region-based options day," said Cllr Copping.