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These are external links and will open in a new window. A 'speed dating' event is being held for council and housing association tenants in Oxford who want to swap their homes. People who want to downsize to avoid a penalty for under-occupying their home or find a bigger property are invited to the event at Oxford Town Hall later. More than 70 people have registered an interest in swapping properties with Oxford City Council's Welfare Reform Team since the changes to housing benefit came into force.

'Speed dating' homes swap event for Oxford tenants - BBC News

Each participant in the event must wear a badge containing details of their home and the type of property they want to move to. City councillor Scott Seamons said: The government wants to end what it calls the "spare room subsidy" for social tenants, but the move has been branded a "bedroom tax" by critics. The royal was shaken after being freed from his Land Rover, an eyewitness to Thursday's crash says.

England selected Local News Regions Oxford selected. Among them, Oyimangire Barume, a IT support worker whose wife is within three weeks of giving birth, wants to trade his one-bedroom flat for a two-bedroom, with a plan to owning it by exercising the right to buy.


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Once a suitable swap is found, the tenants are invited to exchange mobile numbers, and their respective landlords arrange a move. The Department for Work and Pensions likens the event to a speed-dating night, and Iain Duncan Smith believes it is part of the solution to the grid-lock that has left social housing tenants in the wrong-sized homes.

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It is easy to forget, amid abundant and real stories of hardship, that behind the bedroom tax, the Government's most controversial welfare reform, stands a compelling logic: When the policy was introduced in April , , tenants lived in homes with unused bedrooms, according to DWP figures. But , people lived in over-crowded homes, and 1.


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But initial progress so far was sluggish. In the first six months, a fifth of those hit said they wanted to move, but just one in twenty have been able to.

While those renting privately can turn to an estate agent, or search property websites for a new home, and can sign a new tenancy within days, until recently the only route to a new social property is a call to the council. It is followed by a wait. Ten years is typical. New building by housing associations, at its current rate, does little to bring down the queue.

'Speed dating' homes swap event for Oxford tenants

Requests for changes of address have doubled since the spare room subsidy removal policy was introduced, and a third of tenants cite it as their reason for moving, he said. The association has undertaken 12 swap meets, and similar events have taken place in Manchester, Derby, Oxford and Norwich. In addition, social landlords are now obliged to register properties online on sites resembling Zoopla and Gumtree.

Those who cannot, or do not want, to move are being driven into work to make up the shortfall in housing benefit.