Families swap homes to beat 'bedroom tax'

TENANTS can swap homes to minimise the impact of the 'bedroom tax'.

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Ryan Hunt, Necole Burrows and their son Ryan have moved to a more spacious home
Ryan Hunt, Necole Burrows and their son Ryan have moved to a more spacious home

The Wheatley Group, which includes Glasgow Housing Association, has started a mutual exchange scheme to help tenants move to smaller homes following welfare reforms.

The scheme aims to match people who are looking to move to a smaller property with others wanting something bigger.

More than 100 tenants of Glasgow Housing Association, Scotland's largest social landlord with 43,000 homes for rent, have already agreed a mutual exchange.

One resident is delighted with his exchange with someone from the floor above.

Ryan Hunt, 28, felt their Knightswood home was too cramped for his girlfriend Necole Burrows and 16-month-old son, Ryan.

Ryan said: "We'd been living in the flat for six years and liked the block and the neighbours. We didn't want to move too far."

The family managed to swap with another resident who was looking to down-size after the reforms meant they would have to pay more for their home. Within one month Ryan had moved from the 19th floor to the 20th.

The dad was pleased to be given help with the move and sorting the new flat.

He said "We have had the rooms plastered and also new carpets fitted. I'd recommend the home swap 100%."

Margaret Moore, housing access leader for Wheatley Group, said: "We know many of our tenants are looking to move as a result of the welfare reforms. We want to do everything we can to help those tenants find a home which meets their needs.

"We can help bring people together and help tenants move into their new home."

She also advised people looking to swap homes to speak to their housing officer or ask at their local housing office.

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