Housing scheme allows cross-borough moves for social housing tenants

Kingston tenants living in social housing now have the opportunity to move around the capital to be closer to work, family and friends, or to downsize their current home

Kingston borough is one of the first to jump on board the Mayor of London’s mobility scheme housingmoves, which will enable cross-borough moves within the social rented sector.

Kingston Council unanimously agreed to amend the current Allocations Policy and allot 5 per cent of lettings, an estimated of 11 homes, to the housingmoves scheme.  The amendment will become effective in May 2012 when existing tenants will be allowed to register.  

“Elderly people are moving to be closer to their children.  There is a benefit to social mobility to be closer to relatives,” said Councillor Derek Osbourne.

According to the council, no landlords in the borough are against the scheme and one other has expressed interest in joining.

Councillor Frances Moseley said: “The real point here is that social tenants find it hard to move, we support the scheme.  There was a prior scheme a while back that fell apart, this is a new opportunity.”

Priority will be given to tenants who wish to downsize, those who would like to move closer to work or training, and for tenants who wish to move closer to family and friends. 

The proposal is contingent upon the factor that no borough should gain nor lose.  To ensure reciprocity, an equal number of residents who move to other boroughs must also move into a borough. 

The proposal stipulates that if fewer than three social housing tenants in Kingston move to other boroughs, Kingston will not offer any more units until more interest is expressed.  It also excludes homes with four or more bedrooms due to low supply of accommodation.

Housingmoves is part of the pan-London mobility scheme, established in the Mayor of London’s housing strategy in 2010, which is intended to encourage work opportunity and location choice.  In reducing the commute of tenants, it could also potentially prove an environmental advantage. 

Councillor Dennis Doe said: “We fully support the Mayor of London with this.”

 For more information on housingmoves visit www.housingmoves.org, or email Jacky.guddoy@rbk.kingston.gov.uk for background or inquiries.

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