North London renters offered up to £50k if they move out and buy a home

Council tenants in a London borough are being offered thousands of pounds to move out of their homes.

Brent Council will provide grants up to £50,000 to support those looking to become homeowners, covering 10 per cent of the purchase price.

Those who wish to rent will have their monthly payments covered for two years, or they can take the cash equivalent up to £50,000.

The council will also pay residents to move to homes with fewer bedrooms as it seeks to make “more effective” use of its properties.

The maximum payment in this case would be £32,700 if a tenant moved from a six-bed wheelchair-adapted home to a one-bed in sheltered accommodation.

For those in three-bed properties – the most popular in Brent – incentives to move to smaller homes could be as high as £12,200.

The council argued this strategy will enable more people to get into secure accommodation.

It also acknowledged many people, even those in homes deemed too big, would not want to transfer if they are settled or could end up paying more rent in the long run.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, who is responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the council stock we already have is being used in the best possible way.

“This is about opening an honest conversation with tenants about if they could downsize.”

Cllr Southwood added each case would be taken individually and that nobody would be forced to move.

She said: “This is not about trying to persuade people to relinquish their council properties if they don’t want to.”

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