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Breathing space
Housing opportunities for overcrowded and under occupying tenants

Breathing space

Space saving tips
Living in overcrowded housing can affect everyone in the family. With little space for children to play or study or for their parent(s) to relax in the evenings, these conditions can be very stressful.
The following tips could help ease the problems associated with overcrowding. use bunk beds instead of single beds. Shops like IKEA offer good space saving solutions to families with little room available futons or sofa beds can be used where living rooms are needed to make use for bedroom space too. Futons instead of beds are also a good way to free up space in bedrooms. Used during the day and early evenings for other functions such as play or study then convert to bed at night remember using space under beds is another good storage solution. A shallow box will fit under the bed to store clothes/blankets create a rota for a quiet space in which you or your children can study visit a local library: offering a great variety of uses as well as being a quiet place to study. Computer suites and other activities are available especially for children. Most libraries are open in the evenings and at the weekends many of Islington's children centres and schools offer breakfast or after school activities for students. make use of walls and understaircase space. Shelving is a good way to keep the home decluttered and freeing much needed space down on the ground. use hanging laundry bags, storage and stackable boxes to store small items

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Housing opportunities for overcrowded and under occupying tenants

dining tables, desks and chairs that fold can free up space when not in use keep clutter to a minimum and recycle unwanted clothes and toys regularly have a family day out. This doesn't need to be expensive. Contact the Islington Family Information Service helpline on 020 7527 5959 or visit the website www.islington.gov.uk/fis for information on low cost and free local activities We understand it can be difficult if there are a lot of people under one roof. Not all these tips are ideal for everyone and if you would like more advice please contact an Overcrowding Advisor on 020 7527 1700 / 4350.

Contents
4 Cash Incentive Grant 6 Chain letting scheme/Mutual exchange 7 Smart move scheme 8 Time out scheme 10 Under occupiers scheme

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Cash Incentive Grant (CIS)
What is on offer? A £5,000 grant.

Who can apply? Islington council tenants who are under occupying or severely overcrowded, who find their own housing at no 'cost' to Islington and give up their tenancy. They are also able to demonstrate that the new property is settled accommodation and can afford any rental costs*. How do I apply? The council invites applications from severely overcrowded or under occupying tenants with information of their new home. Criteria and other information: you must have a clear rent account you and members of your household have no history of anti social behaviour you must give vacant possession of your council property and hand over your tenancy

the property must be left empty and in good order you and all members of your household aged 14 years + will be required to sign a release form confirming they will not apply to the council for housing overcrowded applicants will be prioritised by the level of overcrowding in the home, then by the waiting time for rehousing under occupying tenants will be prioritised by number of bedrooms released and then by how long their tenancy has been running the grant is payable on termination of tenancy; on confirmation by area housing office, and on completion of CIS form

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Housing opportunities for overcrowded and under occupying tenants

*If RSL tenants wish to release the property to the council, they will require permission from their landlord. The term 'severely overcrowded' is where a tenant is living in accommodation lacking two or more bedrooms as defined by the council's rehousing standards (Islington's Housing Allocation Scheme Chapter 2, 2.1) Grants will be divided equally between severely overcrowded and under occupying tenants.

The CIS grant is not available to tenants that have acquired other social housing in Islington, including: sheltered and extra care sheltered housing supported housing or Part 3 nursing homes homeless temporary accommodation or refuges through any of our other incentives including home grant, shared ownership, under occupation, time out schemes The grant is not payable: if moving into a caravan or mobile home if not on a permanent site available 12 months of the year if tenant is moving into another tenant's property or with other family members where overcrowding will occur

For more information
Mobility Team Housing Aid Centre 38 Devonia Road London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 020 7527 4136 M 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk

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Chain letting scheme | Mutual exchange
What’s on offer? The council will complete the chain when an under occupier exchanges with an overcrowded Islington social housing tenant. We will offer a more suitable vacant property to the under occupying tenant when required. The tenant will then be eligible for the under occupation grant. However, we will not allow any under occupation of the new property.
Who can apply? For Islington council tenants and RSL tenants living in Islington. This will be of particular interest to groups of two or three exchange partners wishing to consider exchanging homes and requiring a vacancy to complete the chain for the exchange to go ahead. How do I apply? Contact the Mutual Exchange Officer and request more information.

For more information
Rehousing Team Housing Aid Centre 38 Devonia Road London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 020 7527 4136 M 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk

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Housing opportunities for overcrowded and under occupying tenants

Smart move scheme
What's on offer? The Under Occupying tenant's property is advertised for mutual exchange on the council's Home Connection scheme. Overcrowded tenants will be able to 'bid' (express an interest) for your property. If you exchange with an overcrowded tenant you will be entitled to the under occupation grant.
Who can apply? Council tenants and RSL tenants living in Islington. How does it Work? overcrowded tenants should ensure their home 'matches' the requirements of the advertised under occupying tenant before placing their bid at the end of the bidding process the mutual exchange officer will contact the under occupying tenant to discuss matching bids. No personal details will be passed to the under occupier at this stage an appointment will be made with both parties by the mutual exchange officer the UOC grant is payable on successful exchange with an overcrowded Islington tenant the grant is subject to a clear rent account

For more information
Rehousing Team Housing Aid Centre 38 Devonia Road London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 020 7527 4136 M 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk

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Time out scheme
What’s on offer? If your home is severely overcrowded, you have the option of moving temporarily to a larger privately leased home. Privately leased homes are owned by private landlords who lease them for rent. You will remain on the housing register retaining your housing needs points*, and can continue to look for suitable properties through the Home Connections scheme.
Who can apply? Islington council tenants and RSL tenants living in severely overcrowded housing. The scheme allows you and your family to live in a home which is large enough for your needs untill you successfully get a tenancy with us or with a housing association. How do I apply? Contact the Overcrowding Advisor and request more information. You will get a secure or assured tenancy again once you are successful in bidding on the council's Home Connection scheme. Criteria and other information: you must have a clear rent account no history of anti social behaviour (including members of your household) you will demonstrate that you will be able to pay rental costs of your 'Time Out' home via a rent determination assessment tenants are expected to terminate their current tenancy and will no longer be secure tenants

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Housing opportunities for overcrowded and under occupying tenants

The term 'severely overcrowded' is where a tenant is living in council or other registered social landlord accommodation and lacking two or more bedrooms as defined by the council's rehousing standards (Islington's Housing Allocation Scheme Chapter 2, 2.1). *Tenants should be aware that Welfare points (including harassment) where relevant are reviewable and points may be removed if no longer required.

we strongly recommend getting independent legal advice before giving up your security overcrowded tenants are prioritised by the level of overcrowding in the home and by how long the tenant has been waiting for rehousing if RSL tenants wish to release the property to the council, they will require permission from their landlord pets are subject to the private sector landlords permission

this scheme is not suitable for applicants with 220 points or more. For applicants with 220+ points, rehousing is achievable through the home connections scheme within twelve months

For more information
Rehousing Team Housing Aid Centre 38 Devonia Road London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 020 7527 4136 M 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk

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Under occupiers scheme
What’s on offer? Up to £500 per bedroom released and £300 towards removal costs. Assistance from the council's dedicated underoccupation officers. Removal and decorating packages for vulnerable households may also apply.
Who can apply? All council tenants and *RSL tenants giving up spare bedrooms and moving into smaller sized social housing. How do you get it? by applying for a housing transfer and receiving a high level of priority for housing by bidding for suitable property through the council's Home Connections scheme by swapping with an overcrowded Islington tenant through the Smart move or Mutual exchange schemes *If RSL tenants wish to release the property to the council, they will require permission from their landlord.

For more information
Rehousing Team Housing Aid Centre 38 Devonia Road London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 020 7527 4136 M 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk

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Rehousing Team, The Housing Aid Centre, 38 Devonia Road, London, N1 8UY T 020 7527 4140 F 0207 527 4136 Minicom 0800 073 0536 E rehousing@islington.gov.uk W www.islington.gov.uk/housing
Published June 2009


				
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