Council launches new scheme to free up housing stock

Leeds City Council is introducing a new incentive scheme to allow tenants to move between properties to free up much needed housing stock.

The council suspended its under occupation incentive scheme in June 2012 and recommended proposals for a new scheme to be developed in response to the welfare changes which came into effect in April 2013.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board next week (Wednesday 22 January) members will be asked to approve the report proposal for maximising the use of council homes to replace the old under occupation scheme.

The new scheme will seek to encourage moves which will allow for the release of one and two bedroom properties, along with adapted properties where the tenant no longer requires the adaptations. The council will also be looking to invest in council housing multi story flats to make them more attractive to a wider audience of council tenants.

With the introduction of welfare reforms in April 2013 the council has seen a sharp rise in the need for one bedroom properties.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“Since the introduction of the government’s welfare changes we have seen the demand for one bedroom properties increase dramatically and the demand for two bed multi story flats has decreased.

“We want to make the process of moving between properties flexible and ensure our tenants are all living in the right size property for their needs.

“If this scheme is put in place we will be able to maximise the use of council stock by releasing high demand properties and encouraging moves to properties which are experiencing lower demand.“

Notes to editors:

The previous under occupation incentive scheme assisted 527 council tenants to move to a smaller property, realising a total of 888 bedrooms, which were then re-let to customers on the waiting list.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk