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by administrator @, Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 15:26

Social tenants who have been stuck in homes that no longer meet their needs are seizing the opportunity to move through the HomeSwap Direct scheme, Housing Minister Grant Shapps announced yesterday.

The Minister welcomed latest figures showing that there are nearly 6,000 searches a day conducted on HomeSwap Direct - an online scheme that shows social homes available for swaps across the country. The total number of searches since it launched in October 2011 is shortly expected to hit the 1.5million milestone.

For the first time HomeSwap Direct has allowed tenants to easily look outside the service provided by their own landlord and be given a choice about where they live. With the scheme being online, it has made advertised swaps much more accessible for all tenants and the possibility of moving house just a click away.

The scheme has transformed the way in which tenants can look for properties and boosted their prospects of moving - whether for work, to be closer to family or for a property better suited to their needs.

Previously, tenants wanting to move were restricted to swapping properties through a scheme chosen by their landlord - effectively meaning only a partial swap scheme existed. HomeSwap Direct gives tenants access to a much wider selection of properties than ever before.

Grant Shapps said: "For years, social tenants were stuck in the ridiculous situation where they didn't have the same freedom of choice as everyone else and could only swap homes with those using the same service as their landlord - or face competition from those higher up the waiting lists.

"HomeSwap Direct has challenged this lazy consensus that trapped people in their homes. Instead, tenants are taking power back to arrange their own home swap by viewing properties available not just in their neighbourhood, but across the whole country.

"And with nearly 6,000 searches every day, and nearly 1.5million since the its launch, this successful scheme is clearly opening doors that were simply closed to social tenants, giving them a chance to improve their job prospects, live closer to family or simply move to a home better suited to their changing needs."

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