Changing lives for the better
A HomeSwapper case study
I’m David Brown and I work on the Occupancy Team and am the technical specialist for mutual exchanges at WHG. This means I process and co-ordinate mutual exchange applications from start to finish, ensuring all part of the process are completed and communicated to customers.
I am responsible for managing HomeSwapper for WHG and it is my responsibility to approve or refuse accounts for WHG tenants. I also assist in identifying mutual exchange for customers and promote HomeSwapper and mutual exchanges as a housing option.
The Occupancy Team provide our Managed Move scheme where my colleagues, Heather Townsend and Anita Williams, work with and support customers who have special or urgent need of rehousing. We work closely with customers to prepare them and their current homes to be ready to match to more suitable accommodation. This means we can respond to their needs more efficiently and at the same time work to reduce void costs and rent-loss. As part of that process, we look to mutual exchanges as the best way to meet these needs where possible.
One particular case makes an excellent example: we had a couple with an adult son with special needs. One of the parents had become less mobile and could no longer get up the stairs to their bedroom or bathroom in their three-bedroom WHG property. At the same time, we had a lady in a two-bedroom bungalette which had a wet room that was no longer being used. She had taken on the residence of her three nephews and nieces and so was badly over crowded. Both sets of customers were on our Managed Move scheme and on HomeSwapper.
The customers were able to match – which has meant the couple with the three-bedroom house have now moved to the two-bedroom property which provides the required downstairs bedroom and wet room and removed the under occupancy. The lady who was overcrowded now has a three-bedroom house which meets her family’s needs and for WHG it means a better use of housing stock and special facilities.
We believe in a pro-active approach to encourage use of HomeSwapper. We assist in the identification of exchanges as best practice in assisting customer moves – which has benefits for our customers and for us as a housing provider in reducing both void costs and the number of void properties.