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Moray tenants' downsizing incentive scheme to be revised

Press release   •   Nov 08, 2016 12:33 GMT

Changes are to be made to a scheme introduced by Moray Council four years ago to encourage tenants to downsize from under-occupied council houses.

They currently receive a basic payment of £1500 plus £400 for each surplus bedroom that they give up.

Since it was introduced, 64 tenants have taken advantage of the incentive scheme and transferred to smaller houses - freeing up larger properties for families who need the extra accommodation.

Today the council’s communities committee agreed to increase the basic payment to £1900 and to set an annual target of 25 downsizing transfers.

The committee heard that tenancy records suggested that more than 430 tenants were currently living in properties which were under-occupied.

“Although these records may not be wholly accurate, it does support the need for a downsizing incentive scheme,” said head of housing and property Richard Anderson.

Mr Anderson said the financial incentives offered as part of the current scheme compared favourably with those offered by other councils.

“While it is not proposed to change the basic format, the one area where tenants have raised concerns is the level of unforeseen disruption that a housing transfer can create.

“To reflect this, it is proposed to award an additional £400 per transfer to the basic payment to cover unforeseen costs.”

In line with other applicants on the housing list, downsizing applicants will continue to be given two reasonable offers of accommodation.

Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.

Headquartered in  Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.