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7 July 2013, 06:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
A house swap event's being held for people living in social housing in Newcastle who are paying the 'bedroom tax' on spare rooms.
The events are aimed at people already on the mutual exchange register as well as people who are looking to move because of under occupancy - and are now facing increased living costs due to the Government's introduction of the 'bedroom tax'.
The 'Swap it!' events, organised by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), will bring together tenants who are over occupying or under occupying homes in the city.
The aim is to try and pair them up and facilitate exchanges, ensuring people are in the right sized homes for their households.
It's hoped it will also offer tenants the opportunity to access a larger number of properties across the whole of the city.
YHN staff will be on hand to offer advice and explain what a mutual exchange is and what it involves.
Staff can work with tenants through the whole process, from initial guidance to making sure people can move and even switching utility providers.
There will also be the opportunity to get help with budgeting, advice and support, preparing for work and more.
John Urwin, Manager of Housing Needs/Your Choice Homes at YHN, said:
"We're absolutely committed to supporting our tenants, particularly during changes such as welfare reform which continues to have an impact on many of our tenants.
There are currently 850 people on the exchange register. We also recently visited over 6,000 tenants in preparation for welfare reform and 1,500 people expressed an interested in either mutual exchange or rehousing.
This is an ideal opportunity for our tenants to meet other tenants in similar situations. These events will hopefully enable more people to identify suitable matches for exchanges - benefitting more families in the process.
Mutual exchange offers a much simpler way of finding another home to swap with. As there is a lack of available homes across the region, we want to offer as many options to help tenants find a home of their choice - and importantly, a home which suits their current needs."
The venues and dates for the events are as follows:
Cruddas Park/ Westgate
Monday 8th July West End Women and Girls Centre
Tuesday 9th July, Carnegie Building
Wednesday 10th July, Fawdon Community Centre
Thursday, 11th July, St Martin's Centre - Room 2
Monday 15th July, Binswood Ave Community Centre
Tuesday 16th July, West Denton Community Association
Wednesday 17th July, Headlam Street Community Centre
Newcastle city centre
Thursday 18th July, City Library, Bewick Hall